The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College

July 5th, 2016

1 poem

Smells Like Bukowski

August night in Grenada, MS

Had to choose between two hotels,
and I took a room beside the one
where three men shot each other
the week before.

My credit card didn’t work, didn’t work.
Good thing the night teller preferred cash.

Even the threat of a fistful
of Apple Jacks and community milk
for breakfast couldn’t keep me down.

The ice machine was stacked and clean—
I poured some E & J brandy and Sprite.

Three towels and no washcloth
like the night in San Juan
when the caretaker told you
they don’t use washcloths in Puerto Rico,
and you let him have it.
I let it go.

Swivel-lock gone from the door,
I jammed a chair against the handle.

Bukowski said if it doesn’t roar out of you,
do something else.
I’m back in the game, baby,
back in the game.


Born and raised in Scranton, PA (The Office), K. A. McGowan lives in Cajunland in Louisiana. He writes poems and songs and plays the guitar left-handed. His two chapbooks are Rubric and No Passengers.

What motivates him to create?
Poems are waiting in rooms, waiting to be written.

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