Beercan in the Garden

Joan Jobe Smith
  • Joan Jobe Smith

After the poetry reading, Bukowski was

supposed to go to a Tea in his honor, yes,

a Tea, and cookies, for Bukowski, sponsored by

the good people of the nearby First Assimilationist

Church, no, no booze, the good church people

probably thinking his Henry Chinaski persona

mere fiction, and I drove him in my white

Volkswagen there, the Laguna Beach aquamarine

sky above the church steeple matching

the horizon high sea, the geraniums and birds of

paradise in full-bloom July smiles and wearing

their best party hats, and when Bukowski

saw all the good church people standing on the

neatly mowed green-green lawn, saw the men

in their good Sunday suits, the women in

their pinkest frocks, waiting, watching for

his arrival, he told me, don’t stop, keep going,

I need a beer, so I drove him to the nearest

liquor store where he bought a 12-pack, snapped

open a can and told me get me the hell outta here

so I drove him to my outcall masseuse girlfriend

Lucy’s house in a bad part of Santa Ana and

Bukowski was glad to meet her and her boyfriend

Brucie, shook their hands, flirted

with Lucy, and while she fixed us spaghetti,

garlic bread, and chianti and we ate and talked

all night, Bukowski made us laugh until 4

in the morning when Linda, The First Linda,

drove him back home to L.A., and I didn’t see

Bukowski again for a year, and the good, tea-

sipping, cookie-munching people of the First

Assimilationist Church didn’t see Bukowski again,


Joan Jobe Smith, founding editor of Pearl and Bukowski Review, worked for seven years as a go-go girl in Southern California before receiving her BA from CSULB and MFA from UCI. For nearly a decade she enjoyed/endured a literary and platonic friendship with poet and writer Charles Bukowski. Her literary profile
Charles Bukowski: Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me) and her memoir Tales of an Ancient Go-Go Girl are forthcoming from Silver Birch Press and World Parade Books, respectively. She is married to the poet Fred Voss.

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like it more for Bukowski then the poem...interesting take on a poetic wacker par excellence

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