How to describe Buk? (1 Viewer)

Hi fellow Buk lovers,
I have mentione Bukowski to a few friends and family. Alas, no one has heard of him. I want to give them a accurate soundbite description. Anyone with a way with words care to offer a description of his writing? thanks
How about (as this website says) 'American author'.
Maybe add 'damned good'.
Then let them discover the magic themselves.
This is tough. They will not get it unless they read him and then they will probably not get it anyway. I would say to tell them that he is America's Finest Poet. That will confuse them, and they will stop asking questions. Otherwise, if it comes up in conversation a lot, maybe copy a few of your favorite poems and when they ask you about Bukowski, hand them the poems... Either they will like them or they won't...

You need to hit people hard and fast. Most people will not sit down and read a whole book of poetry that someone hands them, and I'm not sure that Play The Piano Drunk would be the first book to read. If you typed googled and found the poems like "Genius of the Crowd", "Dinosauria, We" and a couple others, and printed them out, thos emay be ones that someone would read and say "wow".

Just don't let them watch Factotum (the movie) first!

If some one had handed me that book before i found his works for my self I would have been for ever grateful. Although the majority of his work is amazing, I think that this little book showcases his best.

Try this: If you are familiar with Hank's life, try describing him as a comparison with someone they know/knew who's life mirrored Buk's. Many of us knew people who lived like he did (sans the writing). Like; Do you remember Uncle Harry,, well, he's like Uncle Harry, except he writes"

This may help...or just add to the confusion
I just say, "Oh, he's probably not your cup of cake!" I use that mismatched idiom because I heard it from a clerk at a store and loved it....he was new to America and giving it his best shot. Anyway, that's what I say when people ask about Bukowski, because, honestly, I find him hard to put into words:)
Like: Do you remember Uncle Harry, well, he's like Uncle Harry, except he writes"
I just say, "Oh, he's probably not your cup of cake!"

Two very valid ideas! Like 'em!

Despite the fact 'bridgie' seems to be gone since her first and only post, I'd add another one for your families+friends (recently used it):
"Imagine Jack Nicholson in the movie 'As good as it gets' - only on skidrow." - yeah, I know, this doesn't fit properly! But it gives newbies a glimpse, doesn't it?
'Lonely Old Courage Teacher' (Ginsberg uses the expression to describe Whitman, and I think he applies equally to Bukowski).

'Brutally honest:warts and all - meat poet.'
Montreal, April 23rd, 2008

Good day Amber,

I quick message to tell you that I find your story (well I only heard the extract you read in Born into this) very touching and that it was a good thing you could share it with people who like Bukowski. I would like to read the entire book!

You must be a very interesting and sensitive woman.

Take care


I know my English is not perfect:)
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Greetings and welcome Bridget.

When I've been asked about Bukowski and what he's like, I always say the following:

"If you like drinking, smoking and screwing, you'll like Bukowski."

Those that don't like that stuff won't bother with him, no loss. Those that do, from what I've seen, always gravitate toward his writing.
Not sure if i do. I have said that to women too.

well, i guess you didn't do.
sorry. maybe i wasn't clear.

what i wanted to say is, reducing Buk to "drinking, smoking and screwing", is like saying: "a sunset is red." - of course it IS. but there's SO MUCH MORE to it!!!
a sunset is not GREAT because it's 'red'! is it? - it's GREAT because of something else, because of the WHOLE thing. because of something we have no words for.
now, take this and you know my feelings about Buk.

and thanks for listening.
Oh, ok Roni, I get what you're saying. And I agree completely. The reason I've used that line was for sheer impact to people who've never even heard his name. Hank's a hard one to describe in less words. It usually got a conversation about him started, if that piqued their interest any. Which is usually did. Then I get into what you're talking about.
Of course that is exactly why he isn't taken seriously as a writer by so many. They reject the myth, so they miss out on the sunset.
I always introduce new people to Buk by saying he's so much more than his image as womanizing drunkard, because the image tends to turn people off. At least in my experience...
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Great poem, Hooch! I'm glad it was a buknet member who won the contest!
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Yes Bukfan is right great poem, and it sounds like a Bukowski poem. That poem describes Charles Bukowski. Thanx
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He Sensationalizes the lives of the down trodden man or woman who enjoy the shit life, the people that quietly begin to love it here or the people that inherently get stuck here... he makes 'em feel a little better about the people that they are, or become... Welcome.

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