“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” Charles Bukowski
i guess most people think it’s a bit strange, the undying love i have for Charles Bukowski. It’s true that i love reading more than most things in life, & writing has always been my first love. My top three authors include Bukowski, Anais Nin & of course, Anne Sexton- all for different reasons, naturally. However there’s something about Buk’s writing that gets at me. Today would’ve been his 91st birthday, except he died of leukemia in 1994. Born in 1920. His gravestone reads “Don’t Try.”
Anyway, if you don’t know much about Bukowski, here’s the nutshell version: a poet laureate from LA all his life, he worked bad paying jobs he hated, drank far too much & wrote. Loved classical music & crazy women. His writing is straight to the point & exact- while it’s true there’s some that can get so crude even i don’t dig it, for the most part, i love how simple it is, while still really hitting a chord inside.
So, sometimes taken as a bit misogynistic, i really don’t view it that way. I think this website article from Penniless Press i found put it best:
I suspect that some feminists might mistakenly vilify a writer like Bukowski. He isn’t crass, insensitive or endlessly self-congratulatory; he does understand women, although he doesn’t always like them and often uses them. Certainly he’s not a chauvinist; he sees the droll side of life too consistently and truthfully for that. His work as a whole paints a frightening and funny panorama of the lower depths of the American Dream, which in itself is nothing but a joke in bad taste, black farce and raw lunacy incarnate. He will hook you or infuriate you, but I defy you not to laugh.
i think what i love most about Charles Bukowski is his sheer raw honesty. The fact that he wrote about basically anything- nothing was off limits- there was no shame. There’s something to be admired in that, in my opinion.
so, happy birthday Buk, you old fool.
“The important thing is the obvious thing that no one is saying.” Charles Bukowski
( source : creative-commons )