Bukowski quotes (1 Viewer)

Not open for further replies.
in my eternal search for anything Bukowski i found a site called: bukowskiquotes.com. i haven't had the time to go through it yet. i was so excited i found it that i decided to share it first. anyways...i'll be posting my favourite Bukowski quotes in this forum. you are welcome to share yours too.
"In a capitalistic society the losers slaved for the winners and you have to have more losers than winners. What did I think? I knew politics would never solve it and there wasn't enough time left to get lucky."

Hollywood, Chapter 16
Last edited by a moderator:
"That's your answer to everything: drink."
"No, that's my answer to nothing."

Hollywood, Chapter 17
Last edited by a moderator:
I went to the bathroom and threw some water on my face, combed my hair. If I could only comb that face, I thought, but I can't.

Post Office, Chapter 14
Last edited by a moderator:
When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn't have you by the throat.

Factotum, Chapter 31
Last edited by a moderator:
These are from 'Ham on Rye':

"All a guy needed was a chance. Somebody was always controlling who got a chance and who didn't."
Chapter 15

"They experimented on the poor and if that worked they used the treatment on the rich. And if it didn't work, there would still be more poor left over to experiment upon."
Chapter 31

"The parents of rich kids tended to be more patriotic because they had more to lose if the country went under. The poor parents were far less patriotic, and then often professed their patriotism only because it was expected or because it was the way they had been raised."
Chapter 40

"The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves."
Chapter 41
Last edited by a moderator:
"A woman is a full-time job. You have to choose your profession."
"I suppose there is an emotional drain."
"Physical too. They want to fuck night and day."
"Get one you like to fuck."
"Yes, but if you drink or gamble they think it's a put-down of their love."
"Get one who likes to drink, gamble and fuck."
"Who wants a woman like that?"

Factotum, Chapter 44
"Baby," I said, "I'm a genius but nobody knows it but me."

Factotum, Chapter 31
Last edited by a moderator:
"Even early on, I got it, I stopped looking for the Dream Girl; I just wanted one that wasn't a nightmare."

The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, Journal Entry 11/6/92 12:08 AM
Last edited by a moderator:
"Of course it's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well."

is it possible to love a human being?
of course, especially if you don't know them too well.

Notes of a Dirty Old Man, p. 220, "sit down, Stirkoff",
source column Open City #44, March 1-7, 1968
Last edited by a moderator:
"you begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics."
Erections, Ejaculations and General Tales of Ordinary Madness, TOO SENSITIVE.

"People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love."
Women, Chapter 96
Last edited by a moderator:
"Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire.... Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It's real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you've suddenly become an idiot. There's no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help."
Women, Chapter 18
Last edited by a moderator:
some lose all mind and become soul:
some lose all soul and become mind:
some lose both and become:
'lifedance', What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire
"the free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it "” basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them."

'A BAD TRIP' - Erections, Ejaculations and General Tales of Ordinary Madness
Last edited by a moderator:
"If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is."

'roll the dice'
Last edited by a moderator:
"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, entry 8/29/91 10:55 PM
Last edited by a moderator:
"That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen."

Women, Chapter 76.
Last edited by a moderator:
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 [...]

'gamblers all' - The Night Torn Mad With Footsteps
Last edited by a moderator:
"For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stonewritten. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us."

The Meaning of Life, Life Magazine, December 1988
Last edited by a moderator:
Wanda: I can't stand people. I hate them.

Henry: [Aah] Yeah?

Wanda: You hate them?

Henry: No, but I seem to feel better when they're not around.

Last edited by a moderator:
"some people never go crazy.
what truly horrible lives
they must lead."

'some people', Burning in Water Drowning in Flame
Last edited by a moderator:

"And yet women"”good women"”frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep."
Chapter 26

"Nothing was ever in tune. People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Bach, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice. "
Chapter 80

"Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death"”in a cesspool."
Chapter 101
Last edited by a moderator:
More Women :p - i read that book like a Christian reads the Bible.

"Many a good man has been put under the bridge by a woman."
Epigraph, Women.

"I was glad I wasn't in love, that I wasn't happy with the world. I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers."
Chapter 19

"Few beautiful women were willing to indicate in public that they belonged to someone. I had known enough women to realize this. I accepted them for what they were, and love came hard and very seldom. When it did it was usually for the wrong reasons. One simply became tired of holding love back and let it go because it needed some place to go. Then usually, there was trouble."
Chapter 35
"Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped. Then there was a short period when you weren't with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you. I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right."
Chapter 37

"I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care."
Chapter 38

"Love is a form of prejudice. I have too many other prejudices."
Chapter 80

"Gradually I came to realize that my understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasure is concerned."
Ed:- This isn't from Women - Is it real? Source?
Last edited by a moderator:
"Her one drink had Cecelia giggling and talking and she was explaining that animals had souls too. Nobody challenged her opinion. It was possible, we knew. What we weren't sure of was if we had any."
Women, Chapter 79
Last edited by a moderator:
"Strangers when you meet, strangers when you part"”a gymnasium of bodies namelessly masturbating each other. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love. So they became swingers. The dead fucking the dead. There was no gamble or humor in their game"”it was corpse fucking corpse. Morals were restrictive, but they were grounded on human experience down through the centuries. Some morals tended to keep people slaves in factories, in churches and true to the State. Other morals simply made good sense. It was like a garden filled with poisoned fruit and good fruit. You had to know which to pick and eat, which to leave alone."
Women, Chapter 96
Last edited by a moderator:
"There's no way I can stop writing, it's a form of insanity."
Women, Chapter 36

"Where did all the women come from? The supply was endless. Each one of them was individual, different. Their pussies were different, their kisses were different, their breasts were different, but no man could drink them all, there were too many of them, crossing their legs, driving men mad. What a feast!"
Women, Chapter 78

"When I was young I was depressed all the time. But suicide no longer seemed a possibility in my life. At my age there was very little left to kill. It was good to be old, no matter what they said. It was reasonable that a man had to be at least 50 years old before he could write with anything like clarity."
Women, Chapter 94
Last edited by a moderator:
"There were no judgements to be made, yet out of necessity one had to select. Beyond good and evil was all right in theory, but to go on living one had to select: some were kinder than others, some were simply more interested in you, and sometimes the outwardly beautiful and inwardly cold were necessary. The kinder ones fucked better, really, and after you were around them a while they seemed beautiful because they were."

"Her violence frightened me. She always claimed that I was the jealous one, and I was often jealous, but when I saw things working against me I simply became disgusted and withdrew. Lydia was different. She reacted. She was the Head Cheerleader at the Game of Violence."

"But then if you lied to a man about his talent just because he was sitting across from you, that was the most unforgivable lie of them all, because that was telling him to go on, to continue which was the worst way for a man without real talent to waste his life, finally. But many people did just that, friends and relatives mostly."

Last edited by a moderator:
what a guy!

"There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have enough money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter." - women
Last edited by a moderator:
"She could talk. If she was a sphinx she could have talked, if she was a stone she could have talked. I wondered when she'd get tired and leave. Even after I stopped listening it was like being battered with tiny pingpong balls."

"A good writer knew when not to write. Anybody could type. Not that I was a good typist; also I couldn't spell and I didn't know grammar. But I knew when not to write. It was like fucking. You had to rest the godhead now and then."
Last edited by a moderator:
"The street to my left was backed up with traffic and I watched the people waiting patiently in the cars. The was almost always a man and a woman, staring straight ahead, not talking. It was, finally, for everyone, a matter of waiting. You waited and you waited- for the hospital, the doctor, the plumber, the madhouse, the jail, papa death himself. First the signal red, then the signal was green. The citizens of the world ate food and watched t.v. and worried about their jobs or lack of the same, while they waited."
Last edited by a moderator:
"Turgenev was a very serious fellow but he could make me laugh because a truth first encountered can be very funny. When someone else's truth is the same as your truth, and he seems to be saying it just for you, that's great."
Ham on Rye
Last edited by a moderator:
While your enthusiasm is great to see, perhaps you're over doing it with the wholesale copy and pasting of quotes from other quote sites huh? Posting a quote every now and then as you read the books makes sense, but posting en masse like this is a bit pointless.
"But you know, the terror is always there, man. The ugliness is always there. There's no way out. You can get a beautiful woman living with you and she can be more ugly than putting your quarter into a newspaper stand, lifting it up and taking out the next day's news. There's never any escape from anything at all. You're always going to be burned.
There's never any pleasantness, easiness anywhere. You're gonna be burnt down to the grave. No matter how much you know, no matter how much you feel, you're gonna be burnt, burnt, burnt, burnt. Until the last minute you breathe.
When you open a cap on a mustard jar you're gonna be burnt. When you open up a can of cat food you're gonna be burnt.
Everything's burning. All you're trying to do is walk across a room and drink a glass of water and take it easy. But there are always things burning and ripping at you. It's the whole universe, it's everythng. Women, men, friends, everything. Rips and tears, man. It rips and it tears. All you wanna do... The best thing, it seems, is a good eight hours sleep if you can get it. If you can't you might as well get drunk. Hell."
I coined a term for certain family members and aquaintances who obsessively quote on social media. I call them the Facebook philosophers. Kind of catchy, huh?
hank solo well, this forum is about sharing bukowski quotes, that's why i created it. how it's done is not defined and should not matter. what matters are the quotes and the fact that i like them...and anyone who shares a quote does so because they like them. hopefully they read what has already been posted so as not repeat what is already posted. if not so what? and people can post as many times and as often as they want. at the end of the day, this forum could just be a space for reading as many bukowski quotes as one wants to.

i don't get what you mean by it being pointless, and quite honestly, i don't care. also, you and no one else can tell me how to share Bulowski quotes. You, or no one else can dictate the degree of my enthusiasm to me. To me what i post has a point and that point is this: i like this quote and i'm sharing it. i like these quotes and i'm sharing them. for my pleasure. end of story. If others read it and enjoy, great. if not, move on. If you don't like the way i'm sharing quotes, please feel free to do what you and your supporters have gotta do. There are more alternatives out there.

And if you own this forum and you feel an overwhelming need to get rid of me. go right ahead. either way it means absolutely nothing to me. and it does not change how i do my things as far as being enthusiastic about Bukowski goes. Facebook Philosopher or whatever, who are the miserable people? The ones who feel free to do what they want, as they want when they want or the ones with a need to control the free spirited because they are caged in the dullness of their own misery? Pu-lease!
and i don't know if it is old age or just plain dullness of spirit that makes people feel a need to dictate to others or what? nothing sickens me more. yes i am arrogant and yes my ego is too big. but seriously what is wrong with copying and pasting posts here? what? is it not quotes that people want to read? or i should type them directly from the books i'm reading when they are already out there on other sites that take more time to find? sheez!
Not open for further replies.

Users who are viewing this thread