The Cosmic Joke


men and women finally break.
men and women
deliberately abandon their
loved ones in madhouses
sedated or
until they die.

cats kill cats at
3 a.m. in the morning
chewing off the front
legs and opening the
leaving stiffened fur
and still forms
for any collector of
garbage and life
past gone.

so many wish to be kind
and understanding
so many wish to act educated
and knowing
so many use the word
as if they meant

and too many believe it
when they hear it.

our chances are negated
by our very desire to
be kind.

we’ve got to raise taxes
so we can feed and
clothe and amuse
all those
in madhouses and elsewhere
who believed in love
when there was so


Henry Charles Bukowski


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