From Legs, Hips and Behind (1 Viewer)

Hi All: For all I know, some of these poems may have been published elsewhere, but the database does not indicate so. I don't recognize them, and I've read all but about 200-300 pages of all his standard poetry releases (still some to go in the latest posthumous releases). Of course, my memory is also failing...I haven't seen a thread regarding these, so hopefully these are fresh to this crowd.

So, here goes:

Legs, Hips and Behind was published in 1978 as Wormwood Review #71.


when you consider that mati hari
charged at least
seven thousand five hundred dollars
for a piece of ass
60 years ago
you've just got to know
you've never been really laid


I was standing in the sandwich line
at the racetrack on a Saturday,
47,000 people
in the dream,
and there was an old woman in her
standing up against a steel girder
and she had a 2 dollar ticket in
her hand
her program
and a full cup of hot coffee.
and while holding her program
and her coffee
and her 2 dollar ticket
she opened her purse and reached in.
and as she did
the papercup jiggled
splashing one of her hands
with hot coffee.
she held still a moment
recovered and continued:
she found her social security check.
then she had the
check, the coffee, the ticket, her
program and her purse in her hands
and again the coffeecup jiggled
and the steaming coffee spilled on her hands
then she had the social security check in
her mouth
and then somebody bumped her shoulder
and the hot coffee again spilled
over her hands and
into her purse.
her hands were scalded and red.
I was going to help her
I was going to say, "look, lady,
let me hold that coffee for you."
but then my line moved forward
and I told the counter girl, "I'll
have a corned beef on rye."
and she asked, "with or without
barbeque sauce?"
and I answered

but what hurt me about the old
woman was that she never screamed
all during it.
it was like watching a totally
unbearable horror

I ate my corned beef sandwich.


I needed some photographs
and I suggested the graveyard
and we got some good ones:
she took one of me
over a tombstone called "Beers"
and another one over a stone called
then we got one of me
stretched out on a tomb.
then we visited Valentino's crypt.

so far she's gotten over $150
from German publications for the photos
and I'm not dead yet.

someday I'll be dead and somebody will
be playing around with my tombstone
if I have one.

They are good, aren't they...but laughing out loud?
Black Swan - maybe you saw something I didn't see or maybe you didn't get it?
The pathos?
The crappy situation?
I needed some photographs
and I suggested the graveyard
and we got some good ones:

this is a Montfort-photo:


Hollywood-cemetry 1979
In keeping with the theme of Roni's contribution, here's another:


as I stop my car at the signal
I see her walking past the graveyard.

as she walks past the iron fence
I can see through the iron fence
and I can see the headstones
and the green lawn.

her body moves in front of the iron fence
the headstones do not move.

I think,
doesn't anyone else see this?

I think,
does she see the headstones?

if she does
she has some cleverness that I don't have
for she appears to ignore them.

I see her body moving in its
magic fluid
and her long hair is lighted
by the 3 p.m. sun.

the signal changes
she crosses the street to the west
I drive west.

I drive my car down to the ocean
get out
and run up and down
in front of the sea for 35 minutes

seeing people here and there
with eyes and ears and toes
and various parts.

nobody seems to care.
Legs... Is one of the hardest Wormies to find and the hardest Buk only issue to find. I think that I paid $45 for mine and was happy with that price. I'm not sure why there is a shortage of this title but even the Malone family has very very few copies left.

You must have bought yours a while back, Bill. Copies on abe now go for $75-$200 unsigned. I was able to get a signed copy for $130 from an ebay auction (not that "infamous" copy with pecan sandies crumbs on it) about a month ago. Funny thing was, I lost the auction, but contacted the seller because he had mentioned ending the auction early if he got a high enough bid, so I had shied away. He contacted the winner and the winner was happy with an unsigned copy, so he sent me the signed copy for the win price, which was only $2.50 more than my high bid.

It's not one of the 60 called-for signed copies, but I'm 99.9% sure it's legit (#462/700). The dust jacket has a few folds/tears, but the book/pamphlet is near mint (well, it was before I started typing poems here). ;)
They are good, aren't they...but laughing out loud?
Black Swan - maybe you saw something I didn't see or maybe you didn't get it?
The pathos?
The crappy situation?

I suppose that I am laughing at myself Roc.
That is the kind of thing that possibly could happen to me , and that Buk would actually write a poem out of such a situation,
is what makes me laugh.
I always carry too many things , but that's me...
Legs... Is one of the hardest Wormies to find and the hardest Buk only issue to find.
I've sometimes wondered why that one seems more scarce than the others too. Like you, I got mine a while ago, when they were still in the $40 range.

Not a week goes by when I don't wish I had bought a lot more things back in those (not so long ago) days. "Ah, that can wait, I'll pick up a copy in a few months." Ha, joke's on me.
Thanks PS.

I've decided that at this point that Legs, Hips, and Behind is my next Buk purchase because... well, I love legs, hips, and behinds. And Bukowski. So it seems like a good combination.
I suppose that I am laughing at myself Roc.
That is the kind of thing that possibly could happen to me , and that Buk would actually write a poem out of such a situation,
is what makes me laugh.
I always carry too many things , but that's me...

Wow, this one made me laugh and think. I think it's great in a not so typical Buk kinda way:


parson, there's trouble in Maryland, parson, my faucet
leaks, parson, there's no dog for my leash, parson, the
lepers pray in the moonlight, parson, did you mother
wear lavendar garters, parson, why do I feel good when
I know it can't be so, parson, why can't I use a ques-
tion mark now, parson, why do you have a tubby gut fill-
ed with goldfish, parson, what ever happened to that
linebacker, parson, there's grey trouble floating in
the Florida marshes, parson, I want you to sit up and
close your eyes like a canary under a white sack at
night, parson, I want you to chew on your fingers like
abazaba bars, parson, Charo ought to be eating the ba-
nana from my refrigerator, parson, Felix the Cat and
Tom Mix were lovers, parson, the British troops were
very grand walking right into it like a last symphony
under white wigs, parson, grief is a banjo with one
string left, parson, the clouds rift apart and show the
face of an international money order, parson, tell St.
Anne I said hello, parson, Socrates took it through the
teeth and Plato expired, parson, remind me to have you
pick up your copy of the free throwaway shopping guide,
parson, there's trouble in Savannah, parson, you know
that the trouble is not in the eye of the minnow but
that it is their tiny smile, parson, the secret is in
the deformity and not the perfectness, parson, you
should have been a belly dancer in an East Kansas City
whale Trap, parson, you got me coming all over this
white paper.
POST AWAY PS! I'm loving it. always a pleasure to read Buk stuff for the first time, I'd like to think that I will own a copy sooner or (probably) later. but first this fucking economy gotta come around again.. tanks man.....
Yeah, you're probably right, John. What you have to understand is that while I'm a longtime Bukowski fan, I'm not really a Bukowski collector, even though I have a lot of his stuff in some form or another. So the relative worth of these is lost on me. Just like my dog is happy to find food in his bowl (whatever it is unless it's not carrots), I'm happy just to FIND a copy, regardless of its price.

Your doglike friend,

Harry :D

red with blood and blood is not so red
the crazies pump the avenues
because there are no longer sufficient funds
to lock them up
so they become presidents of U.S. Steel
and of the United States of America
the weasles play golden harps
gunfire goes through thin doors
bathtubs spit up turds
and at the county fair
you can get a 3 foot stuffed dog
with plastic brown eyes
for 10c if you can throw
the ring over the prong.
and the weather has been good lately
a little bit dry
and when you get your things from the laundry
the buttons are missing
and on the freeways
automobiles blow up, burn
backing up traffic for 15 miles
everybody sitting there
listening to the same radio station.

it is a wonder we have come this far.
our dumb courage is

drinking a coffee at McDonald's
out of a paper cup
is almost more victory than we can
hope for.
And another; this one is used as fodder for a section of Ham on Rye (if I recall correctly).


we liked the priest because we saw him buy an
ice cream cone once
we were 9 years old and when I went into
my friend's house his mother was always
drinking with his father
they left the screen door open and listened
to music on the radio
his mother always had her dress pulled
high and her legs excited me
made me nervous and afraid but excited
those black high heels and those nylons --
even though she had buck teeth which
stuck out
when we were ten his father shot
and killed himself with a bullet through
the head
but my friend and his mother went on
living in the house
and I used to see his mother going
up the hill to the market with her
shopping bag and I'd walk alongside
of her
quite concious of her legs and her
hips and her behind
the way it all moved
and she always spoke nicely to me
and her son and I went to church and
confession together
and the priest lived in a place
behind the church
and a fat kind lady was always there
with him
when we went to visit
and it always seemed warm and
I didn't even know exactly
that there was a worldwide
and the madness and sorrow were
almost everywhere.
There's more than one! ;) But it is interesting that the bulk of it didn't end up in BSP books. Martin usually took everything Malone published for the BSP collections.
This next one is not his best, but it's good because it really puts you in the scene, and I can really relate to it personally (the hardest person to reason with is the one who arrives at a conclusion without knowing the facts; they rely on their television experience, perhaps?). Secondly, it shows that Buk really did care what other people think (despite some of his writing), at least in certain periods of his life and/or in certain situations.

And, it's not published elsewhere as far as I can tell. :rolleyes: Lastly, note that the paragraph spacing I have used is actually a half-space return in the original, but I can't do it that way here. Just trying to be real.:cool:


we had just come out of a cafe
about 2 in the afternoon
and I noticed this thin starving dog
he was dizzy and bewildered in the hot sun
and he kept running out into the boulevard
in wild circles
just being missed by automobiles.

"let's get him out of the street," she said.
"o.k.," I said.
we got into the car and drove along to where
he was.
I finally coaxed him into the car.
he was still trembling.

"let's take him home with us," she said.

"I'm not that good a person," I said.
"I'm just going to take him to a nice shady park
where he can get some water and some picnic

I drove him to the park grounds and let him
out. then I swung around and got on the Golden
Gate freeway.

a man pulled up alongside of me as we drove along.
"you son of a bitch! I saw what you did!"

"what are you talking about?"

the man was furious:
"I saw you dump your dog! I saw you let him out!
I saw you dump him in the park!"

we were driving side by side at 60 miles per
hour. he had his woman with him.
she was frightened and silent. so was

"hey, that wasn't my dog!"
"you lying bastard! it was your dog!
"listen to me! let me explain!
"explain what? you dirty rotten son of a bitch!"

"I picked the dog up off the street! he was going
to get run over! I saved his ass, you damn

he didn't believe me:
"you dirty rotten fucking human being!"

"hey!" I screamed back at him, "pull on over and
I'll rip your god damned head off!"

"o.k.!, " he screamed, "o.k., I'll try you!"

he started to veer off the freeway and I followed
then his woman grabbed him by the arm and began
talking to him.
he pulled his car back into the lane and
drove on.

I hit the gas and gained on him.

"what are you trying to do?"
my woman asked.

"I want him to understand!
they'll lay in bed tonight and talk about
what a bastard I was!"

"Hank, he'll never believe you
no matter what you say."

"all right, I guess you're right...."

everybody was feeling bad.
then I drove past the exit I wanted
on the freeway. my stars were surely
out of order for that
Here's one that will give you an idea of some of the writers he liked that he didn't mention very often.


I like to think about people like James Joyce,
Hemingway, Ambrose Bierce, Faulkner, Sherwood
Anderson, Frost, Jeffers, D.H. Lawrence, A. Huxley,
John Fante, Gorki, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Saroyan,
Villon, even Sinclair Lewis and Hamsun, even T.S. Eliot and Pound, and William Carlos Williams and Stephen Spender and Auden.

the brought me other things than my parents
brought me
I like to think of Carson McCullers
she brought me other things than my parents
brought me.

I liked the hardcover library books
blue and green and brown and light red
I liked the distinguished librarians
who stared classically at one
when you coughed or spoke too loudly,
and even though they were like my parents
they were not.

now I no longer read those I once liked
but it's good to think about them.
I like photographs of Hart Crane and Caresse
Crosby at Chantilly, 1929
or photographs of D.H. Lawrence and Frieda
sunning at Le Moulin, 1928.

I like Andre Malraux in his flying outfit
with a kitten on his chest
I like photos of Artaud in the madhouse
Picasso at the beach with his strong legs
and his hairless head, and then there's
D.H. milking that cow.
and Aldous at Saltwood Castle, Kent, August

I like to think about these people
they brought me other things than my parents
brought me,
and they brought them to me well,
very well
when it was so much needed
they brough me other things
that I never knew were there.
those friends
deeper than blood
when there was no chance
gave me one.
THE BEAST - from Legs, Hips and Behind


it was on Western avenue
last night
about 7:30 p.m.
I was walking south
toward Sunset
and on the 2nd. floor of
the motel across the street
at the apartment in the back
the lights were on
and here was this man
he must have weighed 370 pounds
he was 6 and one half feet tall
and 4 feet wide
and his arm reached out
and he rather lazily punched
a naked woman in the face.
another woman stood up
and this woman was clothed
and he gave her a whack across
the back of the neck.
then he punched the naked one
in the face again.
he seemed bored.
then I saw him walk to the window
and open it.
he had a roasted chicken in his
he put it to his mouth
bit out half the side
and began chewing.
he chewed a minute or
then he spit the bones
out the window
I could hear them clattering
down on the

god jesus christ oh mighty,

I saw him looking down at me
and I quickly moved forward
ducking my head down
into the night.

As discussed here: You never say duck and ducking
Yes, so it was. Slightly edited I notice. I wonder...
I don't want to brag (sure I do) but I got all my issues of Wormwood for the $2 issue price, including Legs, Hips & Behind, or for free. Have all the Buk separate issues and insert issues, all regular copies, none signed. Malone always sent me issues in exchange for my small press stuff and then after his death I bought the ones I was missing from his daughter. She made a special deal for the regulars who'd been in the mag a lot. Any issue for $2, as long as we didn't run right out and resell it. I should have bought a complete run but just filled in my Bukowski collection. Very generous of her.

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