Shawn Pavey



Charles Bukowski is Dead

Follow along. Stay with me.
Charles Bukowski is dead.
We should keep him there, dead,
where his bones lie draped
in a moldering suit.
The drinking and the poems about drinking
are not new. Not to me. Not to you.

The rawness there, the open wound,
the lovers and the unloved and the violent
let them stay in the ground.
Let them stay in the ground
with the moldering suit (we talked
about this). Find a new place to walk
that isn’t Los Angeles. Find a new bar
that isn’t Los Angeles. Find a new city
that isn’t Los Angeles. It’s time.
You know it’s time.


About the Author: Shawn Pavey is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Press, 2008), Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (Spartan Press, 2015), and Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse (2019, Spartan Press).  He co-founded The Main Street Rag Literary Journal and served as an Associate Editor. A graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single-barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue. His infrequently updated blog is at


Image Credit: Russell Lee “Los Angeles, California. Newsboy’s stand and traffic signal light” (1942) The Library of Congress

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