Charles Bukowski, ‘An Ordinary Poem’

I have this poem in one of Bukowski’s poetry compilations at home, but I couldn’t find a web-based version anywhere. So I thought I’d type it out and put it here. One of my favourite Bukowski poems, even though not many people really talk about it.

an ordinary poem

since you’ve always wanted
to know I am going to admit that I never liked Shakespeare,
Browning, the
Bronte sisters,
Tolstoy, baseball, summers on the shore, arm-
wrestling, hockey, Thomas Mann, Vivaldi, Winston Churchill,
Moore, free verse,
pizza, bowling, the Olympic Games, the Three Stooges, the
Brothers, Ives, Al Jolson, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Mickey
Mouse, basketball,
fathers, mothers, cousins, wives, shack jobs (although preferable
to the former),
and I don’t like the Nutcracker Suite, the Academy Awards,
Melville, pumpkin pie, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Labor Day,
Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Good Friday, The Who,
Bacon, Dr. Spock, Blackstone and Berlioz, Franz
Liszt, pantyhose,
lice, fleas, goldfish, crabs, spiders, war
heroes, space flights, camels (I don’t trust camels) or the
Updike, Erica Jong, Corso, bartenders, fruit flies, Jane
churches, weddings, birthdays, newscasts, watch
dogs, .22 rifles, Henry
and all the women who should have loved me but
didn’t and
the first day of Spring and the
and the first line of this poem
and this one
that you’re reading


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