Friday, September 16, 2005

Bukowski’s Accountant

Floating on the periphery
I ask a question slippery:
How do you
enjoy a view
when the bay beneath the boat
is sullied with creosote?
So near the ocean
with it’s cleansing motion
There’s trapped crap
On this side of the map
Generations of disposing
And waste decomposing
Means threats posing
Danger to swimmers
Yet hope glimmers
Like dappled sunlight on the waves
We can blame troglodytes in their caves
For darkening the water
And as it grows hotter
Claim they spoil the air
And why should we care
We all think ourselves Eloi
Well ahoy polloi
We’re all complicit
In this game illicit
We can’t escape in a Time Machine
Back to an Earth idyllicaly clean
Tomorrow we’re gone
Our children’s children muddle on
With senses muted
To a world polluted.
See hear smell touch taste
Sea here swells much waste
But the beauty!
The irrepressible
Next line
A duty
To express what you can’t repress
The west has hope, this coast transcends
An American dream to depths descends
They feinted
A balk, a walk
Free pass, four wide ones
Founding fathers’ favored sons
Playing the game
Free from blame
“Farmer John smoked his own meat
He was one tough mother fucker,”
Wrote Bukowski
What do you see?
“Easternmost in quality
Westernmost in flavor.”
Do me a favor.
Standards fade or get remade,
But taste (like truth)
Don’t you see?
It is
It will be
Was a lush
His accountant an anarchist
In a bow tie.
I answered his phone
It was a job
Trudging in alone
Mr. B, a slob.
Taxes they’d discuss
Making money makes a fuss
Who do you pay today?
Ex-wives from past lives
An hour gone
He’d stumble on
Rumpled still
A government’s will
(fucking thieves)
With his CPA at midday
I’d have lunch.
“I have a hunch,”
He would say
This government may
Treat us like slaves
Past the amber waves
Sending spent fuels
And making the rules
We labor and pay
The American way.
Bukowski’d be drunk
In another part of town
Bar/cloister, patron/monk
A poet clown
An intoxicated foil
To the stocky coil
With whom I shared my meal
(or that he shared with me).
Rephrasing Tom Paine, “Here’s the deal,”
He’d wax revolutionary
Over his Reuben and fries
The State needs alibis
And cheap labor
A century of atonement
Won’t even begin
To absolve the sin
This nation’s ill moment.
A sip of iced tea
And turning to me,
“Hamilton killed by Burr
Was only the beginning
Those forces were already winning.
The ideals were corrupted!”
He suddenly erupted
Curious looks
From diners and cooks.
Now self-consciously,
“we’re all slaving
Desperately saving,
But the deed’s been done
The Federalists won.
Are Western concerns
Heeded by ANY administration?
The Constitution burns!
It’s taxation without representation
They corrupt and despoil.
It makes my blood boil.”
He simmered and stewed
His nature imbued
With unpredictable fervor.
Quickly he switched
Hailing our server
(his left eye slightly twitched)
From agitated wreck
To one more composed
He picked up the check
From billfold an old
Ten dollar bill exposed
Alexander’s smug look
“Fucking crook.”
With that we left
Hamilton dissed
Bukowski’s accountant
An anarchist.

- Billy Shakes

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