Sunday, May 6, 2012


Charles Bukowski was a hero during the anti-establishment era of the 60’s; a time when boozing, drugs and abusive rhetoric were mythologized and sanctified. Anything or anyone against the status quo and the pursuit of wealth was despised. How society has changed!

    “Drink, write and fuck” defined life for Bukowski. He hated rules and regulations, was appalled by Disney and Mickey Mouse for not having souls. He claimed to dislike the human race and considered most people and talk, boring. Freud would have a field day!

   His poetic style was without metaphor, directly self-referral and autobiographical. But, the violence he reports must have been imagined since I suspect he never had the skill or courage or else was too drunk to punch anyone.

   He did have the jealous gall to rail against the “greats”. He preferred to see them suffer: “I like to read about Joyce blind and prowling……G. B. Shaw ….a bore”*

   Stephen Holden called him a “cantankerous misanthrope and professional low life”** who wanted to piss on his competitors. Donald Hall named him a “bogus proletarian”.

         playing it out    

 I keep trying these

 drunk poems

 sitting on this chair

 smoking too many…..

 not understanding anything

 and finally

 not wanting to.

   How shall I fit him into a category of drink and poetry? Is the answer to open a bottle of the cheapest Italian red wine and let it stand in my view as I read and compose?

*The Last Generation, C.B.
**Poetry Foundation Biography

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