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a plausible finish :: charles bukowski

by on June 23, 2015

there ought to be a place to go
when you can’t sleep
or you’re tired of getting drunk
and the grass doesn’t work anymore,
and I don’t mean to go
to hash or cocaine,
I mean a place to go to besides
the death that’s waiting
or to a love that doesn’t work
anymore.

there ought to be a place to go
when you can’t sleep
besides to a tv set or to a movie
or to buy a newspaper
or to read a novel.

it’s not having that place to go to
that creates the people now in madhouses
and the suicides.

I suppose what most people do
when there isn’t any place to go
is to go to some place or to something
that hardly satisfies them,
and this ritual tends to sandpaper them
down to where they can somehow continue even
without hope.

those faces you see every day on the streets
were not created
entirely without
hope: be kind to them:
like you
they have not
escaped.

This version is how the poem appears in The People Look Like Flowers At Last (2007). Here is an earlier manuscript.

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