Notes of a Dirty Old Man – Charles Bukowski

To Funky Bukowski

I call you funky Bukowski, because

I think you’re nasty

Don’t get mad, cause, I like your

Nasty – it makes me hot to read

About; you looking up ladies dresses

Or jacking-off in elevators or sniffing drawers – to get

High;

Now I know you’re wondering who

This is writing you. Well I’ll tell

You who I am, nice and clear

 So there’ll be no mistake

In pointing me out. I’m the clean

Smooth cunt you think about

When you fuck those discharging wrinkled

Pussies, I’m the lady who sits

Down the row from you in the all night

Movies, and watches you cum and cum

In your jacket pocket, and I slowly hike

My skirt up, hoping you’ll look at my thighs

As you – get up to go wipe your hands, I call

It long dis-stance sex. But I love it

I love the feel of your heavy breathing on the

Back of my neck as you try poke your

Fingers in my asshole through the crack

In the seat; now you’re thinking, (it sounds

Nice, but I don’t remember you.) but from

Now on you will/think of me/and after all –

That’s what I wanted any way. My nasty

Man –

Unsigned

This poem, a column from Notes of a Dirty Old Man, is Bukowski through and through. Bold, beautiful and downright crude. The book is a collection of his columns from an underground LA newspaper and along with this short extract, they epitomise his gritty style that his fans adore him for. No one can write direct prose quite like Bukowski, his novels are for me near perfect, about nothing and everything; the tale of an alcoholic bum’s life. These stories are no different, although in much shorter form and with no continuing narrative due to it just being a collection, they are still written as himself or his alter-ego, Henry Chinaski. The tales are familiar; stories of fighting, women, booze and general low life behaviour. But the charm which Bukowski somehow manages to convey even when describing in graphic and disturbing detail and language is ever present. No matter how much he may disgust you at times you can never root against him in his battle against normal life and its inhabitants. His chilling realism is refreshing to read when sided alongside other fictional writers trying to present an alternate realityto the one we really live in. Bukowski makes no excuses, he hides nothing.

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It is plastered all over most of his books, Time magazine describing him as ‘a laureate of American low life.’ Others have said ‘A professional disturber of the peace.’ It couldn’t be truer and it drives me mad that the average reader will not have heard of Bukowski. Whether it’s poetry, short stories or novels you’re interested in, Bukowski wrote and excelled in them all. As big of a call as it may be, he is my favourite writer, and everyone should be reading him.

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