C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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The Charles Bukowski Quote

Charles Bukowski

Image via Wikipedia

From the novel, Hollywood:

The screenplay went well. Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me, to save my ass. Basically, that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.

~Charles Bukowski, Hollywood, p. 88, 1989, HarperCollins

He’s an ordinary guy who transcends ordinary. His poetry inspired me to write poems (that he would hate.) His prose reminded me how easy writing should feel, even if I don’t share his ease at the keyboard all the time. He was a bewildered, unapologetic drunk. He didn’t write from his brain or his heart. Bukowski wrote from his balls. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, I recommend it (whether or not you enjoy the image of writing that seems to originate from the genitalia.)

Hollywood takes a delicious stab at Jack Kerouac for whom Bukowski obviously had no respect. It’ a fun read, especially when Norman Mailer shows up in a disguise so thin you can imagine Bukowski giving you a funny little wink.

Bukowski is the uncle you’re supposed to hate, but you can’t bring yourself to think he’s unredeemable. There is an innocence there, like a child unaware of social norms that define good behavior.

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