"Cornered", Charles Bukowski

well, they said it would come to
this: old. talent gone. fumbling for
the word

hearing the dark
footsteps, I turn
look behind me…

not yet, old dog…
soon enough

now
they sit talking about
me: “yes, it’s happened, he’s
finished… it’s
sad…”

“he never had a great deal, did
he?”

“well, no, but now…”

now
they are celebrating my demise
in taverns I no longer
frequent.

now
I drink alone
at this malfunctioning
machine

as the shadows assume
shapes
I fight the slow
retreat

now
my once-promise
dwindling
dwindling

now
lighting more cigarettes
pouring new
drinks

it has been a beautiful
fight

still
is