When did you discover Bukowski? (1 Viewer)

I discovered him online in the late 90's. I can't be sure. Maybe 1998/9. The first poem i READ was on a website called 'Writerswrite.com' and the poem was posted by another writer 'for jane' and it really struck me. Particularly the line:

'I kneel in the nights
before tigers
that will not let me be.'

I knew those tigers too and I understood that line almost on some intuitive visceral sense straight away. And the poem just captured my attention, the simplicity, yet the packed emotion on a simple phrase.

I then went to a book shop in Glasgow and bought my first collection 'What matters most is how well you walk through the fire' closely followed by 'the last night of the earth poems' and on and and on. I now have 14 of his books (novels, poems, short stories, photos...even the Sounes biography and one academic book of literary criticism on him.)

He remains one of the most intense, honest, curmudgeonly writers I ever read. I was obsessed. I still am. Yet, I read him much less these days and I have always been deeply avoidant of venerating him as a deity. I still come back to him again and again. A strange, continually intriguing writer....and of course this website dedicate to him has a place in my heart too.

Hello btw. I haven't been on here in years. :)
Hey Johannes,

Good to hear from you. I am well. I grew up. Just a little bit. Devastating. ;)

I still see a lot of people on here from way back then. Whatever happen to Dam Dusky? Or Dusty?

I have been dipping in and out of Bukowski again after coming back into the sight and being inspired or provoked to read him.

Hope you are well!


randomly in a rolling stone magazine several years ago around 2005 more or less, there was this article about his paris interview...and a cover photo showing this old man sitting taking a shot of whiskey or whatever he was drinking at the time, thought this old man was interesting to read and well, me in my 20s an ocassional alcoholic thought he looked REEEal cool giving this interview giving 0 fucks about it and well, the rest is history
I don't remember, oddly enough, given how much I like him... His work grew on me - it was a slow burn, like charcoal. I started with Burning in Water one summer at Ocean City on vacation... c. 2005. I loved it... but I didn't go out right away and buy more stuff. It took some time... and then before I knew it, I had a shelf load of books, a number of his lines memorized and, well, here I am...
The first collection of poetry I read was The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses that I borrowed from someone and then I started on his books...Ham on Rye was the first and it was so brilliant and heartbreaking. I read that book a lot and Factotum!
...I’m a music nut. Grew up in So Cal and one of my favorite bands, before they started crooning love songs, was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their song “Mellowship Slinky In B Major” has a Bukowski reference. I was already an art and literature buff, loved Zap Comix, Kerouac, Burroughs and the Beats, so I bought a copy of The Roominghouse Madrigals and the rest is history. This was early to mid 90’s.
Last edited:
In high school I found Ham on Rye in my parents' home - don't remember why I picked it up! - and devoured it. Unfortunately, at the time I had a crazy idea about only reading one book by any author... Luckily I changed my mind and read Post Office about a year later. I liked Ham on Rye but Post Office blew me away and (after ending a busy period during my first year at university) sent me on to read Factotum, Tales of Ordinary Madness, and the Most Beautiful Woman in Town. Reading these three in close succession was one of the great reading experiences of my life, and I knew that I would end up reading everything by Bukowski. The end of this story was only one year ago, so luckily I still have quite a lot of Bukowski books to go!

Users who are viewing this thread