"Shot of Red Eye"
By Charles Bukowski


  I used to hold my social security card
  up in the air,
  he told me,
  but I was so small
  they couldn't see it,
  all those big
  guys around.
 
  you mean the place with the
  big green screen?
  I asked.
 
  Yeah. well, anyhow, I finally got on
  the other day
  picking tomatoes, and Jesus Christ,
  I couldn't get anywhere
  it was too hot, too hot
  and I couldn't get anything in my sack
  so I layed under the truck
  in the shade and drank
  wine. I didn't make a
  dime.
 
  have a drink, I said.
 
  sure, he said.
 
  2 big women came in and
  I mean BIG
  and they sat next to
  us.
 
  shot of red-eye, one of them
  said to the bartender.
 
  Likewise, said the other.
 
  they pulled their dresses up
  around their hips and
  swung their legs.
 
  um, umm. I think I'm going mad, I told
  my friend from the tomato fields.
 
  Jesus, he said, Jesus and Mary, I can't
  believe what I see.
 
  it's all
  there, I said.
 
  you a fighter? the one next to me
  asked.
 
  no, I said.
 
  what happened to your
  face?
 
  automobile accident on the San Berdo
  freeway. some drunk jumped the divider. I was
  the drunk.
 
  how old //are// you, daddy?
 
  old enough to slice the melon, I said,
  tapping my cigar ashes into my beer to give me
  strength.
 
  can you buy a melon? she asked.
 
  have you ever been chased across the Mojave and
  raped?
 
  no, she said.
 
  I pulled out my last 20 and with an old man's
  virile abandon ordered
  4 drinks.
 
  both girls smiled and pulled their dresses
  higher, if possible.
 
  who's your friend? they asked.
 
  this is Lord Chesterfield, I told
  them.
 
  pleased to meetcha, they
  said.
 
  hello, bitches, he answered.
 
  we walked through the 3rd. street tunnel
  to a green hotel, the girls had a
  key.
 
  there was one bed and we all got
  in. I don't know who got
  who.
 
  the next morning my friend and I
  were down at the Farm Labor Market
  on San Pedro Street
  holding up and waving our social
  security cards.
 
  they couldn't see
  his.
 
  I was the last one on the truck out. a big woman stood
  up against me. she smelled like
  port wine.
 
  honey, she asked, whatever happened to your
  face?
 
  Fair grounds. a dancing bear who
  didn't.
 
  bullshit, she said.
 
  maybe so, I said, but get your hand out
  from around my
  balls, everybody's looking.
 
  when we got to the
  fields the sun was
  really up
  and the world
  looked
  terrible.


This is another hilarious Bukowski poem that made me laugh out loud. Pretty much from line 33 on I was laughing continuously. There's a few truly funny parts, but one line I really liked that wasn't particularly funny was "I pulled out my last 20 and with an old man's virile abandon ordered 4 drinks." I can feel where he's coming from on that one, after stressing over not making any money but still having to work in the fields, just saying fuck it, let's have a good time with the last of the money.