Hum on Rye

IBM Selectric
by Charles Bukowski

humming,
it will do almost anything you
ask it to do.

humming
beneath its smooth gray paint

the machine
knows.

even death stands back and
asks, “what the hell is
this?”

humming,
it astonishes the walls, the
windows, the cats, the ashtray,
the wooden Buddha and
me.

this machine can save my life.

this machine *has* saved my
life.

this machine can create a woman
more beautiful than
any you have ever seen
or
it can
punch a bully in the
nose.

humming,
this machine is
love found again
in a flood of
fire.

this machine is
a dance floor
a wild circus
a refuge for the
nearly insane.

this machine
sprouts tiny flowers of courage
in the middle of the night.

this machine
throws off sparks of light
when the dark is as dark as
dark can get.

when I recognize
the futility of my
efforts,
when I feel
age like the blade of death,
when I feel
like jumping out of the window
at 2 a.m.
this machine
this amazing machine
stands between me
and that

as it creates
magical poems on
8 1/2 by 11
sheets of paper
which
literally save
my poor
ass.

this old electric
typewriter
that sounds like
a
washing
machine.

Bukowski_DontTry

8 thoughts on “Hum on Rye”

  1. I love the comment on his gravestone: Don’t try. He was a funny bugger right to the end! It’s almost as good as Leslie Nielsen’s ‘Let ‘er rip!’

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