Do you re-read Bukowski? (1 Viewer)


"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
Johannes posted an excerpt of the story 3 chickens in the thread

"We turned off the lights and sat there and drank and smoked and talked about things. this, and that, easy and casual, then, like old times, we looked at the same red horse that flew and flew in red neon on the side of a building just downtown to our east. it flew and flew on the side of this building all night. no matter what happened. you know what it was, a kind of red horse with red wings of neon. but I told you that. a winged horse. anyhow, like always, we counted: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. the wings always flapped 7 times. then the horse, everything, stood still, then, it started again. our whole apartment would be in this red glow. then when the horse stopped flying, somehow things would get white for a flash. I don't know why. I think that it was caused by an advertisement beneath the red winged horse. it said, some kind of product, buy this or buy that, in this WHITE. anyhow. we sat and talked and drank and smoked. later we went to bed together. she kissed very nicely, her tongue was kind of an apologetic sadness. then we fucked. we fucked as the red horse flew. 7 times the wings flapped.. and in the center of the rug the 3 chickens were still there. watching. the chickens turned red, the chickens turned white. 14 times they turned red. then they turned white. 21 times they turned red. then they turned white. 28 times - it had ended a better night than most."

Rekrab responds:

I don't even remember that story. But then, I last read ERECTIONS, EJACULATIONS etc. circa 1972. Maybe it's due for a reread.

Do you re-read Bukowski?
All the time.

But not everything. The letters, mainly, Notes, Erections ... I have them on the shelf and flip through them regularly when I feel like it. Almost every time I discover something new.
I do.

Every 4 to 5 years.

I'll go the entire time without reading any and then it's all I'll read for months.

I'm in a dry, Bukowski-less period at the moment. I'm reading war diaries, gardening manuals and CD booklets.

But I can feel it coming again; the urge to immerse myself in that particular world.
I would like to reread Pulp in English, because up to now I've only read it in German. That's one advantage of us filthy foreigners - most of us start reading the translations and when we've finished them, we can start all over in original.

A whole new world to discover.
Actually I didn't re-read Pulp. It's the only one I haven't re-read. I've read some of the others 4 times and others 3 times. I reckon I could quite easily re-read Pulp though in an afternoon.
I've re-read Ham on Rye and Post Office. I'm working my way through the poems here and there, but I doubt I'll ever reread full books of poetry... just bits here and there. There's just too many books out there...
on his birthday, or the day he died I always pick a book and read it.

and when my life needs a boot in the arse, or I need a creative jumpstart I'll read a couple to get me going.

I've read most of his books at least 4 times, some more. I've only read Pulp once.
i seem to enjoy bukowski more each time i re-read him. wich is stunning. usually i like authors less when i re-read them. not buk. he seems to get better with age. i have read all of his books five or so times, except hollywood, which i am re-reading now for the first time. again, i like it better the second time around. man.
jon fante had a similar effect. i enjoyed both west of rome and ask the dust better the second time around. though i got bored with wait untill spring and put it down half way through my second reading.
All the time.
Almost every time I discover something new.


That story is a good example where Bukowski mentions color over and over again. In some of his poems I realized that he would describe many scenes with several colors. Did anyone else notice?
I definitely have re-read all of the novels, including Pulp, at least twice. Post Office and Factotum at least 4 times; Women, Ham on Rye and Hollywood probably 3 times.

There are certain short stories or poem collections that I've read many times, including All the Assholes in the World and Mine, Life and Death in the Charity Ward, Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live With Beasts, and Horsemeat.

The poems are more uncertain. I know that there are some poems of his I have yet to read. I purposefully avoided completing a few of the poetry volumes (including some released during his lifetime) to allow for a sweet bowl of nectar buried in a closet for a rainy day. This is moreso true of the posthumous volumes, but I've owned At Terror St and Agony Way for well over a year and I still have a couple left in that one.

It's nice to have an uncertain stash all mixed in with what I've read before. All the more reason to pull things out at random and dig in when the mood strikes.
I've re-read most of the prose, such as the novels and many of the short stories, but not all of them.
I've also re-read a few of the non-posthumous poem collections, such as 'Love Is A Dog From Hell' and 'Last Night Of The Earth Poems', and I've re-read many of my favorite poems more than once, of course.
There's still a few of the posthumous collections I have'nt read yet. They sit on my shelves waiting for a rainy day. It's nice to have something to look forward to.
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Like a painting, you put it up and look at it every time you go in the room. You should re-read Bukowski. You know what I mean. Hey Floyd.
I like to re-read the short stories, but as it's a re-reading, I prefer to read them in disorder, by opening the book at random.

Concerning the poems, buying every year a diary with one day per page, I copy some of them on the saturdays and sundays pages, so I can re-read them whenever and wherever I want provided I have my diary with me.
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[...] he would describe many scenes with several colors.

maybe it's because he was literally painting too.
I also like his poem 'Two Drunks' in Dangling.

As to the topic:
I re-read him all the time. Certain poems, certain parts in novels or stories or letters.
The same shit again and again. While on the other hand, there are things, I still haven't read at all.

There are still some of the later stories, that I haven't read.
(by "later" I mean everything After 'South')

And there's a BIG amount of poetry I haven't read.

That's because I don't read poetry-books cover-to-cover.
I flip through them and stop where a title or some words catch me. Or I look over the table-of-content and go for a poem by title.

But then - I use to read books with a pencile in hand, marking certain parts that I like or even Love.

That, of course, makes RE-reading quite easy and pleasant. I just flip through any book and immediately see, what Got me before. So I read it again and (surprise) it still gets me.

It's a little like making a tape with songs of a band, which you like most. (Remember how we used to do this in the old days?) You'd start to listen to this tape more often than to the original albums, and thus, you'd listen to the same songs again and again.

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