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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Charles Bukowski – Dinosauria, We

I’m not cheating I’m just posting a poem by one of, if not the best, writers of the 2oth Century….

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Born like this
Into this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Born into this
Walking and living through this
Dying because of this
Muted because of this
Castrated
Debauched
Disinherited
Because of this
Fooled by this
Used by this
Pissed on by this
Made crazy and sick by this
Made violent
Made inhuman
By this
The heart is blackened
The fingers reach for the throat
The gun
The knife
The bomb
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
The fingers reach for the bottle
The pill
The powder
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness
We are born into a government 60 years in debt
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
And the banks will burn
Money will be useless
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
It will be guns and roving mobs
Land will be useless
Food will become a diminishing return
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many
Explosions will continually shake the earth
Radiated robot men will stalk each other
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night
Trees will die
All vegetation will die
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
The sea will be poisoned
The lakes and rivers will vanish
Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter.

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