How homeless was Bukowski, if ever... (1 Viewer)

I'm fairly new here so I ask this question as someone who is obviously not an expert on the minutiae of Bukowski's life (but a lover of minutiae nonetheless).

Do we know the facts on this. Was he ever without four walls? And if so, for how long?
Last edited by a moderator:
There's a story that's circulated on the web about Bukowski exaggerating his life as a wino. and it claims he "borrowed" some of the experiences he wrote about from a real life wino/hobo/homeless guy. I don't have a link, but people here probably know what I'm referring to. I don't know if there's any truth to that claim about borrowed experiences. Even if there is, I say so what -- he was turning life (his, anyone's) into art, great art.
If you have a copy of The Charles Bukowski Tapes, you'll want to watch #38, "Red Strange", where Bukowski explains who Red was, and how he influenced Bukowski. Actually, you can watch this on Google Video:

CB: He was as close as I could find to a guy like me... He'd get little jobs, in rooming houses... I got a lot of short stories out of him.​

Fire Station is dedicated to Allen "Red" Strange.
I agree, it really doesn't make too much of a difference. Suppose that's why I called it minutiae.

For myself, I believe literature at its highest level is something akin to Super-Empathy, and that the best parts of it take place (by either reader or writer because we must believe they meld into one entity at some point) within this mindset of empathy.

So the real question for me isn't whether Buk "stole lives" to make them his own but if he was truly empathetic while doing so.

The proof is in the pudding. It seems Buk succeeded.... And to continue this circular reasoning....succeeded at being homeless too.
Last edited by a moderator:
I'd like to read that story. I can't seem to remember if I have or not. Probably, most likely, I have...but with the overwhelming body of work that Buk has, one can never be too sure.

Users who are viewing this thread