Read Come On In Online

Authors: Charles Bukowski

Come On In

Edited by John Martin

These poems are part of an archive of unpublished work that Charles Bukowski left to be published after his death.


Grateful acknowledgment is made to John Martin, who edited these poems.


I live near the


and am ill

with thriving.


come on in!

nothing but a scarf

literary chitchat

this machine is a fountain

200 years


Coronado Street: 1954

a vision

cut-rate drugstore: 4:30 p.m.

you can’t tell a turkey by its feathers

too early!

the green Cadillac

I’m not all-knowing but …

in the clubhouse

a famished orphan sits somewhere in the mind

form letter

first family

a real thing, a good woman

a child’s bedtime story

working out in Hades


lousy mail

from the Dept. of English

and poems have too

poets to the rescue

red hot mail

some personal thoughts

he’s a dog


my Mexican buddy

strangers at the racetrack

will you tiptoe through the tulips with me?

the novel life

thanks for your help

I have continued regardless


moving toward the dark

the real thing


she looked at me and asked,

did you?

did you?

did you?


on the cuff

alone again

fooling Marie (the poem)

the copulation blues

the faithful wife

once in a while

another high-roller

the fucking horses

hello there!

the fuck-master

my personal psychologist


her guy

dead poet’s wife

scrambled legs

endless love

down and out on the boardwalk

sex sister

to the ladies no longer here

the nude dancer

Ma Barker loves me

here we go again

do you believe that a man can be taught to write?

hail and farewell



it’s a lonely world

of frightened people.


a note upon modern poesy

the end of an era

Paris in the spring

alone in this chair

talking about the poets

was Li Po wrong?


a note from Hades in the mailbox

on the sunny banks of the university

vacation in Greece

the spill

the last salamander

learning the ropes

bombed away

the swimming pool will be going here

a bright boy

my turn


a close call

like a rock

the waitress at the yogurt shop

one out in the minor leagues

the little girls hissed

I dreamt

the old couple next door

men without women

the “Beats”

hurry slowly

hello and goodbye


I will never have

a house in the valley

with little stone men

on the lawn.


don’t call me, I’ll call you

taking the 8 count

going going gone

this is where they come for what’s left of your soul

hot night

the x-bum

something cares

my cats

6:30 a.m.

what I need

gender benders

after many nights

good morning, how are you?

a reader of my work

Sumatra Cum Laude

the disease of existence

another comeback

two nights before my 72nd birthday

have we come to this?

old poem


closing time

no leaders, please

everything hurts


my song



twilight musings

mind and heart


welcome to my wormy hell.

the music grinds off-key.

fish eyes watch from the wall.

this is where the last happy shot was


the mind snaps closed

like a mind snapping


we need to discover a new will and a new


we’re stuck here now

listening to the laughter of the


my temples ache with the fact of

the facts.

I get up, move about, scratch


I’m a pawn.

I am a hungry prayer.

my wormy hell welcomes you.

hello. hello there. come in, come on in!

plenty of room here for us all,


we can only blame ourselves so

come sit with me in the dark.

it’s half-past



long ago, oh so long ago, when

I was trying to write short stories

and there was one little magazine which printed

decent stuff

and the lady editor there usually sent me

encouraging rejection slips

so I made a point to

read her monthly magazine in the public


I noticed that she began to feature

the same writer

for the lead story each

month and

it pissed me off because I thought that I could

write better than that


his work was facile and bright but it had no


you could tell that he had never had his nose rubbed into

life, he had just

glided over it.

next thing I knew, this ice-skater-of-a-writer was


he had begun as a copy boy

on one of the big New York


(how the hell do you get one of those


then he began appearing in some of the best

ladies’ magazines

and in some of the respected literary


then after a couple of early books

out came a little volume, a sweet

novelette, and he was truly


it was a tale about high society and

a young girl and it was

delightful and charming and just a bit


Hollywood quickly made a movie out of


then the writer bounced around Hollywood

from party to party

for a few years.

I saw his photo again and again:

a little elf-man with huge


and he always wore a long dramatic


but soon he went back to New York and to all the

parties there.

he went to every important party thereafter for years

and to

some that weren’t very


then he stopped writing altogether and just went

to parties.

he drank or doped himself into oblivion almost

every night.

his once slim frame more than doubled in


his face grew heavy and he no longer looked

like the young boy with the quick and dirty

wit but more like an

old frog.

the scarf was still on display but his hats were

too large and came down almost to his


all you noticed was his




the society ladies still liked to drag him

around New York

one on each arm


drinking like he did, he didn’t live

to enjoy his old age.


he died

and was quickly


until somebody found what they claimed was his secret

diary / novel

and then all the famous people in

New York were very


and they should have been worried because when it

was published

out came all the dirty


but I still maintain that he never really did
how to

write; just what and

when and about


slim, thin


ever so long ago, after reading

one of his short stories,

after dropping the magazine to the floor,

I thought,

Jesus Christ, if this is what they


from now on

I might as well write for

the rats and the spiders

and the air and just for


which, of course, is exactly what

I did.

my friend Tom, he liked to come over

and he’d say, “let’s go get a coffee.”

and my girlfriend would say, “you guys

going to talk that literary stuff again?”

and we’d go to this place where you paid

for your first coffee and all the refills were


and we’d get a seat by the window and he

would begin:

Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Dos

Passos mainly but others got in there

too: e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Dreiser,

Jeffers, Céline and so forth.

although I will admit I was mostly a

listener and wondered what he was

really getting at, if anything, I

continued to listen and

drink coffee after


once he said, “look, I’ll take you to the

place Fitzgerald stayed at for a while

during his Hollywood period.”

“all right,” I said and we got into his

car and he drove me there and pointed

it out:

“Fitzgerald lived there.”

“all right,” I said and then he drove us

back for more coffee.

Tom was truly excited about these

literary figures of the past.

I was too, to an extent,

but as Tom talked on and on about


and the coffees continued unabated

my interest began to wane, more than


I began to want to get rid of


it was easy.

one day I wrote a poem about Tom

and it was published and he read


and after that

we enjoyed no more coffees


Tom had been working on a

biography of me

and that ended that.

then another writer came along

and he drank my wine

and didn’t talk about Hemingway,

Fitzgerald, Faulkner, etc.,

he talked about himself

and ended up writing a not-very-

satisfactory biography

of me.

I should have stuck with Tom.

no, I should have gotten rid of

both of them.

which is exactly what I have


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