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

I agree that it's a bit too cute for my tastes, but I wouldn't use the words weak or mediocre. I do think that it represents something of a cross-over to what many people think poetry ought to be. It's more mainstream than many of his works.

I wouldn't put it in my top 100.

Then again, my favorite works are All the Assholes in the World and Mine, Life and Death in the Charity Ward, Horsemeat and such.
In Bluebird, Bukowski reveals something about himself that is usually well hidden. That is what is touching to me. Although, that does not make it his best poem.
Maybe I should have said "weak for Bukowski." I just think it's one of his more middling poems, but apparently it speaks to a lot of people, so what do I know?
You guys aren't mainstream enough to appreciate a good mainstream poem by a mainstream writer! Jesus.
Thank you Purple Stickpin, The Mockingbird is one of my favorites. Bluebird is like chronic says, "weak for Bukowski".

Oh, and I am mainstream conservative.
One of my favorites is this one.

Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks, And You . . .

we have everything and we have nothing
and some men do it in churches
and some men do it by tearing butterflies
in half
and some men do it in Palm Springs
laying it into butterblondes
with Cadillac souls
Cadillacs and butterflies
nothing and everything,
the face melting down to the last puff
in a cellar in Corpus Christi.
there's something for the touts, the nuns,
the grocery clerks and you . . .
something at 8 a.m., something in the library
something in the river,
everything and nothing.
in the slaughterhouse it comes running along
the ceiling on a hook, and you swing it --

Charles Bukowski
I don't know where I saw this line before:
and some men do it in Palm Springs
laying it into butterblondes
with Cadillac souls
It has caught my attention before but according to the poem database I don't own anything that has that poem. Is that in Pleasures of the Damned ?

I've known some girls that were butter blondes, rich, creamy, and delicious girls. The kind you can easily spread once you soften them up a bit.

After several years as a Cadillac sales manager that line gives a little more definition to what we always called the Cadillac mystique.
Hi Gerard,

I know that the poem is in Burning In Water Drowning in Flames,
page 67.
Also in Pleasure of the Damned, but I do not have that one, yet.
I agree that it's a bit too cute I do think that it represents something of a cross-over to what many people think poetry ought to be.

Yeh, I think you hit it for me Purple... It is somehow like a crossover hit. I think people find it easy to read, easy to digest.
In Bluebird, Bukowski reveals something about himself that is usually well hidden. [...]

I don't find it so "well hidden" in his other writing. I find it pretty obvious, if one only reads with some sensibility. So I'm not particularly fond of the 'Bluebird', but I can see, where people relate to it.

My favs are very often the great dark depressing ones:

Old Man Dead in a Room

The Tragedy of the Leaves


The Rent's high too

and such.
Oh I forgot to mention The Crunch. For me it was one of the first Buk poems I read and the first that totally blew me away. Really fucking good! everytime I read the poem it's like experiencing it for the first time. Sadly I have to fight the voice of Bo-no:cool: in my head everytime I read it - argh.

"...an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock

people so tired
either by love or no love."

Love that part.
Oh yeah, The Crunch!

"People are just not good to each other!"
(There's a version from the 70s somewhere, where Buk reads it.)

And let's not forget The Shoelace!
old grey-haired waitresses
in cafes at night
have given it up,
and as i walk down sidewalks of
light and look into windows
of nursing homes
I can see that it is no longer
with them.
I see people sitting on park benches
and i can see by the way they
sit and look
that it is gone.

I see people driving cars
and I see by the way
they drive their cars
that they neither love nor are
loved -
nor do they consider
sex. it is all forgotten
like an old movie.

I see people in department stores and
walking down aisles
buying things
and i can see by the way their clothing
fits them and by the way they walk
and by their faces and their eyes
that they care for nothing
and that nothing cares
for them.

I see a hundred people a day
who have given up

if I go to the racetrack
or a sporting event
I can see thousands
that feel for nothing or
no one
and get no feeling

everywhere I see those who
crave nothing but
food, shelter, and
clothing; they concentrate
on that,

I do not understand why these people do not
I do not understand why these people do not
why the clouds
do not murder them
or why the dogs
do not murder them
or why the flowers and the children
do not murder them,
I do not understand.

I suppose they are murdered
yet i can't adjust to the
fact of them
because they are so many.

each day,
each night,
there are more of them
in the subways and
in the buildings and
in the parks

they feel no terror
at not loving
or at not
being loved

so many many many
of my fellow

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In Bluebird, Bukowski reveals something about himself that is usually well hidden. That is what is touching to me. Although, that does not make it his best poem.

No one knows what it's like

To be the bad man

To be the sad man

Behind blue eyes

I've battled Pope, Crane, Yeats, Keats, Byron, Richmond, Thomas and such and Bluebird for me hits true. Perhaps not his best poem (won't argue with that) but it cuts through. We may argue the finer points of Buk as myth versus reality but we have to agree this motherfucker tried his best to put it ALL on paper. White boys don't get the blues? please. From a technical standpoint Hollywood is his best written book, but who names that amongst their faves?
I Think my favourite Bukowski piece is the poem Roll The Dice, it's truly inspiring, whenever i feel i shouldn't try anymore, i read that poem again, also can relate to it's main theme, which i'm quite fond, one man against all odds, in few lines, he was able to describe his whole life, there never was any chance for Bukowsky yet he always moved to the next thing, kept going.
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The last part of the poem was also printed inside of Buks funeral announcment. A fine poem.
"I just don't like people...I only like myself. There's something wrong with me. I don't know what it is but I'm not gonna try to cure it."

this was a buk quote in some interview i saw recently. hilarious! also, the whole 'apostrophes' interview. vintage buk
I think I posted in this thread forever ago, but Ham On Rye is still a personal favorite, even after now reading a good bulk of his collective work. Some of the short stories from Ordinary Tales of Madness come kind of close, though. I liked the one about the old man dying.
I forgot where I parked my car and I walked along. I walked along and walked along in the rain. I got to a bar. Went in. For a rainy night, the place was quite crowded. I could only find one seat. There was a young woman sitting there. Nothing special but I thought I'd try it.
"Hey baby, I'm a writer. I'm a great writer!"
She turned her face full towards me. I could see her hatred shaping up beneath her flesh.
"HEY BUDDY!" she screamed so the whole bar could hear: "WILL YOU PLEASE, WILL YOU PULLLEEEEZ STOP BUGGING ME?"
The bartender stood waiting for my order.
"Double scotch with water."
"marina:" from Mockingbird hits me hard everytime I read it.
I think that Bukowski was never more vunerable than when he wrote about his daughter.
Definitely Ham on Rye had to be his most personal (well, they're all personal, but this one is a bit more so). The belting he got by his pop for not doing the lawn right was pretty awful and cruel.
Iv only starting reading alot of his poems,but this one stuck out from love is a dog from hell!

escape from the black widow spider
is a miracle as great as art.
what a web she can weave
slowly drawing you to her
she'll embrace you
then when she's satisfied
she'll kill you
still in her embrace
and suck the blood from you.
I escaped my black widow
because she had too many males
in her web
and while she was embracing one
and then the other and then
I worked free
got out
to where I was before.
she'll miss me
not my love
but the taste of my blood,
but she's good, she'll find other
she's so good that I almost miss my death,
but not quite;
I've escaped. I view the other
webs now.
Tonight, sitting up all night while drinking whisky, rum, beer and multiple screwdrivers, listening to Tom Waits, I finished off Betting On The Muse. And reading the last few poems in it made me so sad, but so happy at the same time. Just reading Hank writing towards the end of his life, knowing he was going to die soon, is so sad and poignant and heartfelt and it just further affirms how powerful his writing was.
I always enjoy 'Like A Dolphin'. Here is part of it:

the old songs still play.
hand to my chin, I dream of
nothing while my lost childhood
leaps like a dolphin
in the frozen sea.

Seems a little sad but straight from the heart.
he walked up and down the aisle. barefooted.
"Mr. Skorski," the stewardess told him, "please stay in your seat."
"Graziano. the Rock. and who the hell stole my shoes and socks? I'll bust 'em in half."
He vomited there in the aisle and an old woman actually hissed at him like a snake.
"Mr Skorski," the stewardess told him, "I insist that you go to your seat!".
Dan grabbed her by the wrist.
"I Like you. I think I'll RAPE you right here in the aisle. think of it! RAPE in the sky! you'll LOVE it! ex-boxer, Rocky Graziano rapes stewardess while passing over Illinois! come 'ere!"
Dan grabbed her about the waist. her face was atrociously blank and stupid; young, egotistical and ugly. she had the IQ of a titmouse and no tits. but she was strong. she broke away and ran to the pilot's compartment.
Dan vomited just a bit, went over and sat down.

The Stupid Christs
recess bells of school

Listened and memorized from the Hostage tape, however read it from the recently published book and it wasn't the same - some words were changed.
The Great Zen Wedding

I got my photos taken all over again. Fingerprinted all over again.
They took me down to the drunk tank, opened that door. After that it was just a matter of looking for floorspace among the 150 men in the room. One shitpot. Vomit and piss everywhere. I found a spot among my fellow men. I was Charles Bukowski, features in the literary archives in the University of California at Santa Barbara. Somebody there thought I was a genius. I stretched out on the Boards. Heard a young voice. A boy's voice.
"Mista, I'll suck your dick for a quarter!"
They were supposed to take all your change, bills, ident, keys, knives, so forth, plus cigarettes, and then you had the property slip. Which you either lost or sold or had stolen from you. But there was always money and cigarettes about.
"Sorry, lad," I told him, "they took my last penny."

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