NIGHT SCHOOL Poem by Charles Bukowski

NIGHT SCHOOL
from Dangling In the Tournefortia

in the drunk driver’s class
assigned there by division 63
we are given tiny yellow pencils
to take a test
to see if we have been listening
to the instructor.
questions like: the minimum sentence for a
2nd drunk driving conviction is:
a) 48 days
b) 6 months
c) 90 days
there are 9 others questions.
after the instructor leaves the room
the students begin asking the questions:
“hey, how about question 5? that’s a
tough one!”
“did he talk about that?”
“I think its 48 days.”
“are you sure?”
“no, but that’s what I’m putting
down.”
one women circles all 3 answers
on all questions
even though we’ve been told to
select only one.

on our break I go down and
drink a can of beer
outside a liquor store.
I watch a black hooker
on her evening stroll.
a car pulls up.
she walks over and they
talk.
the door opens.
she gets in and
they drive off.

back in class
the students have gotten
to know each other.
they are a not-very-interesting
bunch of drunks.
I visualize them sitting in a
bar
and i remember why
I started drinking
alone.

the class begins again.
it is discovered that I am
the only one to have gotten
100 percent on the test.

I slouch back in my chair
with my dark shades on.
I am the class
intellectual.

***

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