Chuck’s Bad Times at the 3rd and Vermont Hotel


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This week: Charles Bukowski sits down to testify about some bad times at the 3rd and Vermont Hotel.

Q.  Mr. Bukowski, I'm going to ask you a few questions about an
    incident that occured at the Third and Vermont Hotel, OK?
    [Witness Nods]
Q.  And, just a reminder, I'll need you to answer yes or no,
    not just nod your head or shrug your shoulders. Alright?
    Do you know a Mr. Keith Alabama?
A.  Alabam was a sneak and a thief.
Q.  Sorry, I said Alabama, didn't I? It's Alabam, I see that now.
    How did you know Mr. Alabam?
A.  He came to my room when I was drunk, and each time I got up
    he would shove me back down.
Q.  Did you ever say anything to him when that, when he shoved you
    back down. What did you say?
    MR. SIMMONS: Objection as to form, compound question.
Q.  What did you say to Mr. Alabam?
A.  You prick, I tole him, you know I can take you!
Q.  What happened then?
A.  He just shoved me down again.
Q.  Did you do anything at that point?
A.  I finally caught him a good one, right over the temple
    and he backed off and left.
Q.  Did that end the conflict?
A.  It was a couple of days later I got even.
    MR. SIMMONS: Chuck, just answer yes or no.
    MR. RILEY: John, let's knock off the commentary, OK?
    I'm asking the questions here of Mr. Bukowski.
    MR. SIMMONS: Fine. I was just trying . . . forget it.
    MR. RILEY: Could you read back Mr. Bukowski's answer.
    [It was a couple of days later I got even].
Q.  You got even? What did you do?
A.  I fucked his girl.
Q.  Excuse me? Could you repeat the question before the witness.
    MR. SIMMONS: John, he answered the question. Asked and answered,
    now move on.
Q.  What happened next, after you say, excuse me, but these are
    your words, 'I fucked his girl?'
A.  Then I went down and knocked on his door.
Q.  Did you say … strike that. Did you do anything else,
    did you say anything to Mr. Alabam?
A.  Well, Alabam, I fucked your woman and now I'm going to
    kick you all the way to hell!
Q.  How did he react?
    MR. SIMMONS: Objection to form, ambiguous as to 'he.'
Q.  You can answer the question.
A.  The poor guy started crying, he put his hands over his
    face and just cried
Q.  What did you do then?
A.  I stood there and watched him. Then I left him there,
    I went back to my room.
Q.  Your room? Was anyone else there with you?
A.  We were all alkies, and none of us had jobs, all we had
    was each other. Even then, my so-called woman was
    in some bar or somewhere, I hadn't seen her in a couple
    of days.
Q.  Let me ask you that again. Was anyone in your room with you?
A.  I had a bootle of port left.
Q.  A bottle of port. What did you do with it?
A.  I uncorked it and took it down to Alabam's room.
Q.  Did you say anything then to Mr. Alabam?
A.  Said, how about a drink, Rebel?
Q.  What did Mr. Alabam do?
A.  He looked up, stood up, went for two glasses.
Q:  I have no further questions.

Literary Source: Charles Bukowski, Bad Times at the 3rd and Vermont Hotel, available in You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense.

The Bitter Poet is one-part bitter lawyer, two parts failed literary star. Read more from Bitter Poet or submit your own bitter poetry or literary genius to info@bitterlawyer.com

3 Comments

  1. RHC2

    September 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

    This kind of humor is probably too highbrow for this crowd, but I like it. Keep it up!

    • Guano Dubango

      September 2, 2011 at 5:35 am

      I do not understand the humour you describe, but have often been described as a “highbrow” in my country, since I am here in the USA to find a suitable bride to bear me issue.

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