Henry Charles by Wayne F. Burke

Bukowski sits on a stool
at the supermarket cash register
fat-rolls around his belly and straggly hair
he wears a fire engine red supermarket shirt
and is bullshitting with a woman customer
instead of ringing me up
and I get upset
grab the glass jar of oil, or honey, or
and stalk off without paying
and go to the back of the store
(I work there too; wear the same red shirt)
and meet Jigs, a childhood pal of mine
and say “fucking Bukowski is on the register”
and he says “Chinaski?”
We get onto an elevator.
The oil, or honey, or whatever
is all over my fingers
because the jar leaks.

Wayne Burke

Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications (including Your One Phone Call). His three published poetry collections, all from BareBack Press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. A fourth collection, A LARK UP THE NOSE OF TIME, is due out in 2017. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in the central Vermont area (USA).

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