What buk piece effects you the most emotionally in a personal way? (1 Viewer)

Maybe it makes you laugh or cry tears, both perhaps. Negative or positive just give a scene and explain how it touched you and in what way.

For me I'd have to say several scenes in Ham on rye.

When Henry walks home with the kid who shares his potato chips with him. It's so hearbreaking reading the details of that kid getting beat by the other boys and then walking into his own house and getting beat by his mother because he refuses to tattle and can't explain his torn up clothes. He endures this everyday. Henry sits outside and listens to him play the violin, he describes it as the most beautiful thing he's ever heard.

The other would be the scene where some boys trap a cat and sic there dog on him. Henry becomes more and more frustrated with the injustice until he's angry at the entire world and realizes that no matter what he does he can't save the cat so he runs and turns away from it.

These two scenes to me explain the hoplessness of humanity in such beautifully frank metaphors. I had a rough childhood like Buk so that book always brings out so many feelings in me, the first time I read it I was 18 and still under the thumb of my family, I didn't know there was any other way to live life other than to subjugate yourself to what others wanted, that there was a way to be free and strong in spirit.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
First off let me welcome you, Cassady.
I remember talking to a friend of
Neal Cassady's once.

"Yeah, Neal could keep 16 conversations going at once," he said.

Speed freaks. Gotta love them.
William S. Burroughs said once that
Neal could communicate silence better than anyone.

Okay.

As to the meaningful passages, funny or otherwise,
I liked the Lila Jane passage from Ham on Rye.
The little girl who shows him her panties.

"I'm Lila Jane," she said.
"I'm Henry."

She kept looking at me and
I sat there on the grass and looked at her. Then
she said, "Do you want to see my panties?"

"Sure," I said.


Bukowski wants to go further, without
knowing what further means, and she says no.

I said, "Let's do it." I wasn't
sure what there was to do but I felt there was more.

"No, I can't," she said.


The passage has such humor, it showed me that
a serious writer could still laugh at life.

That was important to me.
Bukowski said that the reason Hemingway shot
himself was because he lost his sense of humor.
 
Thanks Father Luke I was beginning to think my question was maybe too personal. I love to hear anything about Neal too since there's only so much written out there on him.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
"the recess bells of school" for me...unfortunately, i can relate to the sentiment.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
There are so many, but this come to mind....The poem about the mockingbird taunting the cat and finally the cat walks by with the bird in his mouth with it's wings spread and helpless. You love the bird but at one point you are happy for the cat.
 

1fsh2fsh

I think that I think too much
Founding member
ah yes, "The Mockingbird" may be my favorite poem. has some great lines in it. summer is over.......
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
There's so many to chose from! One would be, The Bluebird. I think we all can relate to keeping a (vulnerable?) part of oneself, to oneself. Perhaps out of fear of getting exploited, or perhaps just wanting to keeping it private...
 
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"a tombstone for the mess
and written on it:
Humanity -
you Never had it
from the beginning!
"

(out of memory, sorry for mistakes.)
 

vodka

Miss Take
there's so many of Bukowski's poems that have really affected me. it would be easy for me to post in this thread several times. i decided to go with this one right now... because i just read it again recently:

once in a while

it is only
once in a while
that you see
someone whose
electricity
and presence
matches yours
at that
moment

and then
usually it's
a stranger.

it was 3 or 4
years ago
I was walking on
Sunset Boulevard
toward Vermont
when
a block away
I noticed a
figure moving
toward me.

there was something
in her carriage
and in her walk
which
attracted
me.

as we came
closer
the intensity
increased.

suddenly
I knew her
entire history:
she had lived
all her life
with men
who had never really
known her.

as she approached
I became almost
dizzy.

I could hear her
footsteps as
she approached.

I looked into
her face.

she was as
beautiful
as I had
imagined she
would be.

as we passed
our eyes fucked
and loved and
sang to each
other

and then
she moved
past me.

I walked on
not looking
back.

then
when I looked
back
she was
gone.

what is one
to do
in a world
where almost everything
worth having
or doing
is
impossible?

I went into
a coffee shop
and decided that
if I ever saw
her again somehow
I'd say,
"listen, please,
I just must
speak to
you..."

I never saw her
again

I never will.

the iron in our
society silences
a man's
heart

and when you
silence a man's
heart
you leave him
finally
with only
a cock.
 
Nice. I've been saving the bulk of that one, Slouching... and The People Look... for a rainy day. I know most folks think that Come On In! is relatively weak, but at least there's some hope based on that poem.
 
The poem Cancer made me cry. That was the first and last time a poem or anything has made me cry.
I lost my brother when we were on bad terms, and that was hard for me because we usually got along well and I would do anything for him. This poem reminded me to let the people I love know I love them. Immediately after reading it I told my mother how much I cared for her, and how much she meant to me.
 
i love The Life of a Bum from SEPTUAGENARIAN STEW. the whole story is great, and gives a great feeling to me. there's a section at the end i love. it reads:

Harry glanced at the drivers of the cars. They seemed unhappy. The world was unhappy. People were in the dark. People were terrified and disappointed. People were caught in traps. People were defensive and frantic. They felt as if their lives were being wasted. And they were right.

I also really love the story The Most Beautiful Woman in Town. its very sad. i think that's some of that Bluebird he talked about, coming out and singing. most people talk about what a drunk he was, or a misogynist. they forget how full of humanity he was.
 
The Genius of the Crowd. . .

--the part that gets me most is
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average
 
When I need help there are two poems that I read.

1.) "The Shit Shits" in particular the lines

"some day I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds and
lions out of berry leaves"


And the one that helps most, when all is fails, is "A Free 25 Page Booklet." In particular

"a friend said
all ya gotta do is go out on the sidewalk
and lay down
somebody will pick you up.
somebody will take care of you."

these two poems send a kind of jolt through me that is not in anything else.
 
Novels

One night I was drunker than usual. I refused to punch in. "This is it," I told them.

The Elf was in trauma. "How will we make it, Chinaski?"

"Ah."

"_Give us one more night!_"

I got his head in the crook of my arm, squeezed; his ears turned pink. "Little bastard," I said. Then I let him go.



And I couldn't get it up.



"WHAT'S WRONG WITH ASSHOLES, BABY? YOU'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE, I'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE! YOU GO TO THE STORE AND BUY A PORTERHOUSE STEAK, THAT HAD AN ASSHOLE! ASSHOLES COVER THE EARTH! IN A WAY TREES HAVE ASSHOLES BUT YOU CAN'T FIND THEM, THEY JUST DROP THEIR LEAVES. YOUR ASSHOLE, MY ASSHOLE, THE WORLD IS FULL OF BILLIONS OF ASSHOLES. THE PRESIDENT HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE CARWASH BOY HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE JUDGE AND THE MURDERER HAVE ASSHOLES . . . EVEN THE PURPLE STICKINPIN HAS AN ASSHOLE!"


I walked out and spoke to the nurse at the desk.
"Listen, why isn't anything being done for that woman in
45-c? Betty Williams."
"We're doing all we can, sir."
"But there's nobody there."
"We make our regular rounds."
"But where are the doctors? I don't see any doctors."
"The doctor has seen her, sir."
"Why do you just let her lay there?"
"We've done all we can, sir."
"SIR! SIR! SIR! FORGET THAT 'SIR' STUFF, WILL YOU?
I'll bet if that were the president or governor or mayor or some
rich son of a bitch, there would be doctors all over that room
doing something! Why do you just let them die? What's the sin in
being poor?"
'I've told you, sir, that we've done ALL we can."
'I'll be back in two hours."
'Are you her husband?"
'I used to be her common-law husband."
'May we have your name and phone number?"
I gave her that, then hurried out.
 

mjp

Founding member
"some day I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds and
lions out of berry leaves"
That must be from Pleasures of the Damned? That stanza originally read like this:

someday I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of blackbirds and
ants out of berry leaves
 
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH ASSHOLES, BABY? YOU'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE, I'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE! YOU GO TO THE STORE AND BUY A PORTERHOUSE STEAK, THAT HAD AN ASSHOLE! ASSHOLES COVER THE EARTH! IN A WAY TREES HAVE ASSHOLES BUT YOU CAN'T FIND THEM, THEY JUST DROP THEIR LEAVES. YOUR ASSHOLE, MY ASSHOLE, THE WORLD IS FULL OF BILLIONS OF ASSHOLES. THE PRESIDENT HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE CARWASH BOY HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE JUDGE AND THE MURDERER HAVE ASSHOLES . . . EVEN THE PURPLE STICKINPIN HAS AN ASSHOLE!"

Hhahahah by far one of my favorite quotes. just makes my laugh, really. no emotional attachment.

One of my favorites would be
I'm just sitting in a room on N. Kingsley Dr., out of the hospital with hemorrhages, and they telling me after nine pints of blood and nine pints of glucose, "one more drink and you're dead." this is no way to talk to a suicide head.

This is from Notes of a Dirty Old Man..



I swear it I'd make love to bukowski if he was still around just becuase of his writing.
 
"Listen. Listen to this. I am five thousand dollars ahead, I am in control of the world, I hold destiny in my hand like a cigarette lighter. I know Everything. I am Everything. There is no stopping me. the continents tremble. Then, Barbet taps me on the shoulder. He says, 'Lets go see Tom Jones.' 'Who is this Tom Jones?' I ask. 'Never mind,' hey says 'let's go see him . . . '"
Steve emptied his wine glass. Barbet refilled it.
"So we go into the other room. Here is this Tom Jones. He sings. His shirt is open and the black hairs on his chest show. The hairs are sweating. He wears a big silver cross in these sweating hairs. His mouth is a horrible hole cut into a pancake. He's got on tight pants and he's wearing a dildo. He grabs his balls and sings about all the good things he can do for women. He really sings badly, I mean he is TERRIBLE. All about what he can do to women, but he's a fake, he really wants to put his tounge up some man's anus. I am to puke, listening to him. And we paid this good money too. And when you pay for a nightmare, you are REALLY a fool. Who is this Tom Jones? They pay this fellow thousands for wearing a dildo and and grabbing his balls and letting the lights shine on the cross. Good men starve in the streets and here is this ID-IOTE . . . being ADORED.! The women are SCREAMING! THEY think he is REAL! This CARDBOARD man who sucks on shit in his dreams. 'Barbet,' I say 'please, let's leave, my mind is sliding away, I am offended and about to get sick in my lap!' 'Wait,' he says, 'maybe he'll get better.' he doesn't get better, he gets worse, he is louder, his shirt is open more, we see his bellybutton. A woman sitting next to me moans and reaches down into her panties. 'Madame,' I ask her, 'did you lose something?' The bellybutton, it's like a dead eye, it's dirty. Even a bird would be offended to leave his droppings there. Then this Tom Jones turns and shows us his behind. I can see behinds anytime, anywhere, and I don't even want to, and here we have to pay MONEY to see this fat, soft, ugly ass! You know, I've had bad times, I've been beaten by the police, for instance, for nothing. Well, almost for nothing. But looking at those dumb buttocks I felt worse than when the police were beating me for nothing. 'Barbet,' I said, 'we must leave or my life is over!'
Barbet smiled, "So we left. I just wanted to see Tom Jones."
Steve was now actually in a fury. Little white flecks were forming at the corners of his mouth. Bits of spittle flew as he spoke, the end of his cigar was soaked darkly.
"Tom Jones! WHO IS THIS TOM JONES! What do I care for Tom Jones? Tom Jones is a fool! I am five thousand ahead and what do we do? We go see Tom Jones! Who is this Tom Jones? I know of no Tom Jones! My brother's name is not Tom Jones!Not even my mother's name! This Tom Jones is a fool!"
"So," said Barbet, "we went back to the wheel."
"Yes," said Steve, "I am five thousand ahead and we have seen the dead dildo sing. My concentration is broken. Who is this Tom Jones? I've seen better men picking up seagull dung! Where am I? The wheel spins and it is a stranger! I am like a baby dumped into a barrel of tarantulas! What are these numbers? What are these colours? The little white ball leaps and buries itself in my heart, eating from the inside out. I have no chance. My concentration is broken. Dildoes parade as the idiots scream for more! I am dizzied. I leap in with a rush of chips. I see my skull already in the stupid casket. Who is this Tom Jones?I lose. I don't know where I am. Once the concentration is broken, once you begin to fall, there is no return. Knowing I had no chance, I played all the chips away. I made all the wrong moves as if an enemy had taken over my body and my mind. I was finished. And why? BECAUSE WE HAD TO GO SEE TOM JONES? I ask you, WHO IS THIS FUCKING TOM JONES?"
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
^So would most of his female fans here. Jump on the boat.

Anyway... there are many, many Buk pieces that touch me emotionally and from humour... but if I'm picking one I'll say The Feign... see, when I was younger I was in a "relationship" with a man twice my age.... I gave him "the Feign" to read, and when he was done, he turns to me and smiles, says, "see, that's what'd happen to me. ;)"
 
I awakened depressed. I looked up at the ceiling, at the cracks in the ceiling. I saw a buffalo running over something. I think it was me. Then I saw a snake with a rabbit in his mouth. The sun came through the rips in the shade and formed a swastika on my belly. My bunghole itched. Were my hemorrhoids coming back? My neck was stiff and my mouth tasted like sour milk.
I got up and walked to the bathroom. I hated to look in that mirror but I did. And I saw depression and defeat. Sagging dark pouches under the eyes. Little cowardly eyes, the eyes of a rodent trapped by the frigging cat. My flesh looked like it wasn't trying. It looked like it hated being part of me. My eyebrows hung down, twisted, they looked las if they were demented, demented eyebrow hairs. Horrible. I looked disgusting. And I wasn't even ready for a bowel movement. I was all plugged up. I walked over to the toilet to piss. I aimed properly but somehow it came out sideways and splashed on the floor. I tried to re-aim and pissed all over the toilet seat which I had forgotten to lift. I ripped off some toilet paper and mopped up. Cleaned the seat. Tossed the paper into the can and flushed. I walked to the window looked out and saw a cat shit on the roof next door. Then I turned back, found my toothbrush, squeezed the tube. Too much came out. It flopped wearily against my brush and fell into the sink. It was green. It was like a green worm. I stuck my finger into it, stuck some of it on the brush and began brushing. Teeth. What god-damned things they were. We had to eat. And eat and eat again. We were all disgusting, doomed to our dirty little tricks. Eating and farting and scratching and smiling and celebrating holidays.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I walked over to the toilet to piss. I aimed properly but somehow it came out sideways and splashed on the floor. I tried to re-aim and pissed all over the toilet seat which I had forgotten to lift. I ripped off some toilet paper and mopped up. Cleaned the seat. Tossed the paper into the can and flushed. I walked to the window looked out and saw a cat shit on the roof next door. Then I turned back, found my toothbrush, squeezed the tube. Too much came out. It flopped wearily against my brush and fell into the sink. It was green. It was like a green worm. I stuck my finger into it, stuck some of it on the brush and began brushing. Teeth. What god-damned things they were. We had to eat. And eat and eat again. We were all disgusting, doomed to our dirty little tricks. Eating and farting and scratching and smiling and celebrating holidays.

The CDC advises you to wash your hands after you touch urine and before you put your fingers in your mouth.
 
Bluebird

Makes me tear up every time I read this poem and especially when I hear Bukowski read it. I've spent alot of my life being a tough hardass, but everyone always says that once you get to know me Im a sensitive guy with alot of romance in my blood. Of course Ill never admit to that bullshit. What the fuck do they know anyways? ...
 
Yep, 'Bluebird'. Maybe you've been introduced to Bukowski by film, novel, or short story but his poems are truly his 'bones.' As old as I am I'm sadly reminded of an on-line read of roll the dice that inspired me to dig deeper into Buk, the writer. Feel like I missed the right connection not having read Buk much earlier in life. The internet is truly a miracle that is easy to take for granted. We use to turn to God for answers, now we turn to google.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
I awakened depressed. I looked up at the ceiling, at the cracks in the
ceiling. I saw a buffalo running over something. I think it was me.
Then I saw a snake with a rabbit in his mouth. The sun came through
the rips in the shade and formed a swastika on my belly. My bunghole
itched. Were my hemorrhoids coming back? My neck was stiff
and my mouth tasted like sour milk.

what story is that from?
The story of his life, I presume.

Pulp.
 

zoom man

Founding member
All of the ones you've all mentioned here move me too.
Flipping through Pleasures of the Damned, looking for the poem about the swan in the park,
floating dead in the pond and it's spring....
I feel like typing it out so of course can't find it
(it's raining outside my window here and it's a beautiful thing),
but seeing all the other titles,
well, I could probably pick a passage from each.
I mean the man can move me with an ode to his goddamned shoelace :o
 
I Was Born to Hustle Roses Down the Avenues of the Dead

While reading through parts of 'Roominghouse Madrigals' today and I came across this one. I'll admit I found it a bit awkward to start, but once it really got going it really stirred me up. (the name alone is a work of poetic genius!)

I Was Born to Hustle Roses Down the Avenues of the Dead

1

rivergut girlriver damn drowned
people going in and out of books and
doors and graves people dressed in pink
getting haircuts and tired and dogs and
Vivaldi

2

you missed a cat argument the grey was
tired mad flipping tail and he monkied
with the black one who didn't want to
be bothered and then the black one
chased the grey one pawed it once the
grey one said yow
ran away stopped scratched its ear
flicked at a straw popped in air and
ran off defeated and planning as a
white one (another one) ran along the
other side of the fence chasing a
grasshopper as somebody shot Mr
Kennedy.

3

the best way to explain about the meaning
of concourse is to forget all about
it or any meaning at all
is
just something that grows or does not
grow lives a while and dies a long time
life is weak, the rope around a man's
neck is stronger than the man because
it does not suffer it does not
listen to Brahms but Brahms can get
to be a bore and even insufferable when
you are locked in a cage with
sticks almost forever.
I remember my old
man raged because I did not sweat
when I mowed his lawn twice over
while the lucky guys played football
or jacked-off in the garage, he threw a
2 by 4 at the back of one of my legs
the left one, I have a bloodvessel that
juts out an inch there now and I
picked up the log and threw it into
his beautiful roses and limped around
and finished the lawn not sweating
and 25 years later I buried him. it
cost me a grand: he was stronger
than I was.

4

I see the river now I see
the river now grassfish
limping through milkblue
she is taking off he stockings
she is beginning to cry.
my car needs 2 new
front tires.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Flipping through Pleasures of the Damned, looking for the poem about the swan in the park,
floating dead in the pond and it's spring....
I feel like typing it out so of course can't find it

spring swan

swans die in the Spring too
and there it floated
dead on a Sunday
sideways
circling in the current
and I walked to the rotunda
and overhead
gods in chariots
dogs, women
circled,
and death
ran down my throat
like a mouse,
and I heard the people coming
with their picnic bags
and laughter,
and I felt guilty
for the swan
as if death
were a thing of shame
and like a fool I
walked away
and left them
my beautiful swan.

© Charles Bukowski
 

zoom man

Founding member
Thanks Ponder, that's certainly the one I meant.
And yes Jimmy Snerp, any of the cat poems,
One for the Old Boy jumps up front for me.
And of course any of the ones about Jane,
and any of the ones about __________
 

nervas

more crickets than friends
Yep, 'Bluebird'.

I always find it interesting when someone says "bluebird." Not that it affected them or anything, but what I mean is this. 99.9% of people I meet, or interact with have never even heard of Bukowski. However, anytime I come across that rare breed that smiles, or joins the conversation when I mention Bukowski always mentions "bluebird." It's almost as if it were one of his top 10 hits. Though, maybe more like a #1 single, because in the 19 years I have been reading Bukowski, the 15-20 people I've randomly met that acknowledge his existence always ask, "oh my god! have you ever read bluebird." I love the poem as well, not my favorite, nor does it affect me more than others, but I just find it interesting that so many people do relate to it in the way they do. Maybe that's a whole nother thread, what was Buk's most famous piece... I'm sure that could prove to be very debatable...
 

chronic

old and in the way
Even though it's probably one of the most popular Bukowski poems, I always felt the The Bluebird seemed a little weak and mediocre... almost cute. Not one of my favorites.

I'll take The Mockingbird over The Bluebird any day.
 

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