Joan Jobe Smith, author of the upcoming Silver Birch Press title Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me), twisted, frug-ed, and mashed her some potatoes as a go-go dancer for seven years during the swinging ’60s and ’70s. Joan often regaled her friend Charles Bukowski with her go-go girl tales, as memorialized in her poem, “Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer @ the No-No a Go-Go.” An excerpt appears below.

Excerpt from Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer @ the No-No a Go-Go

© Joan Jobe Smith

…Bukowski never drank

at any of those go-go bars I worked those 7 years. Too

expensive, too uppity and all that rock ‘n’ roll too noisy.

No, he preferred the bossa nova and cheap beer at the

No-No a Go-Go’s where barmaids wore overalls, not

fringed bikinis and could toss out any drunk, including

him, with one bare hand. Midnights Buk phoned me long

distance, drunk because his Woman had left him again,

he listened intently to my go-go girl tales about men like

him, broke, lonely who drank too much, said wild things,

talk of men not like him: astronauts, murderers, rich men

wearing diamond pinky rings while Bukowski chugged his

cheap beer in his cheap apartment in L.A., blew smoke

from cheap cigars into the telephone at me sipping cheap

white wine 40 miles away till one night Bukowski finally

said: You gotta write about all that madness, kid. So I did.

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Jobe Smith