“An Ode to Bukowski”

Poetry by Carvel Tefft

An Ode to Bukowski

Hell is a terrible place to tell a joke said the

man with the beard, as if God poured him

his cup of wine every night and whispered

the water into his rivers. and I’ve never

known how to love what i can’t see, you can

ask her and her and her, so your words

crawl to me. they don’t look me in the eyes,

so i listen just to listen, as we all do, when

the bearded men speak about something

they know. one day I'll speak of everything i

know. I'll stand in those bearded shoes and

I’ll tell you i know everything, I’ll tell you i

know the winds secrets and the suns

despair, i know the stars don’t care much for

the moon. those selfish, selfish stars. I know

how to dance in hell and sing in heaven. I’ll

tell you I love you and you’ll listen just as we

all do to the bearded men with too much to

say. I’ll tell you about the curse words we

say when the air feels too tight to choke on

another lie. I’ll tell you I know everything. As

all the bearded men do. And I’ll pour your

wine and put the water in your rivers. I’m no

God. God is stuck in my email chain with

Bukowski and a bottle of rum, talking about

New Orleans and yesterdays’ love story,

they laugh and curse at the rain and

Monday’s. And I don’t know a damn thing,

my clean-shaven face knows only the

security of yours and the way you stare at

my insolence like it will grow old with you,

like it knows your mother. So tell me how to

walk you bearded man, but you’ll never

steal the beautiful greed off her face, and I’ll

take my words to my grave and spit them at

God like he’s taking notes. So all I ask is

you shave my face when I go, and bury me

with a smile, knowing I knew nothing at all.

About the Author

Carvel Tefft

Carvel Tefft writes poems about growing up and everything in between. He just began submitting his poetry online and shares his work to hopefully make someone feel. His biggest inspiration is Charles Bukowski.