Bukowski on Muhammad Ali?

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#1
Just watched a Muhammad Ali Highlight Reel and it got me to thinking, I don't recall Bukowski writing about or mentioning Ali once in either story, poem, column or letter?

Don't know if that is in any way remarkable or not but since Bukowski obviously was into boxing and referenced it quite a few times in his writing (not as often as the track or drinking or classical music, but still) it's interesting that Ali never came up since he must have dominated not only the sport but all media in this regard througout the 60s and early 70s?

Does anybody recall Bukowski writing about Ali anywhere?

 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#2
Only once - in the Barfly screenplay book:

HENRY​
(quite loudly)​
Hey, you! You in that filthy apron!​
EDDIE​
(to Janice)​
Excuse me a moment, darling…​
He approaches Henry. As the CAMERA PULLS BACK we see the Detective​
sitting at the bar.​
EDDIE​
(walking)​
Seems like all those Muhammad Alis I’ve laid on you have​
rattled your bells.​
HENRY​
Look, barkeep, I remember ordering a draft. You out of​
brew or has your lobotomy finally taken hold?​
Eddie snickers at Henry, leans across the bar toward him, says quietly…​
EDDIE​
I’ll drive you right through the fucking wall tonight, fag.​
I pulled my punches on you last night…​
That's all I can find. But we don't have all the weekly columns, and it seems like if he did mention one of his fights, it may be in there, or a letter...
 

skiroomalum

Never been to Waffle House, never been to me...
Over 1000 posts
#3
It’s funny, in Barfly he references Leon Spinks, who beat Ali the first time they fought. I always thought that was a good line. “Are you Henry Chinaski?” “No, I’m Leon Spinks.”
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#4
good question.
I only remember him naming "Tiger Mike" (Tyson) in a filmed interview while sitting in his living-room in San Pedro with the tv on.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#5
I think it was "Iron Mike" in this interview if I remember correctly, but you are right, I thought about this one too.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
#6
What about Cassius Clay? Did Buk ever mention him by this name?

I think Buk would be hesitant to use M. A. in his work. That name evokes too many mainstream cliches about the sport, too much baggage. Leon Spinks on the other hand evokes all sorts of dark beautiful imagery with his gap-toothed, broken grin and his quick, deadly hands.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#7
What about Cassius Clay? Did Buk ever mention him by this name?
I checked for "Cassius" when I checked for "Ali," and they're not in the books (with the exception of that Barfly line).
 
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