There’s A Bluebird In My Heart

Joyce Peseroff

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Charles Bukowski

Bluebird

by Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994)

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

 


Bluebird

By Joyce Peseroff

My mother’s voice is at my throat
—”Try a scarf in the neckline”—
and on my lips: “Just a little
lipstick.” Today I’m wearing both.
 
My “mother’s voice,” pitched high, carries
reprimand and care:
“No boom on the table!” My daughter
swats me as I carry her
 
away from the dearest
activity on earth—sticks, stones, struck
as if the coffee table were a flint.
 
“Barbarian,” I croon
in heels. “What’s that?” she asks and rips
a nylon with a fingernail.
 
She cries at the turtleneck
pulled over her head. “I’ll give you something
to cry about!” I hush, succeeding for another
 
day, or an hour—another minute
late for work. Tonight I’ll choose
a lullaby: “Bluebird
at my window,” Mother sang to me,
a voice that could broom sorrow
 
through the door . . . A decal
staggered on the painted bureau,
blue wing seeking, finding no way out.

Where Did I Go

Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994)

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good when you are near or with them.

Charles Bukowski

The Meadow

by Kate Knapp Johnson

Half the day lost, staring
at this window. I wanted to know
just one true thing

about the soul, but I left thinking
for thought, and now –
two inches of snow have fallen

over the meadow. Where did I go,
how long was I out looking
for you?, who would never leave me,
my withness, my here.


x-pug

By Charles Bukowski 
 
he hooked to the body hard
took it well
and loved to fight
had seven in a row and a small fleck
over one eye,
and then he met a kid from Camden
with arms thin as wires—
it was a good one,
the safe lions roared and threw money;
they were both up and down many times,
but he lost that one
and he lost the rematch
in which neither of them fought at all,
hanging on to each other like lovers through the boos,
and now he’s over at Mike’s
changing tires and oil and batteries,
the fleck over the eye
still young,
but you don’t ask him,
you don’t ask him anything
except maybe
you think it’s going to rain?
or
you think the sun’s gonna come out?
to which he’ll usually answer
hell no,
but you’ll have your important tank of gas
and drive off.