Buk's doodles (1 Viewer)

That's a good question. Personally I've always thought that the birds were related to Black Sparrow Press somehow. I could be wrong though. Buk were very fond of a dog he had once. Maybe that could account for the dog doodles. We know that he loved the sun and the color yellow. Well, that's my thoughts on the subject...
Last edited by a moderator:
There where his trademark doodles....nothing more...sure they may well be seen a motifs...Bukowski always discussed birds dogs and sun!

nothing more nothing less
Good question. I think people who draw a lot eventually fix on a set of symbols that have some sort of personal significance for them, and they use them like a ritual or magical sign. Buk had the ones you mention. Henry Miller used a Star of David a lot. The paintings of Basquiat have them (too early for me to recall what they are right now). It's a kind of visual language.
I remember now...with Basquiat, it's a crown. He also does a lot of other symbols, x's and o's and stuff ... you could write a monograph on it, and somebody probably has.
I read Basquiat by Phoebe Hoban and she spent a lot of time talking about his symbols and crossing out of words, etc.
from a book on basquiat - some of the symbols he used.


  • Picture 045.jpg
    Picture 045.jpg
    191.9 KB · Views: 287
Hmmmm, the doodles are a non-verbal/visual way of communicating, whereas Buk's poetry is closer to spoken word/vernacular. So maybe the doodles say things that the words don't/can't...
Aren't most of the doodles, how shall I put it, more "carefree", less "antagonistic" or something like that? Free as a bird or free as sunshine or happy as a puppy?
Are there any "negative" doodles?

Hey all you publishers out there: WE WANT A COLLECTION OF BUK-DOODLES NOW!
Great idea indeed! - One day Ecco will run out of Books with "New poems" and they will think of new ways to sell Buk books, like say, "Buk's best poems" vol. 1 - ? or maybe a "Buk's doodles and drawings"...why not?
Where there's money to be made...:)
Last edited by a moderator:
Although I would run out to be the first person in Delaware to own a "Buk's Doodles" book, I can imagine that this would not sell enough copies (outside of this list, of course), to justify their release.

I'm not a betting man, but I would almost bet the farm (If I had a farm) that this will never happen from Ecco. Of course, maybe one day some benefactor will promise them a hefty royalty advance and they will let it happen, but HarperCollins will probably not touch this project.

All best,
You're right, Bill. There's a very small market for a "Buk's Doodles" book outside of this list. I think it could be done though, if the book also contained some uncollected poems and maybe some interesting Buk letters and fotos. But a book only with doodles and drawings - very doubtful.
Last edited by a moderator:
Or maybe some enterprising bootlegger will put one out. I'm not suggesting that they should, but like you say, where there's money to be made...
Great title for a book.


You are right. Maybe some day they will publish a book of poems, stories, letters and artwork. Would be a nice book....

A better book, to me anyway, would be a collection of high quality reproductions of his better paintings.

Since they are so spread out everywhere it would be a chore to collect the images, but I think the estate would get behind a project like that, if only because it's an unappreciated side of Bukowski.

An expensive coffee table book of his paintings could definitely have an audience. As much an audience as a lot of other marginal-interest art books I've seen.

A considerable amount of pre-press legwork and expense would be involved in putting that together though. It would have to be a labor of love for the publisher.
I'd like to see a combined trade version of "The Day It Snowed in LA" and "Dear Mr Bukowski." I think that they go well together, and since neither has ever seen a wide release, it would be nice to get them out to the public-at-large. They would probably sell pretty well too.
mjp said:
Since they are so spread out everywhere it would be a chore to collect the images, but I think the estate would get behind a project like that, if only because it's an unappreciated side of Bukowski

Great idea....
Get on it mjp!!
(nothing else to do, right?!.. besides keeping this site running)

Really tho,
Could you imagine the cooperation that would take,
But Man, what a great idea.
I can't imagine what Buk would think of of a coffee-table art-book...

And man, the critics......
Give them the big middle finger;
This man could paint too.
I'll keep that in mind, but it's going to be hard when I have to remember so many other things to ask about - cirerita's bisexual question, etc. I'd better start writing a list to carry in my wallet.

Then again, last time I saw her she was in Carol's studio and I didn't ask anything. So maybe I can't be trusted to carry out these tasks...

Such a book would be quite a thing though. You never know.

Users who are viewing this thread