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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

trashcan lives

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

By Charles Bukowski

the wind blows hard tonight

and it's a cold wind

and I think about

the boys on the row.

I hope some of them have a bottle of


it's when you're on the row

that you notice that


is owned

and that there are locks on


this is the way a democracy


you get what you can,

try to keep that

and add to it

if possible.

this is the way a dictatorship

works too

only they either enslave or

destroy their


we just forgot ours.

in either case

it's a hard



Bukowski (RIP 1920 - 1994) published this poem in 1986 in his book "You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense." Both the poem and my mood leave me little more to say today. Other than I hope you might read and reflect as best you can. In my experience, this poem will make much too good of sense if you have spent real time with the downtrodden, the sick, the oppressed or the grieved. If you have not had much of these opportunities, there is great need everywhere and I hope none of us can forget that.

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