Joe Totterdell's Reviews > Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit

Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the F... by Charles Bukowski
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really liked it
bookshelves: poetry-and-verse, chaotic-age-20th-century-present

Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit is a short and sweet collection of poems published by Charles Bukowski in 1979 containing some of his most esoteric and least offensive poems (relatively speaking, of course, and as far as I have read of his work hitherto, which really says something about this collection)—some absolute gems in this collection.

"claws of paradise"

wooden butterfly
baking soda smile
sawdust fly---
I love my belly
and the liquor store man
calls me,
"Mr. Schlitz."
the cashiers at the race track
scream,
"THE POET KNOWS!"
when I cash my tickets.
the ladies
in and out of bed
say they love me
as I walk by with wet
white feet.

albatross with drunken eyes
Popeye's dirt-stained shorts
bedbugs of Paris,
I have cleared the barricades
have mastered the
automobile
the hangover
the tears
but I know
the final doom
like any schoolboy viewing
the cat being crushed
by passing traffic.

my skull has an inch and a
half crack right at the
dome.
most of my teeth are
in front. I get
dizzy spells in supermarkets
spit blood when I drink
whiskey
and become saddened to
the point of
grief
when I think of all the
good women I have known
who have
dissolved
vanished
over trivialities:
trips to Pasadena,
children's picnics,
toothpaste caps down
the drain.

there is nothing to do
but drink
play the horse
bet on the poem

as the young girls
become women
and the machineguns
point toward me
crouched
behind walls thinner
than eyelids.

there's no defense
except all the errors
made.

meanwhile
I take showers
answer the phone
boil eggs
study motion and waste
and feel as good
as the next while
walking in the sun.
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Reading Progress

June 16, 2016 – Shelved
June 16, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 30, 2018 – Started Reading
March 30, 2018 – Shelved as: poetry-and-verse
March 30, 2018 –
45.0%
March 30, 2018 –
86.0%
March 30, 2018 – Finished Reading
October 5, 2018 – Shelved as: chaotic-age-20th-century-present

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