I still get letters in the mail, mostly from cracked-up
men in tiny rooms with factory jobs or no jobs who are
living with whores or no woman at all, no hope, just
booze and madness.
I get most of their letters on lined paper
written with an unsharpened pencil or in ink
in tiny handwritings that slants to the left
and the paper is most often torn
usually halfway up the middle
and they say they like my stuff,
I’ve written from where it’s at,
they recognize it truly, I’ve given them some
chance, some recognition of where it's at.
it’s true, I was there, even worse off than most of them.
but I wonder if they realize where their letter arrives?
well, it's dropped into a box on a wire fence
behind a six-foot hedge and a long driveway
to a two car garage, rose garden, fruit trees,
animals, a beautiful woman, mortgage about half
paid after a years residence, a new car-
fireplace and a green rug two-inches deep
with a young boy to write my stuff now,
I keep him in a ten-foot square cage with a
typewriter, feed him whiskey and raw whores,
belt buckle him pretty good three or four times a week.
I’m 60 years old now and the critics say
my stuff is getting better than ever.
— Charles Bukowski