Charles Bukowski: Death of an Idiot

he spoke to mice and sparrows

and his hair was white at the age of 16.

his father beat him every day and his mother

lit candles in the church.

his grandmother came while the boy slept

and prayed for the devil to let loose his hold upon


while his mother listened and cried over the


he didn’t seem to notice young girls

he didn’t seem to notice the games boys played

there wasn’t much he seemed to notice

he just didn’t seem interested.

he had a very large, ugly mouth and the teeth

stuck out

and his eyes were small and lusterless.

his shoulders were slumped and his back was bent

like an old man’s.

he lived in our neighborhood.

we talked about him when we got bored and then

went on to more interesting things.

he seldom left his house. we would have liked to

torture him

but his father

who was a huge and terrible man

tortured him for


one day the boy died. at 17 he was still a

boy. a death in a small neighborhood is noted with

alacrity, and then forgotten 3 or 4 days


but the death of this boy seemed to stay with us

all. we kept talking about it

in our boy-men’s voices

at 6 p.m. just before dark

just before dinner.

and whenever I drive through that neighborhood now

decades later

I still think of his death

while having forgotten all the other deaths

and everything else that happened



(Από την συλλογή Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)


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2 thoughts on “Charles Bukowski: Death of an Idiot

  1. hfaistiwnas 16/12/2011 στο 6:54 πμ Reply

    πωπω η ιστορία που διηγείται είναι θλιβερή..

    • fvasileiou 17/12/2011 στο 2:31 μμ Reply

      …μας αρέσουν όμως οι λυπημένες ιστορίες.


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