Bukowski: The Dark Poet

Recently I have heard and read people who say they don’t get the hype surrounding Charles Bukowski. It could be a generational thing. “Buk” as he is known to some fans, traveled the country working mostly as a day laborer and a fixture in the local barroom(s). Reading the accounts of his experiences, you wouldn’t know that WW2 was going on or ending; the emergence of the Beat poets, the Elvis craze or the Beatles, the Cuban Missile Crisis or any other cultural or historical event. That’s because Buk was an outcast by choice. He tolerated other people when necessary, loved booz, women, writing and horseracing. Probably in that order.

Mostly what is unique about Bukowski is his view of humanity and the struggle for survival and meaning during the mid-20th Century. He had that perspective because he was an outsider. So while the rest of humanity was busy with day-to-day endeavors, Bukowski observed, saw the madness and asked why?

TO BUK

Charles Bukowski is

best appreciated

when you view

his life in totality.

Sort of like a painting!

A painting like that,

Speaking abstractly,

Surely will move you.

You might say

It’s Buk’s attitude

That’s profound.

And that attitude

Is distilled

In his quotes

Such as:

“Find what you love and let it kill you”

Buk loved booz

And booz surely did

Kill him.

Although first

It killed millions

Of his brain cells.

Booz was

A double-edged

Sword to Buk.

And he was

A type of painting,

That when viewed by

Other drunks & junkies,

Says to them:

“I get it buddy,

This world is hell!

Let’s get another drink.

Although I do hate people

But I’ll drink with you.

We’re doomed anyway,

So let’s get plastered

Fuck it all!”

Then there comes a moment

Of validation that soothes

The soul.

So you can

Read all his stuff

If you’re inclined

But think of it like

Notes from your friend

Who is crazy as hell

But is dear to you.

Keep it light

Don’t look for depth

Unless you are

A Hollywood Star or

A lover of drama

In which case

It’s all quite romantic

In a tragic sense.

Or is it tragic

In a romantic sense?

Not sure which

But if you really

Want to know

Maybe ask Sean Penn.

Otherwise keep

Your expectations low.

Or better yet,

To save time

Just read this poem

To a tortured soul

That passed thru

This great tavern

But was clearly

Just a visitor.

RIP Buk. Thanks for stopping by!

In acknowledgment of Bukowski’s life and style, there’s a line for each year of the poet’s life.

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I’ve reached a magical place on my Life’s path, finding precious freedom & my soul’s voice in not giving a shit. I look back & around, writing what comes.

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EarthVessel

EarthVessel

I’ve reached a magical place on my Life’s path, finding precious freedom & my soul’s voice in not giving a shit. I look back & around, writing what comes.