Francis the Homeless Cat

Skinny and grey

he leapt into my trailer

then looked around nervously.

I popped a can of cat food

and he chomped away as his

eyes darted around at the

mysterious and dark

surroundings.

I already had cats

so I put him back outside.

About a week later he

appeared at the back door

looking even skinnier and

greyer in the harsh light.

This time I put him in the car

and drove him to the vet.

The vet showed me that

the he was covered with

caked fecal matter and fleas,

and we could both see that his eyes

were oozing yellow goo.

He put the anti-flea solution on him,

gave me some antibiotics,

cat shampoo,

and vitamins for him.

The cat was very old

and had missing teeth.

When I got him home

I told him he could stay.

I would be his

retirement plan.

I figured I could do better

for him than nature had.

I gave him a bath and

kept him in the bedroom

where he rested his tired bones

in a premium cat bed and

ate voraciously. He’d had it

rough outside, so I even

got him a bubbling cat fountain

and a glow-in-the-dark collar

with his new name and info.

engraved on a heart-shaped tag.

As I rested on my futon,

he lay on my chest and looked

at me. When I turned on my

stomach, he jumped on my back and slept.

And when I turned on my side

he managed to balance there,

his head held up proudly

like the Sphinx.

Then the diarrhea came

and came.

No big deal.

I cleaned it up.

He was more than worth

the effort.

He’d been neutered

before he came to me,

so I guessed that he’d been

someone’s cat but then

abandoned.

People are beasts.

Sometimes he made it to

the litter pan.

He did his best.

The vet advised trying

boiled chicken and rice

for a while to settle his stomach,

so I cooked

for the first time in many years.

Then, about a month after I

adopted him, he stopped

eating altogether, wouldn’t

touch the chicken or the

different brands of cat food.

He couldn’t

even get up. The vet said

he was moribund and had

reached the end.

I didn’t want him to suffer

or die

alone when I was at work,

so I stayed with him as the vet

prepared the needle that

would help him pass. I told

Francis that his soul could

follow me home or go ahead

to that painless place

where I would be with him

again someday.

Afterwards I stayed in the

exam room with him for a

while. Then I took his collar

and put it in my pocket.

You are my boy, Francis,

and I was lucky to have you.

I will follow you home

someday.

— Fyodor Bukowski

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When the Brain Bleeds

i was writing an epic poem

in ottava rima and was told

by a few of discerning taste

and acerbic tongue that

it was funny, and witty, and

original, but after a day

followed by many others days

of

crushing labor and a neighbor’s

barking dog and a hard on with

nowhere special to go it’s all I

can do to write like this:

a desperate poem

from a desperate man

to other desperate souls:

when the brain bleeds

the pen screeds.

Beware the Halo

There’s real danger

In canonizing

Anyone, and by

Canonizing

I mean looking at

Anyone as if

They’ve got a halo on.

Appreciate a person,

but in

A realistic and limited

Way. Don’t put a halo

On anyone, you’ll

Be safer this way.

— FB

Something Rather Than Nothing

Philosophers and

Physicists have

Asked themselves

Why there is

Something rather

Than nothing. And

I ask myself this too.

And why, if there has

To be something, why

This blood-stained

Food chain that binds

Living beings in a cage

Of horrors, softened only

By beauty, intoxicants,

And lies? And the first

Of these is beauty, hard

To grasp for most of us,

While intoxicants

Have side-effects.

That leaves mostly lies

For the masses, who

Lap them up like

Ambrosia and gobble

Them down like

Golden apples, so

They can believe

Themselves to be

Minor dieties

Or at least something

More sacred than

Mere predators

And prey.

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

Where it is

The daily nightmares

keep coming

like them always have

like they always will:

dead animals

in the road,

endless scams,

both virtual

and in-your-face,

watching the

worthless

and the evil

scooping up

goodies,

age after age,

and of course,

like Siddhartha

said: sickness,

old age,

and death.

But

there are moments

that present

themselves

nearly everywhere

that often go

unlived

even though

they offer us what

we’ve really been

looking for

all along.

This morning

after feeding

the cats, I put

the water pot

on the burner

to to make

coffee. I was

in a hurry to

go and cancel

my credit card

after that “free

CBC oil you only

pay shipping

scam.” But after

preparing my cup,

one of

my black cats

jumped up on

the kitchen

table and cried

like she does

when she wants to

jump in my lap;

so I plopped down

in the chair

sipped my coffee

as she purred and

made biscuits with

her paws against

my chest. Slow sip

after sip, sitting

there in the semi-

dark, and feeling

each breath,

I realized

that there was

nowhere I’d rather

be and no

greater

moment

to be sought.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

Are You the Same Person Who Came in Through the Door?

I tried to concentrate

on the words of the

Buddhist giving his

dharma talk. But the

dog outside kept

barking, and the fat

cat named Karma kept

purring on my lap. I

liked the purring, and

though I like dogs too,

the constant barking

was really too much.

But at the time I scolded

myself for being bothered

it and surmised that I just

wasn’t enlightened enough.

So I peeled my eyes from

the fantastic ass of the

nubile young woman sitting

lotus style in front of me,

and put them back onto the

Buddhist giving the dharma

talk. “You’re Not the Same

Person who Came in Through

the Door Only Moments ago,”

he said before explicating

that we are not really

separate, discreet entities,

and that the only thing that’s

constant is change, etc. I’m

sure you’ve heard it all before,

in one form or another, “Each

man is your brother, ” et al.

Well, in a purely scientific

sense, I may not be exactly

the same man now as the one

who’d walked into that

Buddhist temple so many

years ago, but I still can’t stand

dog owners who tie their dogs

up on short leashes for extended

periods of time, to the point

where they bark incessantly

for help. And something in

the wisdom of the blood still

knows that a young woman’s ass

is worth more than any

philosophical stuff. And yeah,

the dog belonged to the jerk who

gave the dharma talk.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

People Don’t Change

“People Don’t Change,”

was my mom’s reply

to my dad. With his

barrel chest, Popeye

forearms, and wannabe

Bolshevik beard, there

he was on his knees

in front of her in the

laundry room, tears

streaming down his

beard as he begged

her to take him back

because, he claimed,

“People can change.”

I was 11 and didn’t know

then whether he or she

was right. But now, after

after losing two more wives,

and the love and respect of

all of his kids, and with one

foot and a frayed pant leg in

the grave, he’s still the same

grumpy, delusional, cheap,

lying, petty, and idiotically

violent S.O.B. he’d always been.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

 

 

 

 

Cute Asian Invasion

I’m waiting for all

attractive Asian

ladies of a ripe

and ready age

to come invade

my nation and

help turn

History’s page.

I’ve suffered

much in this

longish life

and to heal

me now

after all

that strife

isn’t in the

cards, you

see; but at

least having

some kitty-

faced angels

in place, here,

there, and

everywhere

as the Beatles’

song plays,

would go a

long long way

towards assuaging

my grief and

lingering rage

at the gods and

goddesses too,

and might even

make those days

that remain

more bearable,

if not beautiful.

So bring on

those cosplaying

Hello-Kitty

apparrel wearers,

those dark-eyed

K Pop biological

cute bombs

with Betty

Boop eyelashes

and giggling

girlish ways.

I’ve had enough

of female

masculinity

and co-ed

lavatories;

no thank

you, PC.

The Yang

needs the Yin,

as the ancient

Daoists knew

that to bow

to cosmic truth

is no sin;

and Vive la

Difference,

as the French

used to say,

though now

I’m sure

that’s considered

“hate.” So bring 

on those 

kawaii ladies

who make

heart shapes

with their hands

that fly through

my mind like

psychadelic

doves. Arm

them with

oozies and

shoot me

with

love.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion)

Goodbye, My Valkyrie

Another morning of

trying to force this

failing body from

this warm futon

to carry on the

life struggles known

to peasantry. On

mornings like this,

I used to visualize

a woman standing

above me, a luminescent,

fair creature, an angel,

a warrior princess,

a valkyrie, holding

out her dove-white

but strong hand,

ready to clasp mine

and pull me up and

into the fray common

to those who never

won life’s lottery; but

just like the so-called

“real” women of flesh-

and-bowels, who cavort

their way through life’s

deadly pageantry, I finally

gave her up too this morning,

because she was never

really there anyway, you

see, just like the “real” ones,

a few of whom were

present, sure, for a

time, at least in body,

while the gravy was

good; but they never

stayed through the thin

gruel days. So where does

an imaginary warrior-

maiden and soul-mate

Sail after a man has finally

said goodbye?

Does she head over

to comfort the worst

of men: the braggarts,

the blockheads, the

mindless materialists,

the drug dealers, the

pimps and puppy abusers?

Are these the ones that

imaginary valkyries fly

towards to pull up from

their beds and futons to face

life’s hard realities? I wouldn’t

be surprised if that’s true;

after all, what did the so-called

real women do, most often,

with their priceless, life-giving

eyes, and thighs, and lips, and

all the rest, but gift them to the

most worthless and least grateful

of men? Therefore, following more

than half-a-century of scribbling 

love notes and poetry and even

sometimes song mixed

with sincerity of longing, and not

looking half-bad at all, according

to more than a few, I finally gave

up on those real women of lovely

flesh but thin blood; and this

morning, I even said my final

Farewell to my angel of light, my

valkyrie, my princess of the

mind. This may be poetry, or it

may be self-pity; but it

also happens to be the undiluted,

undeluded reality of my life, and

the lives of many others too. So fly

away fly on, and keep flying, my

valkyrie, because you

were never really there above my

bed. Spread those wings 

And soar into some gods-

forsaken eternity, and

I’ll stay under these covers just a

little while more. 

 

–Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie