How did Bukowski feel about sports? (1 Viewer)

Anyone know? Aside from the obvious, (playing the horses) what others did he like? I think he liked or admired boxing, but what else. Did he ever profess an affinity for any of the LA teams? I've heard it said alot of writers enjoy baseball. Surely he had a few hero's of the game in his youth. What was Buk's take on sports? Serious question.
 

bospress.net

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Bukowski detested baseball. Check "Reach For the Sun", p151, where he says to William Packard on 9/16/1990:

"You're right, I got most of the baseball questions, although I detest the game. There are too many long moments of nothingness and I can get that on my own without watching others."

He also mentioned in "Women", p182, that "Baseball bored me.", although that is a novel, so although it may be Bukowski talking as Bukowski, it can also be Bukowski talking as Chinaski. The letters are a far more reliable judge..


So baseball is out. Anyone wanna try football?

Bill
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Buk was an excellent swimmer.

"Come on, shit head! Show some guts! DIVE!"
I took another hit of vodka, then set the bottle down. I didn't dive. I
carefully lowered myself over the edge. Then I dropped in. It was
strange in the dark water. I sank slowly towards the bottom of the pool.
I was 6 feet tall and weighed 225 pounds. I waited to touch bottom and
push off. Where was the bottom? There it was, and I was almost out of
oxygen. I pushed off. I went back up slowly. Finally I broke the surface
of the water.
"Death to all whores who keep their legs closed against me!" I screamed.


"Women", page 179.
 
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in Ham on Rye, when he was at LA City College, he played some football with fellow students. in particular, he didn't like the way some giant meathead was dominating the game, so he joined in just to give him the business...

could he swim? well, he twisted a knee trying to get into his jacuzzi in san pedro...so no.
 
Hilarious! Great responses. This is what I suspected and exactly what I was looking for. Makes me want to read 'Women' again ASAP.
 
Maybe not exactly a biographical account, however I recall a Buk writing long ago (and for the life of me cannot remember where) where he is doing the long jump at school for phys ed.

To sum it up, he was coaxed into trying to long jump by the coach, and blew everyone else's distance out of the water. The coach and students was amazed at his feat of physical achievement. His reply was walking back to the shower house scratching his ass through his gym trunks and muttering something like "Who gives a shit" as hes walking away.
 
"The Reason Behind Reason", one of Bukowski's earliest stories (1946) stars a baseball player named "Chelaski" who has no interest in the game he is playing. He experiences it as an absurd show in which he has somehow become involved and the crowd in the stands as an absurd mob. The game of life is hard enough--I don't think he needed "unreal" games.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
ok, am i the only one annoyed by these posts? because if i am, then i'll shut up about it. again - good content, annoying that the poster seems to be staking out the forum looking for places to drop links.
 

mjp

Founding member
ok, am i the only one annoyed by these posts?
No, and I've suggested as much. But Johnny blogwhore just got testy and bitchy. So what's the solution? I don't know. It's a mystery. But one more might be one too many.
 
Anyone know? Aside from the obvious, (playing the horses) what others did he like? I think he liked or admired boxing, but what else. Did he ever profess an affinity for any of the LA teams? I've heard it said alot of writers enjoy baseball. Surely he had a few hero's of the game in his youth. What was Buk's take on sports? Serious question.
I don't believe Buk gave sports any serious pondering. In his poems, novels, and letters he rarely mentions any sport other than horseracing which I believe he considered more of an opportunity to win extra cash via his handicapping talents.. And even then he didn't follow any particular horse or jockey nor surround himself with like fellow handicappers.. He was just another dreamer betting the horses.
 
in Ham on Rye, when he was at LA City College, he played some football with fellow students.

I think, in his very youth he played touch football with the neighbouring boys -
Buk's father stopped that then by starting the infamous lawn mowing torture drill
 

mjp

Founding member
Honestly george, I thought we were friends? And now you do me like this? I thought my Detroit brotherhood was stronger than that. Maybe the snow is driving you insane. I understand.

Well, I say I understand, but the truth is I am very hurt. All those nights we stayed up late chatting via IM, you opening up to me, me opening up to you - you said we were connected, that we were on the same wavelength! Now what should I believe? You have turned on me like a UAW scab, and I don't know who you are anymore!

Consider this my goodbye, george. Don't IM me, don't call me, don't friend me on facebook. I will put your Christmas presents in the mail, because you are disinvited for the holidays! I can't believe you!
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
I don't believe Buk gave sports any serious pondering. In his poems, novels, and letters he rarely mentions any sport other than horseracing which I believe he considered more of an opportunity to win extra cash via his handicapping talents.. And even then he didn't follow any particular horse or jockey nor surround himself with like fellow handicappers.. He was just another dreamer betting the horses.

i think his love of horse racing was more nuanced than this - as evidenced by the fact that he continued to go to the track very late in his life when he was already financially comfortable. i don't know if it was the sporting aspect of it that he liked as much as the track overall, giving him a sense of escape from reality.

reading his pieces on how to win at horse racing kind of reminds me of the fantasy football magazines that people drown in, memorizing all kinds of sports statistics. it's something to keep your mind occupied when life is shitty, or just boring.
 
originaly posted by jordan


i think his love of horse racing was more nuanced than this - as evidenced by the fact that he continued to go to the track very late in his life when he was already financially comfortable. i don't know if it was the sporting aspect of it that he liked as much as the track overall, giving him a sense of escape from reality.

^
Yeah, I think so. Just like sports do. Sometimes it's healthy to just watch TV all day long.
__________________
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Well, I say I understand, but the truth is I am very hurt. All those nights we stayed up late chatting via IM, you opening up to me, me opening up to you - you said we were connected, that we were on the same wavelength

Hhahahah, I can't count how many girls I've said that to as they walked out the door! HA!
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Fishing? No, no, say it ain't so! My dad loves fishing and my dad and Buk can't possibly like the same thing! Ahhhh.... I will never read Bukowski again! I hereby invite my ex to come back into my home and throw all my Buk books across the living room, as she did this past July, but this time I will not pick them up...and she can also throw that hot cup of coffee at me again, if she wishes, but this time I will help her by covering the Buk books in hot coffee!
 
I think he fancied himself as a duker but somehow I can't see him having been much good at the caper. And interest in other sports....forget it
 
nervas, bill sikes is referring to buk's high school yearbook, where he stated he enjoyed fishing, or something to that effect.

wasn't sure if you caught that or not...
 
Bukowski was a big fan of the L.A. Rams football team. He loved going to boxing matches at the Olympic Auditorium downtown.

In one of his books of letters in the early 1960s there are numerous references to co-workers getting excited about the LA Dodgers (they were good then) and how he hated listening to them talk about it all the time.

There is a poem, title escapes me, where he discusses a baseball batting lineup of writers with him and Hemingway in the order, sports being an accessible language this shouldn't be too shocking.

He hated "artists" a lot more than pro-athletes.
 

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