Lori's Book Nook

Buk’s Birthday

Posted on: August 16, 2006

Can’t let this one go by…Charles Bukowski was born this day in 1920. (Was reminded of this by my man, Metro, who I didn’t think was much of a Buk fan…but he got it off Writer’s Almanac)

Okay, in honour of Buk, I’m pulling out something from my own archives…you are all witness to my first public poem (and how much more public can one get, than publishing something on the Internet). Oh, I’ve given people poems…one to my now-hubby about our first meeting, and one to my friends Lydia & Gord [Yes, I know I have to call you guys!] after we stayed on their fabulous out-of-the-way property a couple of summers ago….but here is something I wrote after a couple of beer with a couple of friends (the title is a line from Buk’s movie Barfly)…So, for Art & Bruce, on May 24, 2001, challenged as I was by my buddy Art & it being Poetry Month, I wrote:

“To all my friends!”

“Just one
I’ve got
school tonight.”

Crisp ale
talk-dry throats.
Harsh rays pierce
clouds of smoke,
after-work hum,
and the dark-wood

“Okay, but
just this last one.”

Bags of jalepeno
and barbecue chips
on the sodden
Tales of
I would kill
my tongue!


“I think
it’s my

Apologies. Gads, it’s not great, is it?

Here’s one of my favourite Bukowski poems, to cleanse your palate:

to the whore who took my poems

some say we should keep personal remorse from the
stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,
but jezus;
twelve poems gone and I don’t keep carbons and you have
paintings too, my best ones; it’s stifling:
are you trying to crush me out like the rest of them?
why didn’t you take my money? they usually do
from the sleeping drunken pants sick in the corner.
next time take my left arm or a fifty
but not my poems;
I’m not Shakespeare
but sometime simply
there won’t be any more, abstract or otherwise;
there’ll always be money and whores and drunkards
down to the last bomb,
but as God said,
crossing his legs,
I see where I have made plenty of poets
but not so very much

And here are some Buk appreciation sites:


The Beat Page

Charles Bukowski 1920-1944

Charles Bukowski: These Words I write Keep Me from Total Madness

Charles Bukowski Web Page

The Written Word by Buk


2 Responses to "Buk’s Birthday"

It’s one of my favs also. Do you think he would have ever become published with your attitude? So no apologies; no depricating comments! I particularly like “talk-dry throats”.

and what better to lubricate than another beer?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Book Discussion Pages

Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!
%d bloggers like this: