Buk and suicide (1 Viewer)

Happy Saturday

Question: How many times did Buk try to kill himself? I remember reading that he tried to do it once with gas, but was that it? I also seem to remember him writing that he thought about killing himself every day. Is that correct?
Well, we can never really know. Yes, Buk did write about the time he turned the gas on, but I don't remember any other specific examples. Of course, just because he wrote it, we shouldn't necessarily take it literally, although that account has a ring of reality/truth to it. Funny though, I was reading a poem just last night, and I seem to recall him saying something about thinking of suicide every day or every week; I don't recall which.

Problem is, I had about 5 or 6 books off the shelf last night, so I'll never remember where it is. Hank Solo?

P.S - Hey KingCargo: I see you live in a basement in Atlanta. There aren't any copies of Write magazine in a box in the corner, are there?;)
In his leters to Al Purdy he talks about it. It's more like...
Yeah. I should really commit suicide. . . type bullshit,
rather than extended plans of measuring rope, etc.

When Purdy responds in kind, Bukowski writes back:

Was I talking about suicide? It's easier to get drunk...

So, there's all that. . .
P.S - Hey KingCargo: I see you live in a basement in Atlanta. There aren't any copies of Write magazine in a box in the corner, are there?;)

Ahh! On this item of business.
Bukowski wrote to Al Purdy on January 24th, 1965. Bukowski writes:

I hated New York, although my first published story came
out in STORY
in 1944
and I saw the magazine first while
I was passing by a drugstore thinking about suicide. It was a
very odd feeliing [sic] indeed. And I was not thinking of suicide
because of Artistic failure but more the failure of myself
stuck down inside of life with all that happens and doens't [sic]

my first published story came out in STORY in 1944

Well, I always considered the potential work in Write to have come out somewhere from 1944 to 1946, in between Aftermath... and 20 Tanks... The bio in Portfolio III indicates this. I don't believe that the first story is a controversy, just whether there was anything between Aftermath... and 20 Tanks....

Of course, the only publication called Write thay we know of was published only in 1940. So...

...back to suicide. It's a funny characteristic of Buk. Miserable and joyous, lazy and inspired, full of hatred and love. Too good to be in the world, and too bad to be here also. He committed suicide the easy way: drinking and smoking for 60 years.
That's a great example of how he writes about suicide, but not the one I was thinking of. The one I was thinking of isn't about suicide, it about something that's a typical annoyance in Buk's life, and he happens to mention contemplating suicide daily or weekly. It so happens that The Last Night... was one of the books I had off the shelf last night. The best I can narrow it down is that the others were:

The Days Run Away...
Burning in Water...
Love is a Dog...
The Night Torn Mad...
Sifting Through...

OK, that's 7 total, but I was being metaphorical. ;) Don't trouble yourself thinking about this. I'm sure I'll run across it within the next 5 years, which is partly what I love about Buk. There's just so much of it!


Got it.
Yes roni:
September 13 1991 5:25 PM (excerpt)

Something is in me that I can't control. I can never drive my car over a
bridge without thinking of suicide. I can never look at a lake or an ocean
without thinking of suicide. I mean, I won't linger on it all. But it will
flash on me: SUICIDE. Like a light going on. In the darkness. That there is
an out helps you stay in. Get it? Otherwise, it could only be madness. And
that's no fun, buddy. And whenever I get off a good poem, that's another
crutch to keep me going. I don't know about other people, but when I bend
over to put on my shoes in the morning, I think, Christ- oh-mighty, now
what? I'm screwed by life, we don't get along. I have to take little bites
out of it, not the whole thing. It's like swallowing buckets of shit.

Hey, that's weird huh?

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