contemporary literature, one (excerpt)

poem by Charles Bukowski

…I saw some newspapers

on the floor

I was out of writing


had long ago hocked 

my typewriter

I noticed that 

each page of the

newspaper had a wide white

margin around the 


I had a pencil


I picked up a 

newspaper and with

the pencil stub

I began to write words 

on the edge

sitting in the doorway

freezing in the moonlight

so that I could


I wrote in pencil 

on all the edges 

of all the newspapers 

in that shack…

Illustration: “Charles Bukowski” by Jeremy Hara. If you aren’t familiar with Jeremy Hara’s ouevre, he draws on U.S. currency — and has created clever portraits of iconic figures in American arts and letters, including Andy Warhol, R. Crumb, Kurt Vonnegut, and Mark Twain. For more about Jeremy Hara, visit his blog.

Note: Find “contemporary literature, one” in Charles Bukowski‘s Dangling in the Tournefortia (1981), a collection of poetry he dedicated to his writing idol John Fante. Find the book on