Henry Charles Bukowski was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s ... more »
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Charles Bukowski Poems
A Smile To Remember
we had goldfish and they circled around and around in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes covering the picture window and my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
Alone With Everybody
the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul,
An Almost Made Up Poem
I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny they are small, and the fountain is in France where you wrote me that last letter and
there's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I'm not going
And The Moon And The Stars And The World
Long walks at night-- that's what good for the soul: peeking into windows watching tired housewives
we are always asked to understand the other person's viewpoint no matter how
Are You Drinking?
washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook out again I write from the bed as I did last
Cause And Effect
the best often die by their own hand just to get away, and those left behind can never quite understand
A Radio With Guts
it was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street I used to get drunk and throw the radio through the window while it was playing, and, of course,
A Challenge To The Dark
shot in the eye shot in the brain shot in the **** shot like a flower in the dance
As The Sparrow
To give life you must take life, and as our grief falls flat and hollow upon the billion-blooded sea I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
back to the machine gun
I awaken about noon and go out to get the mail in my old torn bathrobe. I'm hung over hair down in my eyes
As The Poems Go
having the low down blues and going into a restraunt to eat. you sit at a table. the waitress smiles at you.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.''Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), U.S. author, poet. Notes From a Dirty Old Man (1969).
''The pest, in a sense, is a very superior being to us: he knows where to find us and howusually in the bath or in sexual intercourse or asleep.''Charles Bukowski (b. 1920), U.S. author, poet. "Notes on the Pest," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
''You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.''Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), U.S. author, poet. "Too Sensitive," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
''Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.''Charles Bukowski (b. 1920), U.S. author, poet. "Too Sensitive," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
A Smile To Remember
we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!'
and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
understand what was attacking him from within.
my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, ...