jailed | Source

Popular Poet

Henry 'Hank' Charles Bukowski's sheer genius whetted by alcohol creates free verse at street level. People's Poet? I think not. Though he wrote in coarse language and spoke his basest experiences, he was self- centered in the extreme. He expressed irreverence and disdain in his 'poetry'. I am not familiar with his novels, nor will I ever be unless I need something to read on the toilet (assuming it is someone else's toilet). His work is visceral. It makes me want to evacuate my bowels in either direction. His work is graphic. He describes one man who slashed off his penis and another who presented his own testicles to his wife and captioned that one "freedom". The man was godless but for himself. "I am God", he concluded one poem with no preamble to the conclusion. Girl in a miniskirt reading a bible.

Bukowski is indigenous to the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry; Alan Kaufman and S.A.Griffin, editors. These "outlaw poets" are bards of the 'spoken word' from the beatnik cafe days and express 'reality' with no rhyme nor reason. The poetry is marginal, at best. Judge for yourself.

Born Heinrich Karl Bukowski onAugust 16, 1920, in Germany of a German native and American serviceman, his name was anglicized to Henry Charles when he was brought to the U.S.A. in 1923 and finally to L.A. in 1930 where he lived most of his life and is buried.

'Hank', as he became known, was bullied at home and school, before he discovered the magic elixir of alcohol, according to his autobiographical statements and writings. Ham on Rye. His lifelong 'love affair' with alcohol began in his youth. He was probably still bullied but just didn't give a crap about it.

South Central L.A. is the backdrop for Hank's literary contributions which are prolific. They include six novels, poems by the thousands, short stories and articles galore. More than sixty of his books were published.

At age 24, Hank was arrested and incarcerated as a 'draft dodger' until he was classified as unfit for military service under section 4-F of the selective service laws. Though he had actually published an article in 1944, he went on a ten year alcohol bender until he dried out and went 'Postal' for almost three years as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.

He turned to writing where he plucked a popular chord with his subjects of workplace drudgery, alcoholic escapism, antidisestablishmentarianism , hedonism and sexual self-indulgence.

Bukowski with ancient artifact once known as a typewriter
Bukowski with ancient artifact once known as a typewriter | Source

And The Moon And The Stars And The World

Long walks at night-- 
that's what good for the soul: 
peeking into windows 
watching tired housewives 
trying to fight off 
their beer-maddened husbands.

Charles Bukowski


bird of paradise
bird of paradise | Source

Enormous Body of Work by Bukowski

Flowers, Fist and the Bestial Wall (1959), was the first book of poetry by Bukowski. Hank's style is direct and never sugar-coated. He does not indulge in metaphor. Germanic roots may be breaking the surface of the soil as Realpolitik. He sticks to subjects within his personal knowledge like sex, heavy drinking, music, gambling and the low rent districts of LA.

The truth of the matter is that Bukowski was so prolific in his writing that no single Hub Article can do justice to his career. He lived his life on his own terms and wrote about what he observed and experienced. His work sold to the news media and to the public and remains popular today. I may dislike the images of crushing cockroaches with a shoe but I respect Bukowski's ability to record and express his observations and experiences.

He dabbled in visual art as well and some of his paintings are presented to give the reader a broader picture of an artist of the twentieth century. I've presented a mere sampling of the genius of Bukowski and lists of his work as a ready resource for those who would like to enjoy or rebuke the work of Hank Bukowski. More than a bibliography would require a biography and the list of those already written is supplied. As Frank Sinatra would sing the lyric of Bukowski's life; "He did it his way".

Poet on Edge
Poet on Edge | Source


often it is the only 
between you and 
no drink, 
no woman's love, 
no wealth 
match it.

Charles Bukowski

Poet of the Spoken Word

One of the more unique aspects of the age of Bukowski was the development and transition of the media.  He spoke the words he had written to audiences as would an ancient Irish Bard to a Celtic tribe gathered for warmth around a communal bonfire. Technology of the broadcast media recorded and projected his work beyond the newsprint.  Bukowski lived to witness the transition from newspaper to radio to television and the advent of the Internet. His lifespan and writing is a record of the twentieth century.

"Hank" Bukowski - R.I.P.

DON"T TRY | Source

"The Night I Killed Tommy"

Death of a Poet

Henry Charles Bukowski Jr. died of leukemia in 1994 and was buried in Los Angeles following a Buddhist ceremony.  William Butler Yeats  wrote his own epithet for his gravestone in Drumcliffe County Sligo Ireland  " Cast a cold eye on life. On death horseman pass by.";  Following that poetic tradition with the wisdom learned over the course of a lifetime; Hank simply wrote for his popular following  "DON'T TRY".

Reading by Himself

pollywanna | Source

Crucifix In A Deathhand

yes, they begin out in a willow, I think 
the starch mountains begin out in the willow 
and keep right on going without regard for 
pumas and nectarines 
somehow these mountains are like 
an old woman with a bad memory and 
a shopping basket. 
we are in a basin. that is the 
idea. down in the sand and the alleys, 
this land punched-in, cuffed-out, divided, 
held like a crucifix in a deathhand, 
this land bought, resold, bought again and 
sold again, the wars long over, 
the Spaniards all the way back in Spain 
down in the thimble again, and now 
real estaters, subdividers, landlords, freeway 
engineers arguing. this is their land and 
I walk on it, live on it a little while 
near Hollywood here I see young men in rooms 
listening to glazed recordings 
and I think too of old men sick of music 
sick of everything, and death like suicide 
I think is sometimes voluntary, and to get your 
hold on the land here it is best to return to the 
Grand Central Market, see the old Mexican women, 
the poor . . . I am sure you have seen these same women 
many years before 
with the same young Japanese clerks 
witty, knowledgeable and golden 
among their soaring store of oranges, apples 
avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers - 
and you know how 
look, they do look good 
as if you could eat them all 
light a cigar and smoke away the bad world. 
then it's best to go back to the bars, the same bars 
wooden, stale, merciless, green 
with the young policeman walking through 
scared and looking for trouble, 
and the beer is still bad 
it has an edge that already mixes with vomit and 
decay, and you've got to be strong in the shadows 
to ignore it, to ignore the poor and to ignore yourself 
and the shopping bag between your legs 
down there feeling good with its avocados and 
oranges and fresh fish and wine bottles, who needs 
a Fort Lauderdale winter? 
25 years ago there used to be a whore there 
with a film over one eye, who was too fat 
and made little silver bells out of cigarette 
tinfoil. the sun seemed warmer then 
although this was probably not 
true, and you take your shopping bag 
outside and walk along the street 
and the green beer hangs there 
just above your stomach like 
a short and shameful shawl, and 
you look around and no longer 
see any 
old men.

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski Books

Bukowski Poetry DVD

Charles Bukowski with naked girl
Charles Bukowski with naked girl | Source
heart of the matter
heart of the matter | Source

Death Wants More Death

death wants more death, and its webs are full: 
I remember my father's garage, how child-like 
I would brush the corpses of flies 
from the windows they thought were escape- 
their sticky, ugly, vibrant bodies 
shouting like dumb crazy dogs against the glass 
only to spin and flit 
in that second larger than hell or heaven 
onto the edge of the ledge, 
and then the spider from his dank hole 
nervous and exposed 
the puff of body swelling 
hanging there 
not really quite knowing, 
and then knowing- 
something sending it down its string, 
the wet web, 
toward the weak shield of buzzing, 
the pulsing; 
a last desperate moving hair-leg 
there against the glass 
there alive in the sun, 
spun in white; 
and almost like love: 
the closing over, 
the first hushed spider-sucking: 
filling its sack 
upon this thing that lived; 
crouching there upon its back 
drawing its certain blood 
as the world goes by outside 
and my temples scream 
and I hurl the broom against them: 
the spider dull with spider-anger 
still thinking of its prey 
and waving an amazed broken leg; 
the fly very still, 
a dirty speck stranded to straw; 
I shake the killer loose 
and he walks lame and peeved 
towards some dark corner 
but I intercept his dawdling 
his crawling like some broken hero, 
and the straws smash his legs 
now waving 
above his head 
and looking 
looking for the enemy 
and somewhat valiant, 
dying without apparent pain 
simply crawling backward 
piece by piece 
leaving nothing there 
until at last the red gut sack 
its secrets, 
and I run child-like 
with God's anger a step behind, 
back to simple sunlight, 
as the world goes by 
with curled smile 
if anyone else 
saw or sensed my crime

Charles Bukowski

More Charles Bukowski Books

Barely | Source

Bukowski best

Thanks for the Hub and follow Paul. I have a Bukowski Hub under construction for months and you have inspired me to end my procrastination. "Sheer genius whetted by alcohol" is one of my more interesting descriptions of Bukowski. I intend to link your Hub to mine when publishing and am now following you. As suspected; many are unfamiliar with this brilliant and prolific poet. Thank you for introducing him to Hubpages. Fair dues to ye for scooping me. Yours is an excellent article.

Musician appreciation

Charles Bukowski Poetry

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

if I suffer at this 
think how I'd feel 
among the lettuce- 
pickers of Salinas?

Charles Bukowski


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Well Done Gerry.. Thanks for furthering my knowledge of this raw 'poetry' reporting.. What interesting work that does stand alone without ego, irrespective the intention of the author. I quite liked a couple of pieces here after capturing the contextual reading speed correctly... but in a world of words, his certainly were of importance and more influential than a mere benchmark of drunken slurring.. as both you and Paul stated.. he had a certain brilliance about him. Thanks for writing and sharing this article mate! Take Care.

SilverGenes 5 years ago

Thanks for introducing me to him - I can see why some would despise him. To me, he states ideas clearly and with no apology celebrates what all of us have lurking in the dark corners and that can be extremely uncomfortable. I really enjoyed how you brought it all together - poetry, thoughts, paintings - in a way that seems similar to how the man wrote. Very nice!

PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 5 years ago from Florida USA

Nice one, sligobay! A very detailed and thorough hub! I have recommended and linked to it in my latest Bukowski hub, "Was Charles Bukowski a Misogynist?".

Nan 5 years ago

He was a very coplex man, and difficult to understand. It would take a week to read and digest the subject. I would not want to analyze him. There were periods of time that he lost himself, and regain for short time. He was being chased by evil most of his life, and it appears that evil won. There is a lesson to be learned here, NEVER,NEVER, let life destroy you. The drinking helped him to cope with the hurt and pain. My stepfather was an alcoholic and it was not an easy life! I like to think that there will be joy in the morning, it was a journey that we don't want to take in this life. You did a wonderful in portraying him at best.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Pearldiver for the visit and kudos. Paul and I and now you agree as to the brilliance of Bukowski. I may prefer the champagne of words but my means and my temperament gulp from the gallons of Gallo Port poured generously in the slums of LA. Scroll down the page below the Comments where half of this Hub resides and read "The Best and the Worst". There is no better Bukowski perspective expressed anywhere in my humble opinion.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Gerry this guy is amazing! I think the raw power of his words is so exciting and beautiful in its own way. I must say his work reminds me a lot of the South African poet Wopko Jensma about whom I did a Hub some time ago.

There is such humour and anger and longing in these poems, I find it hard to read more than a few of his poems at a time.

Thanks for the introduction to a wonderful poet.

Love and peace


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks SilverGenes for your visit and comment. Its always great to find or be introduced to a brilliant poet. It seems strange that he is so unknown to so many gifted writers. His nonapologetic lifestyle probably kept him out of anthologies. I am glad you like him.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Paul Goodman my new friend and collaborator. I decided to leave much of the Hub intact but moved the comments up to meet the average attention span. I mention in a comment that there is more. Thank you for the reference in your new Hub. It is much appreciated as are your comments.

Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wow. I haven’t heard Charles Bukowski mentioned in some time. The names of Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg always come to mind. Excellent hub.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Genna for your visit and comment. When I studied the "Poets of the Revolution" back in college Ginsberg and Neruda were featured with barely a mention of Bukowski. He was too course and lacked academic credentials. His work continued for thirty years and he earned his degree through experience. Glad you liked the Hub.

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Last time I heard his name was out of the mouth of my deceased husband who idolized him. Two poems spoke to me as if he was telling me himself from where his is now "Confession" and "The Laughing Heart". They are both beautiful. I had never paid much attention to Bukowski till you reminded me. That my husband related to this darkness in life Bukowski indulged, somehow explains certain things about him I didn't understand at times.Thank goodness my husband became a true family man before his passed. Thank you for sharing my friend.

Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

Thanks for the Bukowski intro! I don't think I would have read any of this otherwise. Reminds me too much of the part of my childhood growing up in Baltimore when we'd go into the city and I'd get glimpses of these places. I was too young to understand it, but I have clearer memories now that I read things like this and see art like that of Michael Garman. It seems to celebrate some of this raw city life that some of the first and second generation immigrant families here in the cities on the North East coast of the US tried so hard to climb out of. That's what it reminds me of anyway... the days of the 20's through 50's ...I wasn't born but it carried somewhat into the 60's and 70's.

Thanks for the intro and the flashback!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Gerry, Very intriguing story. Eventhough his poetry was raw and really brazen, he wrote life as he saw it and probably lived it. Somehow, i feel a sadness for him, alcohol is such a downer, but whose to say? Maybe he couldn't function without it. Thank you for introducing me to this poet.


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

Hi I would not have like to have known this man either. I agree. I was not inspired by his poems at all. I feel that alcohol is a crutch and some use it for an excuse to not better themselves in life. Who knows maybe without the alcohol he could have changed. Great hub.

Thanks for sharing.

Sweet wishes Rhonda

Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

As a writer who did some teeth-cutting in Los Angeles, I am very familiar with the drunken poet. ("Barfly" is a watchable film about Bukowski that I don't recall mentioned here.) Though I admire the poems and novels of his I have read, he is one of those people I wouldn't want to trade places with in a thousand years. Sure, he was famous and recognized in his lifetime, but he was also a soulless booze-addled lout who repulsed most people who were close to him. Ah, the high price we must pay for art.

This is a great, great hub. Highly informative and entertaining. Bukowski was similar to so many rock stars we knew over the last century: interesting to watch from afar, just don't let them near your wife and kids. Again, great hub, can't recommend it enough. Cheers.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Slig, I couldn't have said it better than young Doug Turner Jr. This man in my humble opinion is a poor excuse for a writer, sure I've seen and lived in the streets and saw the drunks, drug reliant peoples. I lived a nightmare as a young man in a household with a man very similar to Bukowski and the hairs on my neck stood up.

One of the drunken, drug induced videos show him bath mouthing his wife and eventually swearing and kicking at her off the couch, calling her down. The man who lived in our house as a boyfriend to my mother was like him, the only thing I didn't see was the white foam dribbling out of the Bukowski's mouth like it did from this drunken maniac of a man that lived with us.

I understand what the street scene do to a person's soul whether your a down an outer, a struggling artist, musician etc etc. However when you consume alcohol and use cannnabis as extensively as this man has done, it generates a lot of filth and garbage from your soul.

I have followed and read many poets and writers and I must say he is not even on my list of poets/writers I would give any accolades to. I wouldn't spend a dime for anything he has written.

Sig, this is a great hub and I commend you for writing it, no doubt Bukowski was a contradiction of a man and lived his reckless life and did it his way, that I give anyone credit for, however the people he hurt along the way was uncalled for. Thank you for this share, I classify you and Doug Turner Jr as more creative writers and poets than I do Bukowski.

maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Morning Gerry...Beautiful presentation of a very ugly man...Bukowski is not one of my favorite poets or persons...After wading through his alcoholic and pot infused prose, I usually wound up throwing it in the garbage...A more self-centered, egocentric, and thoughtless individual would be hard to find...His smarmy sarcasm bored me...

I remember hearing his trash prose being shouted at the old Spaghetti Factory in North Beach, S.F....If the intent was to get under your skin, he succeeded wonderfully...A poet you love to hate comes to mind...

You have given this " beast " more credit than he deserves with your illuminating and insightful writing, the art presented, and the videos offered...Well done, my friend...Larry

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Wowie Kazowie- What fantastic comments from one and all!

I will respond to you all collectively now and then come back and respond individually after my Skype conference call. This "writer" certainly elicits both visceral response and strong opinion from all of us. He is an unavoidable part of the history of the craft of writing.

This was a painful article for me to produce because there was no joy or enjoyment in his words or as far as I can detect; in his life. Sometimes our learning comes through discomfort like through images of self-castration. This is not an image that would ever have found a place in my mind unless it was thrust upon me by the news media. Yet it caused me to consider the cruelty of female castration imposed in North African countries which I've read about in my human rights meanderings. The role or popularity of this writer may be founded in discomfort and lack of joy painted by his words- Bukowski's truth of sorts. My next article will probably be vividly ugly and uncomfortable for the reader as a result of the experience of writing this Hub. Thank you all for your taking the time to visit and to share your thoughts with me. I am most grateful.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well there was only one Charles Bronson - I thought he was great in the Death Wish series and loved him in The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven. He was married to the actress Jill Ireland who succumbed to cancer ......and ?????? what was that? Hold on Gerry someone's calling me ......

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....Bukowski!!!!!!! Oh oh - okay that's different - we're talkin' Charles Bukowski !!!!!!

Well I guess my first introduction to Bukowski was the film Barfly with Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway - and where else in HUBLAND can you find a tribute like this unless you're lucky enough to hang out in the esteemed company of Gerry and still heavyweight champion of the best overall pound for pound hubs around!!!!!

My God this hub even has Tom Waits in a video!!!

Gerry I am so very proud of you - what a thorough job you have done here - why not one now on Dylan Thomas or Bob Dylan - or that most precious poetic treasure that we all love here - Sligobay - by the way my friend are you feeling better? Thanks for your shout out - it makes life (and my life) a really sweet thing to behold!!!!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Nan. Thanks for your visit and comment. I've spent weeks reading and digesting enough Bukowski to fairly comment on his work. I've committed years of my life to reading literature which has been difficult and laborious and less than pleasurable. I have no regrets. Bukowski has been difficult and I understand your aversion. He is too prolific and popular to dismiss. Imagine what he may have achieved if he was free of the yoke of alcoholism.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Tony: Thanks for your visit and I agree with your comment that Bukowski can only be digested in small doses. I remember reading your Wopko Jensma Hub but will need to reread to see the comparison you make. Humor; anger and longing are expressed by an alienated and resentful human being. There is no hope; only drudgery and hopelessness. This may reflect a common sentiment of the modern workforce. Perhaps a Chinese translation of his work would find a new audience! Love and peace back to you.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thank you Fossillady for your remarks. Your husband's affinity for Hank's work is interesting indeed and somewhat sad. Reinforced negativity cannot be a good thing. We learn much about people when we know what they choose to read. I am glad that you enjoyed this article and that your husband found comfort in his family before he passed.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks for your visit Erin. This poet's popularity over the course of the second half of the twentieth century is an historical fact probably rooted in the immigrant population as you suggest. My own parents were Irish immigrants who settled in the NE and alcohol was a common escape among their family to cope with the drudgery of life. Happily; their work ethic spared me many of the hardships of growing up in urban areas. Your observations are appreciated.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Ruby- Sadness for this writer and the waste of talent attributable to alcohol are shared by me. My own experience with alcoholism and recovery peaked my interest in this writer. Your comment is right on target. Thanks.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Welcome Rhonda Waits to my Hub. Thank you for your visit and thoughts. I agree that alcohol is a crutch for many; myself included until ten years ago. Alcoholism may begin as a crutch but it becomes a club that will beat a person to death.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Doug you are too kind but I appreciate your words of praise. Now I need to get the Barfly DVD and see that flik.

WOW- Cuttin' one's teeth in LA conjures up some serious craziness. Trading Places was another great flik and I would not trade places with anyone. I am familiar with and comfortable with my own failings. I don't think celebrity is anything that I really want or need. Thanks again for your truly uplifting comment.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Ken for your visit and comment. I love it. We are agreed that this poet had a penchant for crap but I am fascinated by his popularity. What was his secret? What sold the public? Must we all spew voluminous crap to achieve notoriety? Alcoholism and addiction are conditions we share with this celebrity. We write well and truthfully about ugly aspects of our lives. What is the secret of his success?

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hey Larry: It's great to see you here and I award your comment Five Stars *****."His smarmy sarcasm bored me..."

"...If the intent was to get under your skin, he succeeded wonderfully...A poet you love to hate..." You are truly the best reviewer of them all! Thank you so much for the laugh.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Colin: It is always a pleasure when you visit. Your compliments make me blush. I try to make my small contribution to the amazing work that I am privileged to read here at Hubpages. Thank you for the laugh and your kind words.

mikeq107 5 years ago

Hi Jerry :0)

Boy what a sad life..Imangine what would have happened if he had Loving parents..what a blessing he would have been not only to others but to himself as well...Its so true ..."what you use as your source detremines your course"

Sorry have not been by for a while...great hub on a repressed lifestyle!!!

Mike :0)

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Mike- It's great to see you here. I've been remiss in visits to your Hubs as well. I will be over soon. Alcohol takes its toll!

Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

Stopped in to peruse this hub again and thought I should give you another shout out. Next time, I'll remember to shoot you an email before I link up one of your hubs. This one is just so interesting and controversial, I figured you wouldn't mind that I was inspired by your hub. Thanks again for the share.

Green Wasabi profile image

Green Wasabi 5 years ago

Very interesting. I didn't know he was also a painter.

McHamlet profile image

McHamlet 5 years ago

Great stuff, love this style of poetry, thanks for the intro.

Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Interesting. I like his line breaks. I feel the need to try my hand at something gritty. Maybe a crack head will venture into my store today and inspire me.

SilverGenes 5 years ago

Sligobay, I had to come back and read more after watching Barfly (Netflix is great hahaha). I don't know enough yet to make a comment about the reason for his popularity on a large scale; there are too many variables.

But from my vantage point, what I like about him is this:

He chose his lifestyle and chose to stay with it because it suited him for reasons of his own. He does not write with a feeling of woe, poor me but rather as the artist who appreciates the fabric that is woven around him - yup, blatant spider web reference. This, I love: "25 years ago there used to be a whore there

with a film over one eye, who was too fat

and made little silver bells out of cigarette

tinfoil. the sun seemed warmer then "

I see nothing of the person who has been to the edge, realized the error, and repented to become a celebrated 'winner' in the game of media life. Personally, I have had a surfeit of that kind of crap. Case in point: Intervention. He writes as only a person who has not only lived the life, but found his place there and been happy with his choices can write. There is beauty there in decay. It nurtures but for obvious reasons, very few of us choose to stay in such a place. The people we trot out now to show us a glimpse of grit are either reformed (thus inauthentic to the lifestyle when they speak) or just 'for your entertainment' as is the case with poor Ted Williams.

What makes Bukowski stand out? He is real in this world he chose, and not from a distance either.

After watching the film, Barfly, I found myself appreciating the comparison of the whore of commerce with the self-proclaimed and honest whore of sustenance. However, I was alone in my appreciation of this. Others who watched the film with me had a sympathy for the editor and considered her badly used. Personally, I thought she got what she gave but her injury came from not knowing the terrain and bringing the corruption of success with her into a more honestly dishonest realm. And so, in a nutshell, I think he was a talented observer, poet and writer whose material and voice came from a place some of us visit but few of us choose to stay. No apologies. He brings talent and brilliance safely to us from a darker world and that is what makes him stand out from the rest.

What would have happened if he had 'straightened up and flown right'? We would never have heard of him. No one wants to hear accountant poetry. So there you have it - my very lengthy and early impressions of the poet you introduced. Oh, how I love those silver bells!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Doug: I am honored by your return and link of this Hub to yours. You don't need my permission. Use any opportunity to showplace my work and I will be grateful. I am only now becoming a student of internet traffic and links and keywords and whatnot. My game has been to deceive those spider robots by unclear titles and content but those cretin creatures have showed me that I'm not so smart and my traffic stays low. Hubpages is all the 'social media' that I need or can tolerate. Thanks for your visit and support.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks for your visit and comment Green Wasabi. I didn't know wasabi came in any other color. Bukowski's complete art inventory can be accessed from the source link of any of the images of his paintings.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Welcome McHamlet: Your visit and comment are most appreciated. I am delighted that I could introduce you to a new poet whose life and work are controversial.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Welcome Randy Behavior. Your visit and comment are very much appreciated. Line breaks are a great vehicle for the poet and Hank's are quite effective. I'm grousing for gritty myself. Where are those crackheads when you need one? Oh yeah getting high. You really shouldn't want them in your store unless you are selling chore boy or flamethrowers. LOL

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello again Silver Genes: I cannot comment on the movie Barfly because I have never seen it or would have discovered Bukowski earlier. I like Mickey Rourke and Fay Dunaway and I will probably watch the film soon.

I disagree with lack of authenticity by addicts and alcoholics in recovery because I fall in with them. I buried my Bukowski drinking buddy Frank last January when he was only fifty. We drank all day every day. Physically I couldn't hold a pencil -never mind a thought- for the length of a poem. Bukowski's work fed his addiction and gritty lifestyle. Was he a functional drunk? I bet that he needed to write or return to the drudgery of the Post Office.

SilverGenes 5 years ago

I'm very sorry to hear about the death of your friend. Any form of addiction is a horrible thing to endure and in no way did I mean to imply that I question the authenticity of the experience. I question the authenticity of the writing because, as you say, for most people it is impossible to write anything worth reading during that time. I meant he is authentic because he did exactly that. Personally, my writing of any particular experience is very different when done in retrospect. The experiences are authentic but the recounting of them in retrospect is already influenced by more recent experiences and the memories of them have already begun to realign. When we leave one situation for another, part of us has already shifted toward change - something Bukowski didn't want to do. As for being a functional drunk, that may be entirely relative. Please let me know what you think of the movie :)

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Welcome back Silver Genes. Thank you for your condolences for Frank. I accept that authentic is contemporaneous. How in the world did he manage? I wrote brilliantly during my addiction because my disease depended upon the income. I could relapse tomorrow and lose my mind and my mindset. I prefer to keep those uncherished memories in retrospect. The process of recovery requires extensive writing to process the past but that is also retrospect. We all seem to have 20-20 hindsight but are blind to the reality of our diseased existence. Hank saw his existence; observed it and reported it. Perhaps that is his attraction. His writing came straight from the petri dish onto the dinner plates of the rich and famous.

some dude 5 years ago

You should have taken his advice, "Don't try". Your little report here would have made him puke. The fact you try to understand him without reading any of his books, crawls with so much dishonesty that even the earthworms are above it. The story of the man is simple, doomed to be in the bowels of humanity, he took to the pen, and created his own heaven and hell, sometimes getting a taste of love along the way. He was an ugly and foul man, beyond any Dostoevsky-like description but the ugliness is the truth, and therein lies a beautiful reality. The means in which he achieved his poetry and words, are characters in themselves, and though sometimes those characters want to be the king terd, it's up to the man to always stand taller than it, or die trying. The pain of a hangover may be unbearable, kind of like the truth. Stand tall or wallow in your own...

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Some dude. Hank had plenty to puke over without my 'little report'. Thanks for your visit and review.

gg.zaino profile image

gg.zaino 5 years ago from L'America

Hey Gerry, had to stop and give this a look. Am glad for the nightcap.you know Hank well i see, thanks brother-

well written, and researched, ... awesome videos and art as an accompaniment to a job very well done.

Bukowski inspired my writing as well as thousands of other writers and poets around the globe.

I found him through a fellow writer, Patrick Fealey - only 6 years ago. Pat is here on hubpages, another accomplished writer living on the edge.

i'd seen the movie 'Barfly' 3 maybe 4 times and never knew it was based on Bukowski's life.

thanks for the turn on my friend, voted 'UP'

peace in a wicked world to you brother ~ greg

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Greg in the first bar scene when Micky sits down to order his first drink there is a cameo shot of Hank sitting down on a bar stool just down a stretch from Micky. I'm pretty certain it is him? unless I am mistaken.

Gerry a brilliant reply to "Some Dude" BTW you put together a wonderful hub, no matter what anyone may think otherwise. I loved Silvergenes comments and both your replies...well done.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Greg: Thanks for your visit and comment.'Wicked world' is good alliteration though I choose ' wonderful world' to describe mine; where whimsy is welcome; winning and wealth are worshipped; warfare is wanton; and wishes come true. I'll see 'Barfly' eventually and I've read that Hank did a cameo appearance in that film. Glad you enjoyed the read.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Welcome back Ken. Thank you for your supportive and encouraging words and the "brilliant reply" kudos. I try not to censor the comments received and would only do so if filled with invective and ignorance. "Some Dude" is not ignorant and his observation is palpably reasonable. My opening sortie was designed to provoke visceral response in the manner of Pukowski. I wouldn't read his books on your toilet was my accolade as I recall. He's an original "shock jock" - radio personalities created to shock and offend like Imus and Howard Stern. They are copycats and have copycats. They vocalize the unspeakable thoughts of their audience who are essentially voyeurs living vicariously through the thrill of hearing their own internal ugliness expressed. Often their own 'ugliness' is repressed and visited on the vulnerable behind closed doors as we both can attest.

"Some Dude" speaks of intellectual dishonesty metaphorically: "... crawls with so much dishonesty that even the earthworms are above it." He is not name-calling but observing and/or perceiving intellectual dishonesty. In my opinion it would have been intellectually dishonest not to fully disclose the fact that I am not an expert with a complete knowledge of Hank's work. I can withstand the barbs of criticism as I can take what I dish-out. This "dude" goes on to criticize and judge Hank's lifestyle to avoid personal association despite his anonymity. That is interesting. He took the time to distance himself personally as "Hank's Defender".

"Some Dude" writes:

"The story of the man is simple, doomed to be in the bowels of humanity, he took to the pen, and created his own heaven and hell, sometimes getting a taste of love along the way. He was an ugly and foul man, beyond any Dostoevsky-like description but the ugliness is the truth, and therein lies a beautiful reality. The means in which he achieved his poetry and words, are characters in themselves, and though sometimes those characters want to be the king terd, it's up to the man to always stand taller than it, or die trying. The pain of a hangover may be unbearable, kind of like the truth. Stand tall or wallow in your own..."

"Bowels of humanity" stands out for me as I have lived most of my life in such a place and do not denigrate it nor judge it or others who reside or have resided in that neighborhood. We have been there Ken and own first hand experience with the Certificate of Proof. "Some Dude" has probably never slept on a subway or park bench or as the Irish say: slept rough. He has not foraged for his daily bread at the bottom of a stinking dumpster or wouldn't know to look there. I can bring any hungry tourist on a NY dumpster tour and know where the finest meals may be found. Recycling returns and panhandling funds are reserved to feed the addiction while you can eat your fill for free. Many a fine smoke has been retrieved from the ashtrays at the entrances of posh venues.

I particularly like 'some dudes' harsh judgement of the poet but strenuous defense of the source of poetic inspiration: "He was an ugly and foul man, beyond any Dostoevsky-like description but the ugliness is the truth,...". In Dudes' or Dudettes' view my words have sullied a literary hero and this is the backlash. If the commenter could embrace the experience he or she might better understand the context of this poet.

some dude 5 years ago

Amusing. I don't know how I came up on this little wannabe assessment of Bukowski or who is to be considered an expert of alcoholic excess, but the whole contrived intellectual response is stinking like a pair of soiled underwear. Am I here to share war stories in anonymity? Ha! I can give a rodent's gluteus maximus who has made a bigger fool of themselves in life. Dudette? Oh my, how my ego has been shattered! The ignorance is in the presentation, my dear terd, the highlights of the hub are strictly the words copied and pasted from Bukowski, and the feeble attempt to get down and dirty, to get "street" as the psuedo-intellectual would categorize shows the distance from the stinking reality of the world. Look at that mofo Bukowski, he was an ugly and foul man gripping every piece of thigh that came his way, look at him and tell me wasn't a monster by sight alone, read him and know, that monster was real, and its the monster that lurks in many a man. The attraction is to be Bukowski. To be able to write with absolute freedom and truth, not to care of pundits, critics, and even audience, is a dream to many wanna-be literary terds. The almost homo-like fantasy only gets more intriguing in the fact that he did everything they tell you not to do, and yet he was able to slide in between countless pairs of legs, abuse his body to no end, and still be able to get up in the morning, pound his fingers against a rickety typewriter and find his way to a writer's never-neverland. All in pursuit of one thing- WTF is this shite all about? The punishment of the alcohol is a representation of life- it hurts, its brutal, and you can't make sense of it when it's all swirling in that rust colored toilet. The man gets up, while the pussy sits in a corner crying and hugging. Oh, oh, I'm never gonna do it again...shut up little sissy, pull up your panties and stand straight. When one doggy paddles and bobs their head up and down on the water, they are bound to choke on a wet Snickers bar. You my friend, are doggy paddling, gagging while you skim the surface. Scratch that, I'm gagging while you skim the surface. Read the words on the tombstone, heed them, memorize them, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm more tequila than you can handle. Don't bother with any limes either.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello and Goodbye "Some Dude": Thank you for your opinion. I have allowed you fair comment thusfar and I "Won't Try" to be polite because you "Don't Try". What is "almost HOMO-LIKE" fantasy? You refrain from the slang 'rat's ass';and yet use this term and seek some literary high-ground with your childish metaphor "...stinking like a pair of soiled underwear". You are presumptuous to refer to me as 'my dear terd' and 'my friend'. Your juvenile maturity is reflected but protected by your anonymity. You claim to be "more tequilla than (you/I)can handle" as though you were potent rather than impotent. You are not important or unimportant to me. I am indifferent to your diatribe and opinion. I find your homophobic reference cited above to be offensive to a certain portion of the reading population who have offered no offense to your intellectual prowess or bruised ego. Since I decide to allow or disallow comments at my discretion; this one has been allowed but you can save any further expression and savor your own exasperation. "Don't try" to post another comment because you may be 'more tequila than I can handle'. I choose to abstain from tequila nowadays and those who are animated by it. Hold the limes and your tongue.

Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Gerry... read it again. The point has been made and egos aside, it was a very good and relevant one is it not, if 'Don't Try' was directed to.... Step back from the skilfully constructed and 'illustrated' comments and see a place in which ego was detested, yet so well illustrated on a tombstone! Many a fat trout will take a fly, while another hungrier trout will not as it knows that it is merely a hook! May I say, you appear to have risen to a skillful cast? Take care.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thank you for your brilliant and detached comment Pearldiver. I have reread the comments and left the personal slights aside. I find the comments to contain good content for this Hub and am delighted by my decision to include them. They are as abrasively Pukowski as far as I understand his work. Your wise counsel is much appreciated.

some dude 5 years ago

I'm as hard headed as they come but take my simple advice on this, your hub can be found on a thousand other articles on Bukowski. It reads like wikipedia and hits home like a soft left hook from my grandma. If you care to search, underneath the flab, there is the story of you, the art of writing, and the personal contrast, history between you and Bukowski. The question is screaming to be answered does the sickness of alcoholism benefit the artist, or does it leave one wasted away in margaritaville, slobbering on the cold floor? You don't get a cookie for winning the battle of your own addictions, so quit reaching for it. My immaturity and my offensiveness was done to push you, and all you want to do is react like you want to cry to mommy. "But he called me a terd!" Shit, I don't care if you take your toys and go. However, if you want to stop the pretentiousness, you'll be a better writer for it, and your cubscout badge for being a good samaritan is childish in itself. How thoughtful of you to care what offends, flash point, insert in hub, "it's highly contradictory to the spirit of Bukowski." Lay it out there, don't try to polish him up if you think he's a bigger terd than you, just go in a direction that bleeds with some conviction. I can tell you Ham and Rye is one of the greatest American novels, and your offense is talking about a writer you really know nothing about. My anonymity is irrelevant, and if you go Ghadafi and delete what I say, then you are really missing the boat on the man you attempted to write about, and you're just cheating the debate and only committing to the culture of ignorance if you don't look over the other side of the wall. Most importantly, give us your story, your writing, and how it relates to Bukowski. Leave the book reports to the school kids. And for the sheep talking about the movie Barfly, Bukowski hated the movie and for god sakes, we are talking about words, not popcorn images you can rent from Netflix.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Well sligobay I tried to write a drug induced poem... damn if it didn't come out all pretty and shit.

Just Me 5 years ago

Too much really to even address completely. Sligo, you seem to be throwing your back out trying to pat yourself for "allowing comments". I have the number for a good chiropractor. A real writer doesn't even consider editing comments and discussions in order to only hear what makes him feel good and giddy about himself. A true writer wants to hear responses, whether they be complimentary or 'editorial'. Whether you like him or not, Bukowski is an important part of Literature, as he contributed, made a mark, and influenced society, whichever way you choose to believe that influence went. I think we can all agree that Bukowsi was not 'traditional' by any sense of the word. Obviously, he's not for everyone. And everyone is indeed entitled to their opinion. One of the most blaring things that strikes me here is that you seem to be among those who flaunt a very high-minded and vocal opinion of a man you yourself have admitted you haven't actually read! This hub is reminiscent to me of those bloggers and opinion writers who scream about how society is contributing to the over inflated egos and extreme irresponsible behavior of certain celebrities by warranting attention in their direction. Ummm....what do they think THEIR blog is doing? Same here. If you don't like him, fine, but it seems to me you're wasting a whole lot of time and energy focusing on someone you seem to hold not even enough regard for to warrant flushing him down your toilet. An uninformed opinion means naught to me. I'm all for differing views, but ignorant ones don't make the cut. I'm sure you'll take that last sentence as a personal insult to your character, as you seem to be very sensitive to critique, but let me just reiterate that I pointed to your opinion being ignorant, which is the black and white truth since you are so adamant that everyone know you are saying all this without ever having read any of his work. There's a difference, but I don't expect you to get over the wound to your pride caused by the fact that not everyone agrees with you, and see that.

Anyone can cut and paste. I have a five year old who could, most likely, put up something similar about, say, Dean Koontz, although he has never read him. He could, however offer a much more informed piece about the likes of Dr. Suess, and my guess is, it would have more life, more passion than what your hatred and disdain has allowed you to post here.

The best writing appears when your topic is something you're passionate about. And you seem to be passionate about your distaste for Bukowski. So write about it! Don't copy and paste, mostly borrowing someone else's words and analytics. Sit at your keyboard there and punch out what comes from the heart about the matter. I think I can safely say you'll never be anything comparable to Bukowski, mostly because you don't desire to be, which is fine. But in the matter of writing from the heart, I think you could take a lesson from him.

Don't worry, I don't really expect you to keep my comment up. It was mostly meant just for you anyway.

Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

What an excellent opportunity it must be for a trout to test an angler's skills, when the pain of the hook is ignored, in favor of the inner power and determination to live, beyond the mainstream!

"I detest this man, this powerful spirit, that he, in his state of cold death, can reach out and push me ever closer to becoming one. One within the mist, one who must step perfectly through the dizzying slurs of Bukowski's littered drunkenness to find myself"

Great Critique.. Some Dude/Just Me.

Pick up your true ability Gerry and sling it to the wind, as only the wind would allow you to... Only then will break the light line that restricts your potential and truly test life beyond this skillful angler and the shallows of this brook... It's Your Round Sir!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

When the student is ready; the teacher will come. This trout "has risen to the cast" of a skillful angler as you say Pearldiver. Some Dude's caning has been more helpful than his casting; provoking me to "... look over the other side of the wall." If Ham and Rye is in fact one of the greatest American Novels then I need to read it despite my aversion. I'll take the criticism and lesson offered from some dude named Bukowski and "Don't Try" and look to my heart and passions rather than Wikipedia for inspiration in my future writes. My intellect needed a good thrashing to realize that I need to look over that wall. Thank you able anglers just me/some dude and Pearldiver. Oh and an assist goes to Randy Behavior's timely report of her own inability to capture the past untainted by 'pretty and shit'. The glimmer of light shed is not shuttered. Thank you all for taking the time to teach.

some dude 5 years ago

There's a trap at hubpages that really hinder those that want to go forward with their writing. Too often, people settle as they compare themselves to dry, canned good writers that are really just posers. It's easy to fall in love with the support, the instant gratification, and the sting is really unsettling, but if I haven't been stung many times before, I'd be out screaming from my rooftop that I am the son of Zeus. This is what makes me appreciate Bukowski as initially I thought his poetry was crap, and he wrote in such simplistic form, I thought his popularity was some kind of twisted joke. However, I took the time to understand, his books are actually just rough drafts, and he wasn't one for re-writes as he felt it took away from the purity of what he was saying. He wrote Post Office in a little over two weeks and it shows, but as you go on, you'll realize he was in the nude, exposing himself more than most writers ever can. I don't think one can appreciate the poetry without experiencing his life, and that can be experienced through his novels even though they are categorized as fiction. His ego was beaten to a pulp at an extremely young age, and he was so ugly, full of pimples, that as a youth he describes the horrific pain of getting the pimples drained, and there he was, so aware, so much more in tune with possible sadness of the human condition, and if only someone could have placed their hand on him, it would have meant the world. But the real world doesn't show sympathy, they spit and laugh, and beat you down until there's no spirit left. They're is a justified hatred in him because if you look at it through his eyes, that if he would have remained a mailman, no one would give a shit if he got run over by a bus or if he drank himself to oblivion. He knew that. And he knew that despite his success, true love and true appreciation of the truly flawed human being was as rare a red diamond. Those that get it will understand what art of writing is really about. Peace out my friend, I know I am a terd, a big fat one that ought to be buried, but if you can survive my stink, I think you'll be alright.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thank you teacher. If I can express rather than repress my heart; there may be hope for the hopeless or maybe none.

crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Wonderful hub! Thanks for sharing

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Crystolite for your visit and kind words. Glad you liked it.

ralwus 5 years ago

God damn! All I can say after reading all the comments. A learning experience for sure.

Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

What in the world became of this hub? The comment war is pure entertainment. Bukowski is no doubt smiling somewhere (hell, heaven, or a dingy dive-bar in a parallel universe), glad that he inspired such a discussion laced with alchohol and toilet references.

As the first of the sheep to "baaaa" about Barfly on this page, I can honestly say that it is exciting to be on the mere periphery of this Bukowski-induced mud fest. The movie, as I first wrote, is watchable. Sly Stallone's mustachioed brother, Frank, is actually my favorite part of the film, though he is only a wannabe macho bartender with a few scenes.

I hope the jarring and caustic comment wars continue. Let this hub be a basement brewery that serves canned beer and stale pretzels, where the poets can come to examine, praise, criticise, and belittle each other's feces out on display in glass jars. Hank would want it that way.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hello Ralwus: Its good to see you again and I have been remiss in not visiting your Hubs. I was gone for several months and you weren't writing poetry when I returned in December. I'll be by. I decided to become the student and take the lesson addressed to me at the end.

Hi Doug: Hi Baaack at ya. Never saw barfly or read the books and so I conceded to accept the lambasting above. Doug; I exercised restraint throughout and never reached the zenith of mudslinging of which I am capable. I do know when to cede the highground when my own position is weak or specious. I accept the lesson to write about what I do know and about the things that I am passionate about. My newer Hubs are moving in that direction. Thanks for calling over. Feel free to take a shot at "some dude" if you like. He is impervious to pain and courtesy.

Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

I understand your willingness to concede when in your heart you know the effort was not there. In fact, not so long ago you gave the thumbs down to one of my short poems and I had to agree with you. I didn't give my all, therefore, I sheepishly heeded your words and resolved to not cut corners in the next round. In this way, "Some Dude" or whomever, did you a service and triggered something within you to raise the bar. Yet, at the end of the day, cheating or not, your hub has inspired all of this, so you did something right. For that I applaud you.

As far as a shot at Some Dude... nah, as you said, he is impervious to pain. No point in shooting arrows into a tree; they might get bent on the knots.

Good luck with future endeavors. I'll be reading.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Doug: You are as wise as you are talented. To express your point so narrowly feathers your demurral as a straight shooter with a preference to avoid the shaft. I believe that we share the proper trajectory.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Feels like I've just witnessed a real life semi-reenactment of the turmoil that your piece leads me to believe inhabited most of Bukowski's life. It was hard to read. I wanted to return to the snugness of hub land. In glad I stuck it out because I do feel that some dude is being gut level honest without apology as Bukowski was. Read it or not, take it or leave it. He felt passionate enough to keep on and you, sligobay, hung in there without turning away, although, it felt like you wanted to. You both have guts, as, yes, I'd be in the corner crying...for a little while, not forever.

Some dude speaks of Bukowski's justifiable hatred and from what I read, the subject didn't disguise it. I think he had undeniable talent in his expression of it. The detailed description in the death match between the fly and the spider in Death Wants More Death was memorizing in the attention the author gave it.

The thing that pisses me off is some dude's criticism of your attempt to put forth information on someone that no one really knows fully...not even some dude has climbed inside the shoes or head of Bukowski. Why denigrate your attempt to give readers a chance to an introduction and those who want to delve deeper have that option? I knew nothing and still know little of Bukowski, but each reader here has the option to read further, if they care. And, some dude did not like the fact that you didn't know the subject well enough to form an opinion, that may be, but some dude let fly with adjectives about you, sligobay, that he is not qualified to level. It seems to me that the most any of us are able to do in this life is assume that we have an idea about another. We never really know much about anyone else...many go to their grave not knowing themselves fully. And, who among us has not made an error in an assumption and changed our minds, sometimes more than once. We are all fallible and all fragile and perhaps Bukowski is the perfect example. And, you, sligobay, are not a turd and even some dude, in his attempt to educate, can't really believe that statement, because we all know you can't polish a turd.

ralwus 5 years ago

Well said Amy. gotta love 'feed'. I must say I know some dude. he is a young writer in the making and very good too. Good guy, street urchin at one time.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Amy darling: You are truly a chivalrous friend dashing to the distress of this damsel. My first reaction was defensive of either personal or intellectual slight. However; Pearldiver was the leveling mentor with his analogy to trout fishing and my being the trout bated by a skilled angler like somedude.

This gave me perspective enough to become openminded to the legitimate criticism of my bombastic view that Bukowski's work had no socially redeeming value. Yet I was enthralled enough with his work to spend hours upon hours reading and writing. The fact that Bukowski was prolific caused me to become overwhelmed and launch a Hub before my work was complete. Somedude demonstrated Bukowski for me and for my benefit not his own. This is why I call him teacher. Bukowski was a nonconformist and succeeded on his own terms. Raw expression emanates from the freedom achieved through nonconformity. Good writing requires freedom for the honest expression of passion. The lesson learned is to write about the things we know - our experiences - passionately. I now knows what it feels like to be a turd without caring about the opinion. You have introduced an entirely new image here - the polished turd. Are you saying that I am unpolished and can't be polished because I am a turd? Or are you saying that because I can be polished that ipso facto I cannot be a turd? Logic eludes me for the moment. Suffice it to say:

Hank's decomposed fist punches ahole

through warmly knit grave blankets

to stretch our sphinctered minds

and give our intellects an anal fisting

to save our constipated social ettiquette

with his parting cheeks and epiteth -DON"T TRY!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Ralwus- nearly missed you. So you know "somedude". That's very interesting to me. Thanks for the visit my old friend.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I am saying, in my opinion, you are not a turd. Next I am saying that in trying to "polish" you through educating you regarding Bukowski and in the value of truth and passion in writing, as everyone knows, you can't polish a turd, some dude is telling you he doesn't believe you are a turd either. Otherwise, he wouldn't even try to polish!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Thanks Amy: I know and my response to you was truly tongue in cheek. You are so good to return to clarify your love and support of me and my work. You are chivalrous in every sense of the word without denigrating your femininity by its use. Thank you so much Madame Lancelot.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh sligobay, that is the best nickname ever "Madame Lancelot", so thank you very much. I hope not just "tongue in cheek", because I'm holding you to that one and keeping it forever.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

To that sweet faced ralwus, I say, Charlie, I can see that some dude is very passionate and an excellent writer from what I see right here. And, even if I didn't see it here, if you told me that, I would know it to be true.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Well done. I've not even heard of the fellow. I sure disagree with his boozing vs pot though. Geez Louise! Listen to him talk about "bitch", fighting, etc. In war you CANNOT trust a drinker on guard duty. Soldiers fight each other.

Anyway - you have a great hub here. I thank you for introducing me to this fellow's work. Very poignant! Very real! God bless!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Amy- Lady Lancelot- I'm glad you like your new nickname. Thanks for the return visits and comments.

Micky Dee- Hank was 4F selective service after they locked him up for draft dodging. I find it hard to believe that the military got anything right. Maybe Hank pulled off a crazy ruse at induction like Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant. Glad I introduced you to a new writer. Thanks for your visit.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Wow, that was great! I had to read it all. Even the comments were great. I had never heard of this guy. I did see that movie Barfly though. Did not really care for it.

I can not say if I like Bukowski. Some of his stuff on here I liked and then some made me cringe.

Thanks anyway

sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator Author

Hi Granny's House- welcome. Thank you for your visit and kind words. I hate Bukowski and have yet to derive any pleasure from his work. I appreciate Bukowski because he could not give a shite if I liked or disliked his work. I hope that my own work can become as uninhibited. Life is a balance of joy and sadness. I have yet to find evidence of joy in Bukowski's life in his work which I believe that he used his pleasure to compensate.

Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

bukowski..what a character. ive never actually read any of his work, til now. Thanks for introducing me to him, ive heard the name before just never read his work. he definitely has a dark mind. and an extremist much like yourself. very descriptive, you did good on a biography of a great lost poet.

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Majadez 5 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Thanks for sharing this hub. Bukowski is among my favourites. Vote up! ;)

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    Huntington Library - Bukowski Museum and Exhibition

    A markerThe Huntington Library 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108 -
    Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108-1218,
    [get directions]

    "Charles Bukowski: Poet on the Edge" Saturday, October 9, 2010 through Monday, February 14, 2011 noon - 4 p.m.

    I Am Visited By An Editor And A Poet

    I had just won $115 from the headshakers and 
    was naked upon my bed 
    listening to an opera by one of the Italians 
    and had just gotten rid of a very loose lady 
    when there was a knock upon the wood, 
    and since the cops had just raided a month or so ago, 
    I screamed out rather on edge— 
    who the hell is it? what you want, man? 
    I’m your publisher! somebody screamed back, 
    and I hollered, I don’t have a publisher, 
    try the place next door, and he screamed back, 
    you’re Charles Bukowski, aren’t you? and I got up and 
    peeked through the iron grill to make sure it wasn’t a cop, 
    and I placed a robe upon my nakedness, 
    kicked a beercan out of the way and bade them enter, 
    an editor and a poet. 
    only one would drink a beer (the editor) 
    so I drank two for the poet and one for myself 
    and they sat there sweating and watching me 
    and I sat there trying to explain 
    that I wasn’t really a poet in the ordinary sense, 
    I told them about the stockyards and the slaughterhouse 
    and the racetracks and the conditions of some of our jails, 
    and the editor suddenly pulled five magazines out of a portfolio 
    and tossed them in between the beercans 
    and we talked about Flowers of Evil, Rimbaud, Villon, 
    and what some of the modern poets looked like: 
    J.B. May and Wolf the Hedley are very immaculate, clean fingernails, etc.; 
    I apologized for the beercans, my beard, and everything on the floor 
    and pretty soon everybody was yawning 
    and the editor suddenly stood up and I said, 
    are you leaving? 
    and then the editor and the poet were walking out the door, 
    and then I thought well hell they might not have liked 
    what they saw 
    but I’m not selling beercans and Italian opera and 
    torn stockings under the bed and dirty fingernails, 
    I’m selling rhyme and life and line, 
    and I walked over and cracked a new can of beer 
    and I looked at the five magazines with my name on the cover 
    and wondered what it meant, 
    wondered if we are writing poetry or all huddling in 
    one big tent 
    clasping assholes.

    Charles Bukowski

    the lucky ones

    stuck in the rain on the freeway, 6:15 p.m., 
    these are the lucky ones, these are the 
    dutifully employed, most with their radios on as loud 
    as possible as they try not to think or remember. 

    this is our new civilization: as men 
    once lived in trees and caves now they live 
    in their automobiles and on freeways as 

    the local news is heard again and again while 
    we shift from first gear to second and back to first. 

    there's a poor fellow stalled in the fast lane ahead, hood 
    up, he's standing against the freeway fence 
    a newspaper over his head in the rain. 

    the other cars force their way around his car, pull out into 
    the next lane in front of cars determined to shut them off. 

    in the lane to my right a driver is being followed by a 
    police car with blinking red and blue lights - he surely 
    can't be speeding as 

    suddenly the rain comes down in a giant wash and all the 
    cars stop and 

    even with the windows up I can smell somebody's clutch 

    I just hope it's not mine as 

    the wall of water diminishes and we go back into first 
    gear; we are all still 
    a long way from home as I memorize 
    the silhouette of the car in front of me and the shape of the 

    driver's head or 
    I can see of it above the headrest while 
    his bumper sticker asks me 

    suddenly I have an urge to scream 
    as another wall of water comes down and the 
    man on the radio announces that there will be a 70 percent 
    chance of showers tomorrow night

    Charles Bukowski

    The History Of One Tough Motherfucker

    he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and 
    a white cross-eyed tailless cat 
    I took him in and fed him and he stayed 
    grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway 
    and ran him over 
    I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much 
    chance...give him these pills...his backbone 
    is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow 
    mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at 
    these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets 
    are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody 
    cut it off..."

    Charles Bukowski

    Show Biz

    I can't have it 
    and you can't have it 
    and we won't 
    get it 

    so don't bet on it 
    or even think about 

    just get out of bed 
    each morning 

    and go out into 

    outside of that 
    all that's left is 
    suicide and 

    so you just 
    expect too much 

    you can't even 

    so what you do 
    work from a modest 

    like when you 
    walk outside 
    be glad your car 
    might possibly 
    be there 

    and if it is- 
    that the tires 

    then you get 
    and if it 

    it's the damndest 
    you've ever 
    in it-- 

    low budget 
    4 billion 

    and the longest 
    you ever hope 


    Charles Bukowski

    Rhyming Poem

    the goldfish sing all night with guitars, 
    and the whores go down with the stars, 
    the whores go down with the stars

    Charles Bukowski

    Pull A String, A Puppet Moves

    each man must realize 
    that it can all disappear very 
    the cat, the woman, the job, 
    the front tire, 
    the bed, the walls, the 
    room; all our necessities 
    including love, 
    rest on foundations of sand - 
    and any given cause, 
    no matter how unrelated: 
    the death of a boy in Hong Kong 
    or a blizzard in Omaha ... 
    can serve as your undoing. 
    all your chinaware crashing to the 
    kitchen floor, your girl will enter 
    and you'll be standing, drunk, 
    in the center of it and she'll ask: 
    my god, what's the matter? 
    and you'll answer: I don't know, 
    I don't know ...

    Charles Bukowski

    True Story

    they found him walking along the freeway 
    all red in 
    he had taken a rusty tin can 
    and cut off his sexual 
    as if to say -- 
    see what you've done to 
    me? you might as well have the 

    and he put part of him 
    in one pocket and 
    part of him in 
    and that's how they found him, 

    they gave him over to the 
    who tried to sew the parts 
    but the parts were 
    quite contented 
    the way they 

    I think sometimes of all of the good 
    turned over to the 
    monsters of the 

    maybe it was his protest against 
    this or 
    his protest 

    a one man 
    Freedom March 
    that never squeezed in 
    the concert reviews and the 

    God, or somebody, 

    Charles Bukowski

    The Worst And The Best

    in the hospitals and jails 
    it's the worst 
    in madhouses 
    it's the worst 
    in penthouses 
    it's the worst 
    in skid row flophouses 
    it's the worst 
    at poetry readings 
    at rock concerts 
    at benefits for the disabled 
    it's the worst 
    at funerals 
    at weddings 
    it's the worst 
    at parades 
    at skating rinks 
    at sexual orgies 
    it's the worst 
    at midnight 
    at 3 a.m. 
    at 5:45 p.m. 
    it's the worst

    Charles Bukowski

    To The Whore Who Took My Poems

    some say we should keep personal remorse from the
    stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,
    but jezus;
    twelve poems gone and I don't keep carbons and you have
    paintings too, my best ones; its stifling:
    are you trying to crush me out like the rest of them?
    why didn't you take my money? they usually do
    from the sleeping drunken pants sick in the corner.
    next time take my left arm or a fifty
    but not my poems:
    I'm not Shakespeare
    but sometime simply
    there won't be any more, abstract or otherwise;
    there'll always be mony and whores and drunkards
    down to the last bomb,
    but as God said,
    crossing his legs,
    I see where I have made plenty of poets
    but not so very much

    Charles Bukowski

    I scream; you scream; we all scream for ice cream

    The Icecream People

    the lady has me temporarily off the bottle 
    and now the pecker stands up 
    however, things change overnight-- 
    instead of listening to Shostakovich and 
    Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke 
    the nights change, new 
    we drive to Baskin-Robbins, 
    31 flavors: 
    Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry 
    Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint... 

    we park outside and look at icecream 
    a very healthy and satisfied people, 
    nary a potential suicide in sight 
    (they probably even vote) 
    and I tell her 
    "what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they 
    find out I'm going in for a walnut peach sundae?" 
    "come on, chicken," she laughs and we go in 
    and stand with the icecream people. 
    none of them are cursing or threatening 
    the clerks. 
    there seem to be no hangovers or 
    I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave 
    that flows about. I feel like a leper in a 
    beauty contest. we finally get our sundaes and 
    sit in the car and eat them. 

    I must admit they are quite good. a curious new 
    world. (all my friends tell me I am looking 
    better. "you're looking good, man, we thought you 
    were going to die there for a while...") 
    --those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the 

    and later that night 
    there is use for the pecker, use for 
    love, and it is glorious, 
    long and true, 
    and afterwards we speak of easy things; 
    our heads by the open window with the moonlight 
    looking through, we sleep in each other's 

    the icecream people make me feel good, 
    inside and out. 

    Charles Bukowski


    you haven't lived 
    until you've been in a 
    with nothing but one 
    light bulb 
    and 56 men 
    squeezed together 
    on cots 
    with everybody 
    at once 
    and some of those 
    deep and 
    gross and 
    from hell 
    your mind 
    almost breaks 
    under those 
    and the 
    unwashed socks 
    pissed and 
    and over it all 
    slowly circulating 
    much like that 
    emanating from 
    and those 
    in the dark 
    fat and 
    and worst of 
    the total 
    absence of 
    it shrouds 
    covers them 
    it's not 
    you get 
    go out 
    walk the 
    up and 
    past buildings 
    around the 
    and back 
    the samestreet 
    those men 
    were all 
    what has happened 
    and what has 
    it's dark 
    and cold 

    Charles Bukowski

    Flophouse: Life on the Bowery

    Hemingway Never Did This

    I read that he lost a suitcase full of manuscripts on a 
    train and that they never were recovered. 
    I can't match the agony of this 
    but the other night I wrote a 3-page poem 
    upon this computer 
    and through my lack of diligence and 
    and by playing around with commands 
    on the menu 
    I somehow managed to erase the poem 
    believe me, such a thing is difficult to do 
    even for a novice 
    but I somehow managed to do 

    now I don't think this 3-pager was immortal 
    but there were some crazy wild lines, 
    now gone forever. 
    it bothers more than a touch, it's some- 
    thing like knocking over a good bottle of 

    and writing about it hardly makes a good 
    still, I thought somehow you'd like to 

    if not, at least you've read this far 
    and there could be better work 
    down the line. 

    let's hope so, for your sake 

    Charles Bukowski

    Girl In A Miniskirt Reading The Bible Outside My Window

    Sunday, I am eating a 
    grapefruit, church is over at the Russian 
    Orthadox to the 

    she is dark 
    of Eastern descent, 
    large brown eyes look up from the Bible 
    then down. a small red and black 
    Bible, and as she reads 
    her legs keep moving, moving, 
    she is doing a slow rythmic dance 
    reading the Bible. . . 

    long gold earrings; 
    2 gold bracelets on each arm, 
    and it's a mini-suit, I suppose, 
    the cloth hugs her body, 
    the lightest of tans is that cloth, 
    she twists this way and that, 
    long yellow legs warm in the sun. . . 

    there is no escaping her being 
    there is no desire to. . . 

    my radio is playing symphonic music 
    that she cannot hear 
    but her movements coincide exactly 
    to the rythms of the 
    symphony. . . 

    she is dark, she is dark 
    she is reading about God. 
    I am God.

    Charles Bukowski

    Raw With Love

    little dark girl with 
    kind eyes 
    when it comes time to 
    use the knife 
    I won't flinch and 
    I won't blame 
    as I drive along the shore alone 
    as the palms wave, 
    the ugly heavy palms, 
    as the living does not arrive 
    as the dead do not leave, 
    I won't blame you, 
    I will remember the kisses 
    our lips raw with love 
    and how you gave me 
    everything you had 
    and how I 
    offered you what was left of 
    and I will remember your small room 
    the feel of you 
    the light in the window 
    your records 
    your books 
    our morning coffee 
    our noons our nights 
    our bodies spilled together 
    the tiny flowing currents 
    immediate and forever 
    your leg my leg 
    your arm my arm 
    your smile and the warmth 
    of you 
    who made me laugh 
    little dark girl with kind eyes 
    you have no 
    knife. the knife is 
    mine and I won't use it 

    Charles Bukowski


    he drank wine all night of the 
    28th, and he kept thinking of her: 
    the way she walked and talked and loved 
    the way she told him things that seemed true 
    but were not, and he knew the color of each 
    of her dresses 
    and her shoes-he knew the stock and curve of 
    each heel 
    as well as the leg shaped by it. 

    and she was out again and when he came home,and 
    she'd come back with that special stink again, 
    and she did 
    she came in at 3 a.m in the morning 
    filthy like a dung eating swine 
    he took out a butchers knife 
    and she screamed 
    backing into the rooming house wall 
    still pretty somehow 
    in spite of love's reek 
    and he finished the glass of wine. 

    that yellow dress 
    his favorite 
    and she screamed again. 

    and he took up the knife 
    and unhooked his belt 
    and tore away the cloth before her 
    and cut off his balls. 

    and carried them in his hands 
    like apricots 
    and flushed them down the 
    toilet bowl 
    and she kept screaming 
    as the room became red 

    GOD O GOD! 

    and he sat there holding 3 towels 
    between his legs 
    no caring now whether she left or 
    wore yellow or green or 
    anything at all. 

    and one hand holding and one hand 
    lifting he poured 
    another wine

    Charles Bukowski




    Poetry collections

    • Flower, Fist, and Bestial Wail (1960)
    • Poems and Drawings (1962)
    • Longshot Poems for Broke Players (1962)
    • Run with the Hunted (1962)
    • It Catches My Heart in Its Hands (1963)
    • Crucifix in a Deathhand (1965)
    • Cold Dogs in the Courtyard (1965)
    • The Genius of the Crowd (1966)
    • 2 by Bukowski (1967)
    • The Curtains Are Waving (1967)
    • At Terror Street and Agony Way (1968)
    • Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 story Window (1968)
    • A Bukowski Sampler (1969)
    • The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills (1969)
    • Fire Station (1970)
    • Mockingbird Wish Me Luck (1972)
    • Me and Your Sometimes Love Poems (1972)
    • While the Music Played (1973)
    • Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame (1974)
    • Africa, Paris, Greece (1975)
    • Scarlet (1976)
    • Maybe Tomorrow (1977)
    • Legs, Hips and Behind (1978)
    • Love Is a Dog from Hell (1977)
    • Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit(1979)
    • Dangling in the Tournefortia (1982)
    • War All the Time (book)|War All the Time (1984)
    • Horses Don't Bet on People & Neither Do I (1984)
    • You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense (1986)
    • The Roominghouse Madrigals (1988)
    • Beauti-ful & Other Long Poems (1988)
    • Septuagenarian Stew: Stories & Poems (1990)
    • People Poems (1991)
    • The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992)
    • Betting on the Muse: Poems and Stories (1996)
    • Bone Palace Ballet (book)|Bone Palace Ballet (1998)
      • What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire. (1999)
      • Open All Night (book)|Open All Night (2000)
      • The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps (2001)
      • Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way (2003)
      • As Buddha smiles (2003)
      • The Flash of the Lightning Behind the Mountain (2004)
      • Slouching Toward Nirvana (2005)
      • Come on In! (2006)
      • The People Look Like Flowers at Last (2007)
      • The Pleasures of the Damned (2007)
      • The Continual Condition (2009)



    • Bukowski at Bellevue 1970 - Performance
    • Supervan 1976 - cameo
    • There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here - filmed in 1979, released on DVD in 2008 - Performance
    • The Last Straw - filmed in 1980, released on DVD in 2008 - Performance
    • Tales of Ordinary Madness - Movie
    • Barfly 1987 - Movie
    • Crazy Love 1987 - Movie
    • Bukowski: Born Into This 2002 - Documentary
    • Factotum 2005 - Movie
    • The Suicide 2006 - Short film
    • One Tough Mother 2010 Released on DVD - Performance


    Major biographies and bibliographies

    • Hugh Fox - Charles Bukowski: A Critical and Bibliographical Study (1969)

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