Bukowski Poem

Bukowskithe great escape
by Charles Bukowski

listen, he said, you ever seen a bunch of crabs in a
bucket?
no, I told him.
well, what happens is that now and then one crab
will climb up on top of the others
and begin to climb toward the top of the bucket,
then, just as he’s about to escape
another crab grabs him and pulls him back
down.
really? I asked.
really, he said, and this job is just like that, none
of the others want anybody to get out of
here. that’s just the way it is
in the postal service!
I believe you, I said.
just then the supervisor walked up and said,
you fellows were talking.
there is no talking allowed on this
job.
I had been there for eleven and one-half
years.
I got up off my stool and climbed right up the
supervisor
and then I reached up and pulled myself right
out of there.
it was so easy it was unbelievable.
but none of the others followed me.
and after that, whenever I had crab legs
I thought about that place.
I must have thought about that place
maybe 5 or 6 times
before I switched to lobster.

“the great escape” by Charles Bukowski from: Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way. © Ecco Press, 2004.  From Writer’s Almanac – Reprinted with permission.

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About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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5 Responses to Bukowski Poem

  1. That is a great piece. True too.

  2. Brilliant !!! had this conversation re crabs a couple of days ago !!!

    • @ Valerie,
      Ha! That old synchronicity.
      I love Bukowski’s stuff. Keep thinking I’ve read it all, then see another one, ‘Sifting Through The Madness,’ I’ve somehow missed.

  3. so glad I found this. So good, and so true.

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