Ten (1 Viewer)

Many of you have been reading Bukowski for years or even decades. I'm curious to know which poems you would select if you could choose only ten of them.

Writing down such a list I realized that it's not easy at all. I mean it's not difficult to find some poems you really like, but it's difficult to limit the list to a sad number of just 10 pieces. I did it anyway:

- These Mad Windows That Taste Life And Cut Me If I Go Through Them
- The Crunch
- The Singular Self
- Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks And You
- Poem For Personnel Managers
- The Bluebird
- One For The Shoeshine Man
- The World's Greatest Loser
- On The Train To Del Mar
- The Last Days Of The Suicide Kid

What are your (ten) favorite poems?

The Genius of the Crowd
Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks And You
The Tragedy of the Leaves
The Bluebird
Consummation of Grief
An Empire of Coins
Those Sons of Bitches
For Jane
Old Man, Dead in a Room
Love And Fame And Death
Thanks for mentioning Old Man, Dead In A Room, Stickpin and Johannes. When I first read it I didn't get it entirely - lack of understanding, late at night etc. I have no idea if I get it now, but I know that I like it.
Haven't read Consummation of Grief and Those Sons of Bitches yet. I'll do that as soon as possible!
conversation on a telephone
something for the touts...
the night i killed tommy
recess bells of school
old man, dead in a room
tragedy of the leaves
for jane
dinosauria, we
dust suds dust diseratjacjbkII? disertation
Ok, I don't want to start a whole thread on this... And you can call me an asshole for asking... But is Bluebird over rated compared to the entire body of work? It seems like one of the few times Buk makes himself vulnerable and every halfass actor or musician seems to quote it every other week. The truth probably is that it's a damn good poem that is a little mainstream but opens the door for folks to discover Buk... and there ain't anything wrong with that...
Really difficult question, the first three would never change, but the rest, they could change, on a given day.

for Jane: with all the love I had, which was not enough:-
For Jane
Crucifix in a death handaa
The sound of human lives
Poem for the death of an American serviceman in Vietnam
the workers
the cat
for marilyn m.
God's man.
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Inspiring list d gray, thanks.

And you can call me an asshole for asking...
Of course you're an asshole, Pogue, I mean who isn't?
The Bluebird always reminds me of Born Into This and the way Harry Dean Stanton recites this poem at the end of the doc. So you might be right, if that would have been the very first thing I ever heard from Bukowski I'd start reading his books for sure.
the first three would never change, but the rest, they could change, on a given day.
Same with me, Sky. The list would probably look quite different in a few weeks, except for 3 or 4 poems that are kind of carved into my mind.
The Sound of Human Lives and Crucifix in a Deathhand, yes, that are very good ones.
I have at least thirty that I couldn't live without. Probably closer to sixty if I really thought about it. No way to make it down to ten. One thing I'd leave behind is Blue Bird. Love it, of course, but it's on everyone's top ten rotation, so I figure I can just borrow it from one if you.
Off the top of my head:
The Pelicans
What do you write
Rags Bottles Sacks
Dinosauria We
Old man Dead in a room
Tragedy of the leaves
Night of Mozart
Shot of Red Eye
22,000 dollars in two months

Plus about fifty more that I can't recall the title.

I must add: I would have never read many if these if not for Buk.net here. Many of my all-time favorites exist in no other place except this sites ms section.

Thank you MJP and everyone who has scanned and posted.
It's likely too early to draw solid conclusions, but after 6 votes, some clear leaders are emerging (please excuse my alphabetization scheme; I used Excel to sort and count):

For Jane - 4 votes
Old Man, Dead in a Room - 4 votes
The Tragedy of the Leaves - 4 votes
Dinosauria, We - 3 votes
Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks And You - 3 votes
The Bluebird - 3 votes (Note: One vote was for "Bluebird," which is a different poem (regarding suitcases of dresses for Elizabeth Taylor and space on an airplane) than "The Bluebird." It is assumed that the latter was meant.)

The following have received 1 vote:

22,000 dollars in two months
(Information Upon) An Empire of Coins
Cleansing the Ranks
Consummation of Grief
Conversation on a telephone
Crucifix in a death hand
Dust suds dust diseratjacjbkII? dissertation
For Jane: with all the love I had, which was not enough
For marilyn m
God's man
Love and Fame and Death
Night of Mozart
On The Train To Del Mar
One For The Shoeshine Man
Poem For Personnel Managers
Poem for the death of an American serviceman in Vietnam
Rags Bottles Sacks
Recess bells of school
Shot of Red Eye
The cat
The Crunch
The Genius of the Crowd
The Last Days of The Suicide Kid
The night I killed tommy
The Pelicans
The Singular Self
The sound of human lives
The workers
The World's Greatest Loser
These Mad Windows That Taste Life And Cut Me If I Go Through Them
They, all of them, know
Those Sons of Bitches
What do you write
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A few notables:

Venice Calif.
Poem for an errand boy in the year 1941
Big night on the town (?)
The Angel and the Asshole
Hello Willie Shoemaker

There really are too many to list. And most of the titles are unimportant to me. It's the content of the poem, so I often forget the titles of my favorites.

I don't know about the rest of you, but all my old Buk books that sit in my shelves, they are all mercilessly dog-eared. And every one of them has at least fifty dog-ears. And I only dog ear the ones I really love.
Well, this is interesting. Forgot "Dinosauria, We", how could I. Might trade it in, if that's allowed as an afterplay. But can't, because I can kick nothing out of my list! Oh drama, oh misery!!

"Love And Fame And Death" and "Those Sons of Bitches" might not be all-time-greats in the universal sense, but hold special emotions for me because those two were among, if not the, first Bukowski poems I ever read. I remember looking up from "Those Sons of Bitches", goosebumps running up and down my body and thinking something like "Jesus fucking Christ and all the burning shit in hell, what.the.fuck is THIS?"

Then I went out to get everything from Bukowski which was possible.
Tricky question but I'll throw a few of my faves out there:

dinosaura, we
for jane
carson mccullers (manuscript version)
roll the dice
the laughing heart
200 years
for marilyn m.
love and fame and death
the crunch

The list changes as mood changes but i find these to be really great ones.
Hi PhillyDave, if I recall correctly your favorite book of poetry is The Last Night of the Earth Poems and his later works in general. Your list reflects that.
Thanks for giving me some poems I haven't read yet!
Sorry Purple to omit "The" - could have been worse and wrote Bluebeard - maybe?
Also, the poems chosen are your all time favourites (at this moment!) because they affect you in some way, make you laugh or squeeze your heart to death, or make you think, they may or may jot make the " best" poems list - who cares. :-)

But Crucifix in a deathhand would be in both - just sayin'.
Thank heavens we are all different, otherwise we would be bored to death with life.
The same taste in whatever, the same stupid faces, the same top ten poems...
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the tragedy of the leaves.JPG


tired in the afterdusk.jpg


fear and madness

barricaded here on the 2nd floor
chair against the door
butcher knife on table
I type my first poem here
switchblade in pocket
I type this
for my tax accountant
for the girls in Omaha
for my tax accountant
for the girls in Ohio
for my tax accountant
I am broke again
I own ¼ of this house
I have a pear tree
I have a lemon tree
I have a fig tree
everybody is worried about my soul now
I am worried about my soul now
there is a balcony outside of this room
I can step out on that balcony and see the harbor
I will get drunk tonight and step out there
maybe I can fall off that balcony
and I can write about that
if I don't break my fingers and arms.

this is good no matter what they say
I have written east Hollywood to death
now I am going to write about San Pedro
I have fallen into a new arena.

"tell Chinaski welcome to suburbia,"
some body told my girlfriend
and I said, "my suburbia tells her suburbia to
go to hell."

San Pedro I will wring you out like a wet rag
San Pedro I will break you like a wild stallion
I will write about your bridge and your ships
I will skin your people down to the bone
I will make my stand here as I have made my stand elsewhere.
I will learn these walls
I will attempt to pay the mortgage
I will feed my cat
I will love my woman
I will listen to Elgar, Stravinsky and Mozart.
I will think of Henry Miller using mouth wash.
I will use all 3 bathrooms
both bedrooms
and the electric oven.

I can fail in many more ways now
I was always good at that.

the plumbing is of copper
and the typer is of me
and there's enough ground out front to live off of,
that is, if I can get my ass out of this chair.

barricaded here on the 2nd floor
I am in a small room again.


to jane cooney_baker.jpg


love poem for marina.jpg


old man dead in a room.JPG





my cats.jpg


my first fax poem.jpg
Right. There's always more. The list is indeed endless. I'm just saying I love what you have done with this Ten list thing. ;)
The empties original
as if the very searchlights of
hell were upon me​

The empties raped version
as if the very searchlight of
God was focused on me​

The very searchlights of hell
are certainly on one of them.
Here's 10 I've got dog-eared in a few books...hardly an exhaustive top 10.

my father
i met a genius
the way
the fisherman
i can't stay in the same/room with that woman for five minutes
the crunch
my old man
downtown L.A.
about the PEN conference
how's your heart
the shower
the genius of the crowd
old man, dead in a room
yes, yes
to the whore who took my poems
for jane
the bluebird
no help for that

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