Goodbye, My Valkyrie

Another morning of

trying to force this

failing body from

this warm futon

to carry on the

life struggles known

to peasantry. On

mornings like this,

I used to visualize

a woman standing

above me, a luminescent,

fair creature, an angel,

a warrior princess,

a valkyrie, holding

out her dove-white

but strong hand,

ready to clasp mine

and pull me up and

into the fray common

to those who never

won life’s lottery; but

just like the so-called

“real” women of flesh-

and-bowels, who cavort

their way through life’s

deadly pageantry, I finally

gave her up too this morning,

because she was never

really there anyway, you

see, just like the “real” ones,

a few of whom were

present, sure, for a

time, at least in body,

while the gravy was

good; but they never

stayed through the thin

gruel days. So where does

an imaginary warrior-

maiden and soul-mate

Sail after a man has finally

said goodbye?

Does she head over

to comfort the worst

of men: the braggarts,

the blockheads, the

mindless materialists,

the drug dealers, the

pimps and puppy abusers?

Are these the ones that

imaginary valkyries fly

towards to pull up from

their beds and futons to face

life’s hard realities? I wouldn’t

be surprised if that’s true;

after all, what did the so-called

real women do, most often,

with their priceless, life-giving

eyes, and thighs, and lips, and

all the rest, but gift them to the

most worthless and least grateful

of men? Therefore, following more

than half-a-century of scribbling 

love notes and poetry and even

sometimes song mixed

with sincerity of longing, and not

looking half-bad at all, according

to more than a few, I finally gave

up on those real women of lovely

flesh but thin blood; and this

morning, I even said my final

Farewell to my angel of light, my

valkyrie, my princess of the

mind. This may be poetry, or it

may be self-pity; but it

also happens to be the undiluted,

undeluded reality of my life, and

the lives of many others too. So fly

away fly on, and keep flying, my

valkyrie, because you

were never really there above my

bed. Spread those wings 

And soar into some gods-

forsaken eternity, and

I’ll stay under these covers just a

little while more. 


–Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie





Glitzy Brutality

Seen from a distance

this so-called civilization

of ours must look pretty

civilized indeed: those

altitudinous, mirrored

skyscrapers reaching

ever skyward in man’s

eternal effort to dry

hump the hell

out of heaven.


But the closer you get

to street-level

the dryer the wet

dream gets.  You’ve

seen and heard it

all before: tired

and defeated

human beings

looking more

like Chinese

street cats than

those fabled


stationed half-

way between

the beasts and

angels those

medieval scribes

swore that we are.


Then there’s

the brutal crime

bloodying our


streets, crimes

most cavemen

would cringe

to commit, most

of which aren’t

televised. So what

does modernity

and technology mean?

Is each new invention

and glimmering

building another

rung on a ladder

taking us closer to

the angels; or are

we like Chinese

street cats, a species

born in domestication,

coddled and sometimes

fed for a while, then

destined to be

abandoned by our

masters to roam

hungry and broken

among the ruins

of towering



— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie. Please buy the book. I take care of a lot of cats.

Garbage Cat (for Alex)

One of his eyes was

pale. He had a bad

snaggle tooth, and he

was one big cat.

The trailer park tards

called him “Garbage

Cat” because he lived

out of the dumpsters.

The neighbor lady

started putting cat food out

on her porch. Sometimes I’d

watch Alex head there with

two small, black cats.

What struck me most

was the way he’d let

the little ones eat first,

and the way he’d growl

low and mean if you tried

to get too close. Then the

lady told me that the

manager was poisoning

strays. She and I both already

had cats, so I used her trap

and took Alex and his two

pals to a no-kill shelter where

he tested positive for the cat-

version of AIDS. Luckily, there

was a big, exclusive room there

for cats with that. It was furnished

with a couch, litter boxes, and toys.

Volunteers came to pet the cats and

clean. Alex became a celebrity there.

He lived well for over ten years,

and when he finally grew too thin

and tired, and didn’t want to eat,

I walked into his room, held him,

and said, “Goodbye for now.”


— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion) : Mail-Order Annie

A Good Way to Die

My favorite death scene

is when “The Motorcycle Boy”

in RUMBLEFISH breaks into

the pet store at night to free

these fighting fish. While he’s

doing it, he mutters something

about the fish, how they won’t

need to fight, if they just can

make it to the river. Now the

motorcycle boy, played by

Mickey Rourke, knows that

the pet store is guarded by

this hard ass cop who’s had

it out for him for him for a

good long time, so when the

“boy” is gunned down in the

street with that fish tank in

his arms, we get the idea

that he was ready for end

and even wanted it to go

that way.

Now I’ve been thinking

of another good way to

make a final exit, say

there’s this guy who feeds

stray cats and he’s really

pissed because the only

others who seem to care

are mostly older ladies

whose maternal urges have

been displaced onto hapless cats.

Now say this guy is mad about

more than just how society

regards cats, so when he goes

to feed them, or change the straw

in the makeshift shelter he’s built,

he’s strapped with a .38 on his side.

And say that one day (or night)

he feels that his light is spent, so

he really takes his time

pouring out the dry food and

laying the wet food over it, then

arranging the straw in the shelter

just right, until finally, some cow-faced

fool comes hoofing out of his castle of

commerce or over-mowed  back yard

and yells something like, “Hey, quit feeding

those cats!” So then our cat-guy pulls his

revolver, aims it, and blows a big hole out

the back of cow face’s fat head.

Then our hero waits for the cops to

arrive, while his hands are shaking,

because this isn’t some movie directed

by Francis Ford Coppola, and he’s just

not as cool as The Motorcycle Boy, and

he knows what comes next; but still he

has no regrets. He’s even relieved, feels

he’s chosen his end well, even if only a

few can see it that way.


by Fyodor Bukowski

Check out his novel MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion).


Keith Richard’s Mouse

When he was a lil Keef,

way before the Stones,

he had a little white mouse

named Gladys. He kept her

in his pocket, brought her

to school and fed her

from his lunch and dinner.

In his autobio he wrote that

“Gladys was true and trusted,”

which is more than can be said

for some so-called humans

from his or any other



Well, his mother killed the

little mouse, and  Keith

“never forgave her for that.”

And it’s nice to know that

on some balloon-filled

stadium stage somewhere

in the world

under all that

tough-guy swagger

and bravado rolls

a pretty sweet


–by Fyodor Bukowski    Read his IndieReader-Approved novel: MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (a Story of Passion and Compassion)      *ALL proceeds go towards feeding and “fixing” homeless cats. (Proof available upon serious inquiry)