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Charles Bukowski

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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 you, 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, instead i…

I Met A Genius

I met a genius on the traintodayabout 6 years old,he sat beside meand as the train ran down along the coastwe came to the oceanand then he looked at meand said,it’s not pretty. it was the first time I’d realized that.

The Most Beautiful Woman In Town

Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girlin town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyesto go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form thatwould not hold her. Her hair…

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The Icecream People

the lady has me temporarily off the bottleand now the pecker stands upbetter.however, things change overnight–instead of listening to Shostakovich andMozart through a smeared haze of smokethe nights change, newcomplexities:we drive to Baskin-Robbins,31 flavors:Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, StrawberryCheesecake, Chocolate Mint… we park outside and look at icecreampeoplea very healthy and satisfied people,nary a…

safe

the house next door makes mesad.both man and wife rise early andgo to work.they arrive home in early evening.they have a young boy and a girl.by 9 p.m. all the lights in the houseare out.the next morning both man andwife rise early again and go towork.they return in early evening.By 9 p.m. all the lights…

The Genius Of The Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the averagehuman being to supply any given army on any given day and the best at murder are those who preach against itand the best at hate are those who preach loveand the best at war finally are those who preach peace those who preach god, need…

Cows In Art Class

good weatheris likegood women-it doesn’t always happenand when it doesit doesn’talways last.man ismore stable:if he’s badthere’s more chancehe’ll stay that way,or if he’s goodhe might hangon,but a womanis changedbychildrenagedietconversationsexthe moonthe absence orpresence of sunor good times.a woman must be nursedinto subsistenceby lovewhere a man can becomestrongerby being hated. I am drinking tonight in Spangler’s Barand…

For The Foxes

don’t feel sorry for me.I am a competent,satisfied human being. be sorry for the otherswhofidgetcomplain who constantlyrearrange theirlives like furniture. juggling matesandattitudes theirconfusion isconstant and it willtouchwhoever they deal with. beware of them:one of theirkey words is“love.” and beware those whoonly takeinstructions from theirGod for they have failed completely to live their ownlives. don’t feel…

How Is Your Heart?

during my worst times on the park benches in the jails or living with whores I always had this certain contentment- I wouldn’t call it happiness- it was more of an inner balance that settled for whatever was occuring and it helped in the factories and when relationships went wrong with the girls. it helped…

This Then

it’s the same as beforeor the other timeor the time before that.here’s a cockand here’s a cuntand here’s trouble. only each timeyou thinkwell now I’ve learned:I’ll let her do thatand I’ll do this,I no longer want it all,just some comfortand some sexand only a minorlove. now I’m waiting againand the years run thin.I have my…

To The Whore Who Took My Poems

some say we should keep personal remorse from the poem,stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,but jezus;twelve poems gone and I don’t keep carbons and you havemypaintings 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 dofrom the…

air and light and time and space

“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, somethinghas always been in thewaybut nowI’ve sold my house, I’ve found thisplace, a large studio, you should see the space andthe light.for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place andthe time tocreate.”no baby, if you’re going to createyou’re going to create…

making it

ignore all possible concepts and possibilities —ignore Beethoven, the spider, the damnation of Faust —just make it, babe, make it:a house  a car   a belly full of beanspay your taxesfuckand if you can’t fuckcopulate.make money but don’t work toohard — make somebody else pay tomake it — anddon’t smoke too much but drink enough torelax, andstay…

Girlfriends

the women of the past keepphoning.there was another yesterdayarrived from out ofstate.she wanted to seeme.I told her“no.” I don’t want to seethem,I won’t see them.it would beawkwardgruesome anduseless. I know some people who canwatch the same moviemore thanonce. not me.once I know theplotonce I know theendingwhether it’s happy orunhappy orjust plaindumb,then for methat movie isfinishedforeverand…

don’t forget

there is always somebody or somethingwaiting for you,something stronger, more intelligent,more evil, more kind, more durable,something bigger, something better,something worse, something witheyes like the tiger, jaws like the shark,something crazier than crazy,saner than sane,there is always something or somebodywaiting for youas you put on your shoesor as you sleepor as you empty a garbage canor…

Like A Flower In The Rain

I cut the middle fingernail of the middlefingerright handreal shortand I began rubbing along her cuntas she sat upright in bedspreading lotion over her armsfaceand breastsafter bathing.then she lit a cigarette:“don’t let this put you off,”an smoked and continued to rubthe lotion on.I continued to rub the cunt.“You want an apple?” I asked.“sure, she said,…

Cut While Shaving

It’s never quite right, he said, the way people look,the way the music sounds, the way the words arewritten.It’s never quite right, he said, all the things we aretaught, all the loves we chase, all the deaths wedie, all the lives we live,they are never quite right,they are hardly close to right,these lives we liveone…

The Retreat

this time has finished me. I feel like the German troopswhipped by snow and the communistswalking bentwith newspapers stuffed intoworn boots. my plight is just as terrible.maybe more so. victory was so closevictory was there. as she stood before my mirroryounger and more beautiful thanany woman I had ever knowncombing yards and yards of red…

Bluebird

there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I’m too tough for him,I say, stay in there, I’m not goingto let anybody seeyou.there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I pur whiskey on him and inhalecigarette smokeand the whores and the bartendersand the grocery clerksnever know thathe’sin there. there’s a…

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul, and the women break vases against the walls and the men drink too much and nobody finds the one but keep looking crawling in and out of beds. flesh covers the bone and the flesh searches for more than…

I’m In Love

she’s young, she said,but look at me,I have pretty ankles,and look at my wrists, I have prettywristso my god,I thought it was all working,and now it’s her again,every time she phones you go crazy,you told me it was overyou told me it was finished,listen, I’ve lived long enough to become a good woman,why do you…

Dostoevsky

against the wall, the firing squad ready.then he got a reprieve.suppose they had shot Dostoevsky?before he wrote all that?I suppose it wouldn’t havematterednot directly.there are billions of people who havenever read him and neverwill.but as a young man I know that hegot me through the factories,past the whores,lifted me high through the nightand put me…

For Jane: With All The Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough

I pick up the skirt,I pick up the sparkling beads in black,this thing that moved oncearound flesh,and I call God a liar,I say anything that movedlike thator knewmy namecould never diein the common verity of dying,and I pick up her lovelydress,all her loveliness gone,and I speak to all the gods,Jewish gods, Christ-gods,chips of blinking things,idols,…

style

style is the answer to everything —a fresh way to approach a dull or adangerous thing.to do a dull thing with styleis preferable to doing a dangerous thingwithout it. Joan of Arc had styleJohn the BaptistChristSocratesCaesar,Garcia Lorca. style is the difference,a way of doing,a way of being done. 6 herons standing quietly in a pool…

Roll the Dice

if you’re going to try, go all theway.otherwise, don’t even start. if you’re going to try, go all theway. this could mean losing girlfriends,wives, relatives, jobs andmaybe your mind. go all the way.it could mean not eating for 3 or4 days.it could mean freezing on apark bench.it could mean jail,it could mean derision,mockery,isolation.isolation is the…

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