death of an idiot Poem by Charles Bukowski

death of an idiot
he spoke to mice and sparrows
and his hair was white at the age of 16.
his father beat him every day and his mother
lit candles in the church.
his grandmother came while the boy slept
and prayed for the devil to let loose his hold upon
him
while his mother listened and cried over the
bible.

he didn’t seem to notice young girls
he didn’t seem to notice the games boys played
there wasn’t much he seemed to notice
he just didn’t seem interested.

he had a very large, ugly mouth and the teeth
stuck out
and his eyes were small and lusterless.
his shoulders were slumped and his back was bent
like an old man’s.

he lived in our neighborhood.
we talked about him when we got bored and then
went on to more interesting things.
he seldom left his house. we would have liked to
torture him
but his father
who was a huge and terrible man
tortured him for
us.

one day the boy died. at 17 he was still a
boy. a death in a small neighborhood is noted with
alacrity, and then forgotten 3 or 4 days
later.

but the death of this boy seemed to stay with us
all. we kept talking about it
in our boy-men’s voices
at 6 p.m. just before dark
just before dinner.

and whenever I drive through that neighborhood now
decades later
I still think of his death
while having forgotten all the other deaths
and everything else that happened
then.

——————————————————————————–

From Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
Selected poems 1955 – 1973
Black Sparrow Press, 1986.
First published in:
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, 1974.
***

Posted in art music poetry, Charles Bukowski, Famous Poets, Poetry Posts

Bukowski Poems

8 Count
A Challenge To The Dark
A Following
A Radio With Guts
A Smile to Renember
Alone With Everybody
An Almost Made Up Poem 
And The Moon And The Stars And The World
ANOTHER BED
Another Day
Are You Drinking?
AS CRAZY AS I EVER WAS
As The Poems Go
As The Sparrow
At the track today
Back to the Machine Gun
BAD TIMES AT THE 3RD AND VERMONT HOTEL
Be Angry At San Pedro
Be Kind
BEER
Big Night On The Town
Bluebird Poem
Cause And Effect
Confession
Cows In Art Class
Cut While Shaving
Death of an idiot
Death Wants More Death
Eat Your Heart Out This is It
Flophouse
For The Foxes
Freedom  and He Drank Wine All Night
Gamblers All Not Going to Make it
God I got the sad blue blues
Grief
Hell is a Lonely Place
I don’t know what to do
I Made A Mistake
In the hospitals and jails
Love & Fame & Death
man in the sun 
My Father
My First Affair With That Older Woman
My Groupie
New Mexico
NIGHT SCHOOL
Nirvana
 On Going Back To The Street After Viewing An Art Show
Question and Answer
Rain Or Shine Vultures at the Zoo
Roll the Dice
Ruin
SHE SAID
Short Order
Show Biz
Sleep
Some People Never Go Crazy
Sparrow
THE ALIENS
The Blackbirds are Rough Today
The Great Poet
The Great Slob
The History Of One Tough Motherfucker Stray Cat Poe
The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth
The Poetry Reading
The Secret Of My Endurance

The Shower
The wind blows hard tonight
They are building a house
They found him walking along the freeway
They only burn themselves to reach Paradise
This time has finished me
THOSE GIRLS WE FOLLOWED HOME
To the whore who took my s
Traffic report
Trapped don’t undress my love mannequin
Trash can
Upon reading a critical review
Van Gogh
We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain
what i liked about e.e. cummings
Who In The Hell Is Tom Jones
Young in New Orleans