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Charles Bukowski





evertone
heres about something if you didn't read him.you must read now....there's no more thing to say about him.


Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920. His mother, a native German, met his father, a German American serviceman, during the occupation of Germany at the end of World War I and the family moved to Los Angeles when he was two years old. During Bukowski's childhood his father was often unemployed, and according to Bukowski, verbally and physically abusive. After graduating from Los Angeles High School, Bukowski attended Los Angeles City College for one year, taking courses in art, journalism, and literature.

At 24, Bukowski's short story "Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip" was published in Story Magazine. Two years later, another short story, "20 Tanks From Kasseldown," was published in Portfolio III's broadside collection. Bukowski grew disillusioned with the publication process and quit writing for almost a decade. He spent this period in Los Angeles, and roaming across the United States, working odd jobs and staying in inexpensive rooming houses. In the early 1950s Bukowski took a temporary job as a letter carrier with the United States Postal Service in Los Angeles, but quit after less than two years. In 1955 he was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer that was nearly fatal. When he left the hospital, he began to write poetry. In 1957 he married writer and poet Barbara Frye but they divorced in 1959. Frye insisted that their separation had nothing to do with literature, though she often doubted his skill as a poet. Following the divorce Bukowski resumed drinking and continued to write poetry.

He returned to the post office in Los Angeles, where he worked as a clerk for over a decade. In 1965 a daughter, Marina Louise Bukowski, was born to Bukowski and Frances Smith. Smith and Bukowski lived together but were never married. In 1969 Bukowski quit his job at the post office to make writing his full time career, after being promised a monthly stipend of $100 "for life" from Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin. He was 49 years old. As he explained in a letter at the time, "I have one of two choices--stay in the post office and go crazy...or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve." [1] Less than one month after leaving the postal service he finished his first novel, titled Post Office. In 1976 Bukowski met Linda Lee Beighle, a health food store owner. Two years later the couple moved from the East Hollywood area, where Bukowski lived for most of his life, to the port town of San Pedro, at the Southern tip of Los Angeles. Bukowski and Beighle were married in 1985.

Bukowski died of leukemia on March 9th, 1994 in San Pedro, California at the age of 73, shortly after completing the novel "Pulp", his last. The rites were conducted by Buddhist monks. His gravestone reads, "Don't Try".


and a poem;


"question and answer"
he sat naked and drunk in a room of summer
night, running the blade of the knife
under his fingernails, smiling, thinking
of all the letters he had received
telling him that
the way he lived and wrote about
that--
it had kept them going when
all seemed
truly
hopeless.

putting the blade on the table, he
flicked it with a finger
and it whirled
in a flashing circle
under the light.

who the hell is going to save
me? he
thought.

as the knife stopped spinning
the answer came:
you're going to have to
save yourself.

still smiling,
a: he lit a
cigarette
b: he poured
another
drink
c: gave the blade
another
spin.
hades9366
An interesting bio, most just focus on what a miserable bastard he was. The band Modest Mouse wrote a song about Bukowski, the chorus runs, "god who'd would wanna be such an a@#hole". I love Bukowski. An ex gave me a collection of his short stories; I don't know if she was trying to make a point.
opsdaddy
I remember a few parties in college dedicated to St. Chuck, as my friend Luis affectionately called him. Luis turned me onto him, and I read many of his poems after that. His work is at once dispicable, pitiful, and yet sometimes beautiful and marvelous. It's not for the timid, and sometimes you've got to read a lot before you come across something you like.

I've heard it said that sometimes in life you've got to cross a field of sh** in order to pluck a daisy. Reading his stuff is kind of like that. 'Nuff said...
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