Moyamensing Prison by Charles Bukowski

Posted by @ 6:06 pm on December 28th, 2009

we shot craps in the exercise yard while the

dummies played ball with a torn-up shirt

wound into a ball

once or twice a day we had to break it up

under a tommy gun from the tower—

some blank-faced screw pointing it at

us, but,

by god, through it we somehow played

and through some skill and


I soon had all the money in the yard.

and in the morning and in the days that followed—

the screws, the sparrows, the shivs, the dips, the

strongarms, the looneys, the hustlers, the freaks,

the discarded dream-presidents of America, the cook,

in fact, all my critics, they all called me

“Mr. Bukowski,” a kind of fleeting immortality

I guess,

but real as hogs’ heads or dead flowers,

and the force of it

got to me there:

“Mr. Bukowski,” ace-crapshooter,

money-man in a world of almost no



I didn’t recite them Shelley, no,

and everything came to me after lights out:

slim-hipped boys I didn’t want

steaks and ice cream and cigars which I did

want, and

shaving cream, new razorblades, the latest copy of the

New Yorker.

what greater immortality than Heaven in Hell,

and I continued to enjoy it until they

threw me out on the streets

back to my typewriter,

innocent, lazy, frightened and mortal


Student: I could write like Bukowski.

Me: Go right ahead.

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