Category Archives: Bukowski

Here’s the gift

I’m not one these self-centred, genius, driven characters who wake up and… I’m more like a slug, I’m more like a very slow, easy creature. I really don’t want to do anything. I wake up in the morning and just want to lie in bed three or four more hours. There’s nothing I want to do. In fact, even going to the typewriter… as I walk toward it I realize I must be a writer because I made money at it… I don’t even like the look of the typewriter. Sometimes I stay away from it for days because it seems like jobs I used to have. The minute I sit down to the damn thing and have half a bottle of wine, things start coming and the words starts popping up, you know like popcorn kernels, pop pop pop. So for me there’s no egocentric… I’m not doing it, something’s doing it to me. I walk into it and here’s the gift.


I couldn’t stand the ordinariness of life

I couldn’t stand the ordinariness of life. I couldn’t stand family life, I couldn’t stand job life, I couldn’t stand anything I looked at. I just decided I either had to starve, make it, go mad, come through or do something. Even if I hadn’t made it on writing… I could not do the eight-to-five. I would have been a suicide or something. I’m sorry. I could not accept the snail’s pace eight-to-five, Johnny Carson, happy birthday, Christmas… to me this is the sickest of all sick things.


He was an asshole and he was a coward and his blood is in my blood. Sometimes I feel it happening to me, when I’m arguing with a woman or something, I feel kind of shitty, and I’m not quite JUST. That’s my father’s blood in me, that chicken-shit blood I’ve got in me. It’s a bad feeling.


‘Tell you something else occurred to me now, since you guys wanna listen to such shit… I feel like throwing that beer right in your face.’
‘I’ll tell you why. I always thought sometime in my life this time might come, a little bit. Guys marching in on me with cameras and all that shit. Somehow I almost felt it and knew it. I was always gonna crash it down and say “Jam it up your ass” … You know, they got to me too late. I don’t think I can be destroyed, basically, I don’t think they can destroy me. I’m too strong, they came too late with too little. The young blondes with the tight pussies came too late. The cameras came too late… Don’t grin at me like that, it’s true. They came too late, I’m too strong. The gods have really put a good shield over me, man, they really have. I’ve been toughened up at the right time and right place. They’re still good to me.’


I could see the road ahead of me

I could see the road ahead of me. I was poor and I was going to stay poor. But I didn’t particularly want money. I didn’t know what I wanted. Yes, I did. I wanted someplace to hide out, someplace where one didn’t have to do anything. The thought of being something didn’t only appal me, it sickened me. The thought of being a lawyer or a councilman or an engineer, anything like that, seemed impossible to me. To get married, to have children. To get trapped in the family structure. To go someplace to work every day and return. It was impossible. To do things, simple things, to be part of family picnics, Christmas, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Mother’s Day… was a man born just to endure these things and then die? I would rather be a dishwasher, return alone to a tiny room and drink myself to sleep.

— Bukowski

A stricken state

I was sitting in a bar on Western Ave. It was around midnight and I was in my usual confused state. I mean, you know, nothing works right: the women, the jobs, the no-jobs, the weather, the dogs. Finally you just sit in a kind of stricken state and wait like you’re on the bus stop bench waiting for death.

— Bukowski, ‘No Way To Paradise’