The Icecream People

the lady has me temporarily off the bottle
and now the pecker stands up
better.
however, things change overnight--
instead of listening to Shostakovich and
Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke
the nights change, new
complexities:
we drive to Baskin-Robbins,
31 flavors:
Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry
Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint...

we park outside and look at icecream
people
a very healthy and satisfied people,
nary a potential suicide in sight
(they probably even vote)
and I tell her
"what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they
find out I'm going in for a walnut peach sundae?"
"come on, chicken," she laughs and we go in
and stand with the icecream people.
none of them are cursing or threatening
the clerks.
there seem to be no hangovers or
grievances.
I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave
that flows about. I feel like a leper in a
beauty contest. we finally get our sundaes and
sit in the car and eat them.

I must admit they are quite good. a curious new
world. (all my friends tell me I am looking
better. "you're looking good, man, we thought you
were going to die there for a while...")
--those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the
hospitals...

and later that night
there is use for the pecker, use for
love, and it is glorious,
long and true,
and afterwards we speak of easy things;
our heads by the open window with the moonlight
looking through, we sleep in each other's
arms.

the icecream people make me feel good,
inside and out.



Submitted by Holt

by Charles Bukowski

Comments (5)

To me the last three lines were a surprise. The details of cooling himself by cooling his wrists in the previous nine lines, rather seeming excessive, become an excellent metaphor for his imagined encounter with his beloved. -GK
To let my hand rest lightly. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Such a great poem by Rainer Maria Rilke👍👍👍
A imaged filled write
A typical poem by Rilke, the poem uses a simple metaphor drawn from nature to describe how he would receive his love. The metaphor is beautiful, a dynamic one stating an entire experience, uniquely personal and not a universalized one. The poet does not drink the water from the tree trunk to quench his thirst but lets the experience seep though his whole being beginning with a tactile experience of absorbing its pristineness through the wrists.The experience is something that gets transformed into an entirely spiritual one from a purely sensory one. A very remarkable thing about the poem is that the metaphor occupies more space in the scheme of things than the main theme: How he will receive his love. The beauty of the sensory experience entirely obfuscates the physical experience of love obtained through nearness and touch and raises it to the level of another spiritual experience.