Charles

by Louis Faber

Bukowski, you old satyr
when you croaked
was there the great
American novel locked away in your head.
When you pickled yourself
was it for fear that the words
locked away inside
would spew forth
like your lunch
so many nights
as you verged 
on alcohol poisoning.
When you read Burroughs
could you picture
the young boys
bent over the back 
of the aging sofa.
We have read
the countless eulogies
of the other men
who only regretted
that your words 
did not fall from their tongues.
I stood in the City Lights
for hours poring over you
when I had too little
to lure you home.
Now you rest on the shelf
alongside Ferlinghetti and Bly
and someday I shall 
catalog the lot of you.

Early in the Second Book

by Louis Faber

She wrapped him carefully
in an old blanket and several
sections of the Times and put him
in the basket with the broken handle
she found out behind the Safeway
near the culvert that was home
until the rains came.
She placed him among the weeds
and beer bottles, where the river’s smell
licked the wicker, and she hoped
he would be found quickly.
She envisioned him at the right hand
of Kings, holding forth on all
manner of life and death, 
princes seeking his insight,
hanging on his words.  He
would not be like others
dying at the hand, whim of wealth.
He was found a week later
lodged against a grate 
at the intake of the power station
and placed in a far corner
of the city cemetery under 
a simple stone “Baby Doe.”



———

Louis Faber is a poet and retired corporate attorney. For several years, he taught English Literature at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York where he resides for half of each year. He is in the process of relocating to Port St. Lucie, Florida. He has, among other degrees, his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His work has previously appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Cold Mountain Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, and Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review, among many others in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A book of poetry, The Right to Depart, was published by Plain View Press.  His blog can be found at https://anoldwriter.com.