Treasure Island

Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Bluebird


there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
you.
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he's
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
you?

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Thursday, July 05, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Bluebird by Charles Bukowski )

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  • Frank Avon (9/1/2014 2:19:00 AM)

    Well, with this poem he let the bluebird out, and it's flying around freely and singing cheerily. It's also Bukowski at his best. Thank you for providing it. (

    I assume it has now been edited to include the whole poem, for the text seems to correspond almost exactly with those of others submitted as corrections.) (Report) Reply

  • Johnny Cairo (3/10/2012 11:02:00 AM)

    Full Poem
    There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too tough for him. I say, stay in there, I'm not going to let anybody see you.

    There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's in there.

    There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too tough for him. I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up? You want to screw up the works? You want to blow my book sales in Europe?

    There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too clever. I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody's asleep. I say, I know that you're there, so don't be sad. Then I put him back, but he's singing a little in there. I haven't quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it's nice enough to make a man weep.

    But I don't weep. Do you? (Report) Reply

  • Jonny Brackney (12/15/2011 10:31:00 AM)

    THIS IS NOT THE FULL POEM. Please, if you read Charles Bukowski, find the full version of this poem. It is one of his best. (Report) Reply

  • Martin O'Neill (1/7/2009 7:09:00 AM)

    Janice, you have shocked me, I never realised this was only part of the poem, not having read much of Bukowski's work before. I wonder how many others here (poems, I mean) have had their legs cut off? (Report) Reply

  • Walter Durk (9/20/2007 8:14:00 PM)

    Janice, get over it! This being a free site, you get what you pay for.
    Regarding this poem, it's amazingly insightful and sad, yet warm. Charles has a soul. (Report) Reply

  • Oded Gurantz (8/9/2007 4:51:00 PM)

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say, stay in there, I'm not going
    to let anybody see
    you.

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
    cigarette smoke
    and the whores and the bartenders
    and the grocery clerks
    never know that
    he's
    in there.


    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say,
    stay down, do you want to mess
    me up?
    you want to screw up the
    works?
    you want to blow my book sales in
    Europe?

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too clever, I only let him out
    at night sometimes
    when everybody's asleep.
    I say, I know that you're there,
    so don't be
    sad.
    then I put him back,
    but he's singing a little
    in there, I haven't quite let him
    die
    and we sleep together like
    that
    with our
    secret pact
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you? (Report) Reply

  • Janice Howell (4/22/2006 11:42:00 AM)

    I have just signed up for this site, Poemhunter, and I can guarantee that I will never return to it. I have spent close to an hour trying to get the FULL verse of the poem BLUEBIRD by Charles Bukowski. I have it written on paper somewhere, but I had hoped to find it quicker on the internet. Sadly, how wrong I was! So, could you Please send the full version of this poem to me in an e-mail as soon as possible.
    Thank you, Janice Howell (Report) Reply

  • Adam Schuetze (3/7/2005 8:22:00 PM)

    The full text of this poem is:

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say, stay in there, I'm not going
    to let anybody see
    you.

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
    cigarette smoke
    and the whores and the bartenders
    and the grocery clerks
    never know that
    he's
    in there.

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too tough for him,
    I say,
    stay down, do you want to mess
    me up?
    you want to screw up the
    works?
    you want to blow my book sales in
    Europe?

    there's a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I'm too clever, I only let him out
    at night sometimes
    when everybody's asleep.
    I say, I know that you're there,
    so don't be
    sad.
    then I put him back,
    but he's singing a little
    in there, I haven't quite let him
    die
    and we sleep together like
    that
    with our
    secret pact
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you? (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »

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