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Charles Bukowski

(for a reading diary)



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My Father

 was a truly amazing man
 he pretended to be
 even though we lived on beans and mush and weenies
 when we sat down to eat, he said,
 "not everybody can eat like this."
 and because he wanted to be rich or because he actually
 thought he was rich
 he always voted Republican
 and he voted for Hoover against Roosevelt
 and he lost
 and then he voted for Alf Landon against Roosevelt
 and he lost again
 saying, "I don't know what this world is coming to,
 now we've got that god damned Red in there again
 and the Russians will be in our backyard next!"
 I think it was my father who made me decide to
 become a bum.
 I decided that if a man like that wants to be rich
 then I want to be poor.
 and I became a bum.
 I lived on nickles and dimes and in cheap rooms and
 on park benches.
 I thought maybe the bums knew something.
 but I found out that most of the bums wanted to be
 rich too.
 they had just failed at that.
 so caught between my father and the bums
 I had no place to go
 and I went there fast and slow.
 never voted Republican
 never voted.
 buried him
 like an oddity of the earth
 like a hundred thousand oddities
 like millions of other oddities,
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