Charles Bukowski – “don’t come round but if you do …”

I’d smuggle this poem if I had to: Charles Bukowski’s: “don’t come round but if you do …”. Please click on the link to read the whole poem.

The poem reminds me of being young and living in cheap rooms. It starts so casually, “yeah sure, I’ll be in unless I’m out”. He sets boundaries, his couch can be crashed on but he’s not going to lend money or car. I find the sense of character very powerful. And I like the movement in the poem from those casual first lines to the deep wound of the ending. He splices together, throughout the poem, images of pleasure and pain.

I feel like I want to walk up the stairs to that room and knock. He might not answer.

The Penguin Book of American Verse, Ed. Geoffrey Moore, 1977