artist by charles bukowski

all of a sudden I’m a painter.
a girl from Galveston gives me
$50 for a painting of a man
holding a candycane while
floating in a darkened sky.

than a young man with a black beard
comes over
and I sell him three for $80.
he likes rugged stuff
where I write across the painting –
“shoot shit” or “GRATE ART IS

I can do a painting in 5 minutes.
I use acrylics, paint right out of
the tube.
I do the left side of the painting
first with my left hand and then
finish the right side with my
right hand.

now the man with the black beard
comes back with a friend whose hair
sticks out and they have a young blonde
girl with them.

black beard is still a sucker:
I sell him a hunk of shit –
an orange dog with the word
“DOG” written on his side.

stick-out hair wants 3 paintings
for which I ask $70.
he doesn’t have money.

I keep the paintings but
he promises to send me a
girl named Judy
in garter belt and high heels.
he’s already told her about me:
“a world-renowned writer,” he said
and she said, “oh no!” and pulled
her dress up over her head.
“I want that,” I told him.

then we haggled over terms
I wanted to fuck her first
then get head later.
“how about head first and
fuck later?” he asked

“that doesn’t work,” I

so we agreed:
Judy will come by and
I will hand her the
3 paintings.
so there we are:
back to the barter system,
the only way to beat

never the less,
I’d like to
start the Men’s Liberation Movement:
I want a woman to hand me 3 of her
paintings after I have
made love to her,
and if she can’t paint
she can leave me
a couple of golden earrings
or maybe a slice of ear
in memory of one who