Kafka Can’t Cross a Street

One night
Bukowski visits me,
dead more
than twenty years now,
he looks
the same, since he always looked
mostly dead
anyhow, except for his liver which
always appeared
to be a throbbing stone.

Perched at the corner of
my mattress,
shoulders slumped like
Rodin’s sketchbook,
he’s a patient Jacob
Marley smoking the cigarettes
I hide from myself
in a kitchen cup and he’s ashing
into my carpet.

“But death
is humiliating enough.”

Puff. Ash.

Kafka can’t
cross a street without signing
an autograph.

Kerouac is chained to the radiator at a
book group
right now. “You wanna bust him out?”

Instead we drink whiskey
from coffee mugs
until the dawn breaks; his
cock crows
and he fades away slowly
leaving nothing
but stubbed out butts and a hole
of smoke.