Best Bukowski moment (1 Viewer)

Has your real life ever seemed to be a scene from one of Buk's poems, stories, or novels...with little help or orchestration from you?

Here's mine...

Shortly before my first wife and I were married, Barfly the film was released. We were drunks together, so sometimes she'd jokingly call me Chinaski and I'd call her Wanda. One night, I'm alone at my "starter bar"...the bar where I'd start my evening's drinking (mostly because it was nextdoor to my apartment), and I'm not expecting to see "Wanda" tonight (she had some family engagement). So I'm settling comfortably into my shot and beer routine. The place is packed, people are shouting, the jukebox is playing. The phone rings, and one of the two bartenders goes over to answer it. Then he looks around the bar and yells, "Chinaski! Is there a Henry Chinaski here?!" I expect a half dozen guys to raise their hands and yell back. But there's no response at all. So, after the bartender yells again, I flag him over and ask for the phone. Sure enough, it's "Wanda". She'd just been mugged and is sitting at her apartment with the cops. She'd tried calling my place but of course I wasn't there. So she guessed the "starter bar." A real brainstorm asking for Chinaski. Anyway, I hustle over to her place. She's fine, a bit shook up, and minus a few dollars in cash (the mugger let her keep the purse...a real sweetheart). A little while later we're back at the bar together. I'm buying.

Now it's your turn...

Have my life ever seem to be...?

Well, try a 'shoelace' broken almost every 4 am in the morning. That's when I get up to drive 40miles to work. In Casino, with 'vicious and dull crowd.'
I have written at least 1 poem.

I have been drunk on at least 1 occasion...

I have written at least 1 poem while drunk.

Does that count as 3 moments, or just 1?
I alluded to a little of this in my intro, but yes, I certainly lived a chapter or two m'self.

For me, the long downward slide began at about 18 yrs old when I was a sailor. I encountered so many men who were just bums in fancy dress. There was little demand other than keeping your uniform clean, and functioning as you were told. The rest was total sloth. This was just around the time of the fall of Saigon, and morale in the "services" was at rock bottom.

One guy in particular, a first class Gunners Mate, who claimed to be married to two different women, and with families in various locations, was a real mentor for the lot of us.

He would go ashore and almost always have to be carried back aboard. He would frequently invite a few of us to accompany him to various "clubs" (in fact some of the worst dives one could imagine) and we were introduced as it were, to the lifestyle. If I remember correctly, his drink of choice was some shit called "Black Velvet".

So, as we moved from port to port, we were introduced to one den of iniquity after another. And while tied up at our home port, we were able to really become regulars at these places. While other men chose to go to the popular bars and clubs, places that offered good music and age-appropriate female company, we chose a different path.

We were as the Captain succintly put it, nothing but trouble. We focused our energies on keeping the berthing area awash in drugs. The long days at sea, a real problem for those who drank, as it was banned and you simply could not hide it. But pharmacueticals? Cocaine and marijuana? It kept us going. Our fat-faced boss would often tell us, "I'm gonna get you bastards"

Back in port and off duty, we'd head back to our comfort zones, places where there might be a jukebox, places where aging party girls, tramps, junkies all could go and feel good about life. I don't know what happened to that Gunners Mate. After Vietnam, and twenty plus years of sea duty, I'm sure he's long since buried.

After they ran my ass out of the military, I really started in earnest. I still, at that point, had not heard of Buk, but certainly lived out some years in a fashion in keeping with his stories.
bogthing, you should definitely scroll some of those seafaring, shore stumbling stories down: sounds interesting! Sounds like many a Navy man's life!
Yeah, I s'pose I could at that. There were a few episodes worthy of re-telling. Of course, a lad of your age, could just head on down to Queen St. and...
....And get a train to Edinbrugh? :confused:

Seriously, write some of them down, for posterity and posterior (I.e. you'll be sitting down at your computer, anyway).


Many drunken nights of chaos, violence, stupidity and humiliation...Many months of dull, monotonous, almost entirely useless work...remind me of certain characteristics in Bukowski's written observations...
No...join the Royal Navy!

Just imagine all the material you'd garner. All those ports-of-call, Gibraltar, Mumbai, Bangkok, Bermuda etc. Good Christ man, you would have enough fodder just on the first cruise alone.

Far and few between are the opportunities for adventure these days, and what could be safer than slumming around the high seas with the RN?

You're only concern, STD's and keeping enough cash handy for those liberty calls.

Of course, you could also just get that train to Edinborough.

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