Old Number 9 – An Extract

of course the horses are bad, filled with gasoline and bad dreams,
and the women too…wear claws that shred your back through
kisses of candy-fire, and the whiskey crawls with crazy moths,
and when I open a can of beans…shrimp jump out and nip my fingers;
the thunder pokes holes in my brain tonight, and I dial odd numbers
on the phone asking questions on the classics and the size of the moon,
and I get out the foil and dance before the mirror crashing splints
into my body and face; I oil the clock and the cat, sing Carmen backwards,
eat the shell and throw away the egg…history is upside down,
and love and breakfast, and look…the poems of Sandburg…
who is he trying to fool? I’ve seen Dante in an opera hat,
walking thru snow, poisoned on bad beer…

– Bukowski


About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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