I Do Not Care

Adlerstrasse 45 — November 24th 2018

Many colorful stories entwine around Bukowski and his neighbor Jane, about whom he wrote many poems. My favorite is the one below – with the tiger. And with all the myths that surround this woman, one explanation is the dearest to me: The one that Bukowski himself gave in the poem Barfly: «Jane, who has been dead for 31 years, never could have imagined that I would write a screenplay of our drinking days together and that it would be made into a movie and that a beautiful movie star would play her part. I can hear Jane now: ‹A beautiful movie star? Oh, for Christ’s sake!› Jane, that’s show biz, so go back to sleep, dear, because no matter how hard they tried they just couldn’t find anybody exactly like you. and neither can I.» («Barfly» — written in 1988)

25 days under grass
and you know more than I.
They have long taken your blood,
you are a dry stick in a basket.
Is this how it works?
In this room
the hours of love
still make shadows.

When you left
you took almost everything.
I kneel in the nights
before tigers
that will not let me be.

What you were
will not happen again.
The tigers have found me
and I do not care.

«For Jane», poem by Charles Bukowski written 1962 — and first published in the Magazin «Wormwood Review» № 8, 1962


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