Archive for the ‘Bukowski’ Category

Afternoon Viewing: The Charles Bukowski Tapes 5

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Courtesy of YouTube user woodychaos. From the Wikipedia description:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes are an altogether more than four hours long collection of 52 short-interviews with the American cult author Charles Bukowski, sorted by topic and each between one and ten minutes long. Director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly) interviews Bukowski about such themes as alcohol, violence, and women, and Bukowski answers willingly, losing himself in sometimes minute-long monologues. Amongst other things, Bukowski leads the small camera team through his parents’s house and his former neighbourhood, but the largest part of the interviews takes place in Bukowski’s flat or backyard. The documentary includes a scene in which Bukowski reacts violently toward his wife Linda Lee.

Related:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes 1
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 2
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 3
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 4

Afternoon Viewing: The Charles Bukowski Tapes 4

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Courtesy of YouTube user woodychaos. From the Wikipedia description:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes are an altogether more than four hours long collection of 52 short-interviews with the American cult author Charles Bukowski, sorted by topic and each between one and ten minutes long. Director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly) interviews Bukowski about such themes as alcohol, violence, and women, and Bukowski answers willingly, losing himself in sometimes minute-long monologues. Amongst other things, Bukowski leads the small camera team through his parents’s house and his former neighbourhood, but the largest part of the interviews takes place in Bukowski’s flat or backyard. The documentary includes a scene in which Bukowski reacts violently toward his wife Linda Lee.

Related:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes 1
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 2
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 3

Afternoon Viewing: The Charles Bukowski Tapes 3

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Courtesy of YouTube user woodychaos. From the Wikipedia description:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes are an altogether more than four hours long collection of 52 short-interviews with the American cult author Charles Bukowski, sorted by topic and each between one and ten minutes long. Director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly) interviews Bukowski about such themes as alcohol, violence, and women, and Bukowski answers willingly, losing himself in sometimes minute-long monologues. Amongst other things, Bukowski leads the small camera team through his parents’s house and his former neighbourhood, but the largest part of the interviews takes place in Bukowski’s flat or backyard. The documentary includes a scene in which Bukowski reacts violently toward his wife Linda Lee.

Related:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes 1
The Charles Bukowski Tapes 2

The Charles Bukowski Tapes 2

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Courtesy of YouTube user woodychaos. From the Wikipedia description:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes are an altogether more than four hours long collection of 52 short-interviews with the American cult author Charles Bukowski, sorted by topic and each between one and ten minutes long. Director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly) interviews Bukowski about such themes as alcohol, violence, and women, and Bukowski answers willingly, losing himself in sometimes minute-long monologues. Amongst other things, Bukowski leads the small camera team through his parents’s house and his former neighbourhood, but the largest part of the interviews takes place in Bukowski’s flat or backyard. The documentary includes a scene in which Bukowski reacts violently toward his wife Linda Lee.

Related: The Charles Bukowski Tapes 1

Afternoon Viewing: The Charles Bukowski Tapes 1

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Courtesy of YouTube user woodychaos. From the Wikipedia description:

The Charles Bukowski Tapes are an altogether more than four hours long collection of 52 short-interviews with the American cult author Charles Bukowski, sorted by topic and each between one and ten minutes long. Director Barbet Schroeder (Barfly) interviews Bukowski about such themes as alcohol, violence, and women, and Bukowski answers willingly, losing himself in sometimes minute-long monologues. Amongst other things, Bukowski leads the small camera team through his parents’s house and his former neighbourhood, but the largest part of the interviews takes place in Bukowski’s flat or backyard. The documentary includes a scene in which Bukowski reacts violently toward his wife Linda Lee.

Random Cool Things: Bukowski’s First Published Story

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Courtesy of Bukowski.net, Charles Bukowski’s first published short story, “Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip”, from the March-April 1944 issue of “Story”. A taste:

I WALKED AROUND outside and thought about it. It was the longest one I ever got. Usually they only said, “Sorry, this did not quite make the grade” or “Sorry, this didn’t quite work in.” Or more often, the regular printed rejection form.

But this was the longest, the longest ever. It was from my story “My Adventures in Half a Hundred Rooming Houses.” I walked under a lamppost, took the little slip out of my pocket and reread it -

Dear Mr. Bukowski:
Again, this is a conglomeration of extremely good stuff and other stuff so full of idolized prostitutes, morning-after vomiting scenes, misanthropy, praise for suicide etc. that it is not quite for a magazine of any circulation at all. This is, however, pretty much a saga of a certain type of person and in it I think you’ve done an honest job. Possibly we will print you sometime, but I don’t know exactly when. That depends on you.

Sincerely yours,
Whit Burnett

Oh, I knew the signature: the long “h” that twisted into the end of the “W,” and the beginning of the “B” which dropped halfway down the page.

I put the slip back in my pocket and walked on down the street. I felt pretty good.

Here I had only been writing two years. Two short years. It took Hemingway ten years. And Sherwood Anderson, he was forty before he was published.

I guess I would have to give up drinking and women of ill-fame, though. Whiskey was hard to get anyhow and wine was ruining my stomach. Millie though – Millie, that would be harder, much harder.

Read on…

Afternoon Viewing: Penn on Bukowski

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Thanks, Hank

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Fifteen years ago today, Charles Bukowski died. He was old and broken and leukemia ravaged his body, but almost to the end, he wrote—completing the novel Pulp shortly before he died. For a man who had spent so much of his life as a loser, he left behind a striking legacy: six novels, hundreds of short stories and thousands of poems, with 60 books in print at one point or another.

I had just turned 28 at the time, slouching toward the end of probably the most turbulent decade of my life (but, hey, it’s still early…) and I remember regarding his passing with almost casual acceptance. He had been an object of great interest to me in my younger years, not as a hero per se, but as a force, a looming figure who, like Hunter Thompson and William Burroughs, had forever transformed post-World War 2 literature, yet still traced his literary bloodline to past greats.

Even so, his death didn’t affect me at the time on any deep visceral level. He was 73 and had lived a hard life, so it was something of a miracle to me that he had lived as long as he had. For as long as I could remember, he’d been an old man.

But, as I’ve grown older myself—and become hyper-aware of the falling sands in the hour-glass—I’ve gone back and rediscovered a wealth of his work written in the later years of his life. His anger and energy were as vibrant in his 50s and 60s as they ever were in his earlier years. Toward the end of his life, he often reflected on his mortality, but the fight never ebbed:

well, they said it would come to
this: old, talent gone. fumbling for
the word

hearing the dark
footsteps, I turn
look behind me…

not yet, old dog…
soon enough.

now
they sit talking about
me: “yes, it’s happened, he’s
finished… it’s
sad…”

“he never had a great deal, did
he?”

“well, no, but now…”

now
they are celebrating my demise
in taverns I no longer
frequent.

now
I drink alone
at this malfunctioning
machine

as the shadows assume
shapes
I fight the slow
retreat

now
my once-promise
dwindling,
dwindling

now
lighting new cigarettes
pouring more
drinks

it has been a beautiful
fight

still
is.

On March 9, 1994, Bukowski finally lost the fight. For the rest of us, the fight goes on.

It’s not everyone who can draw courage from such a flawed and often repulsive example.

But for me, it helps.

Afternoon Viewing: Waits Reads Bukowski

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Tom Waits reads the Bukowski poem “The Laughing Heart”:

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Midnight Poetry: “So You Want To Be A Writer”

Friday, September 12th, 2008

So You Want To Be A Writer
(Charles Bukowski)

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Born Again

Friday, September 12th, 2008

I just finished the documentary series, BORN INTO THIS, the biography of poet and novelist, Charles Bukowski, that was featured most recently as our Afternoon Viewing selection for the past two weeks.  Life being what it is, it took me far longer to finish it than I would have liked.  It seems lately that the things I want to do are finding themselves further and further back in the queue of what I aim to get done on any given day.  I should probably do something about that, but realizing it is progress at least.

I’m surprised I started the film at all.  I had long ago written off Bukowski as vulgar, obnoxious, and one of the reasons I had decided that poetry wasn’t for me.  Worse than all of it, I had concluded that he was a bare-assed Emperor, making fun of everyone who pretended to be something other than chronically discontent.  But things have changed in my leaping tendencies.  I’m older and more careful of my bones, and am blessedly less spry to conclusions than I used to be; more flexible to reexamine the bricks in my foundation.  I’m so very pleased that I did in this case.

What I learned was: a) that I hadn’t read enough Bukowski to have bolted such a rigid opinion in place and b) that it was a bit arrogant to imagine that everyone affected by his work, and his acquaintance, was delusional.  Learning of his life and times, the work makes sense and I heard more than a few lines that were very beautiful and very real.

I guess the weightiest lesson I gained was that reality, captured in plain words, is valuable.  It doesn’t mean to be (or need to be) the last word or the bottom line, only one way to slow life down and let you keep it a bit longer.  I think that’s what the arts do – stretch and inflate and warp our small experience of something infinite, as a gift to us.  Bird’s eye, mouse’s eye, God’s eye views are all valuable, but so is the bleary, angry, desperate eye of a person who is paying attention.

I still think Bukowski was often vulgar and obnoxious, but am content to know that I am not less because his work doesn’t always speak to me personally.  I’m only less if I cannot imagine that it would ring clear to someone else.

Thank you, William, for finding and posting that.

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ – The Finale

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The twelfth, and final, part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 11

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

The eleventh part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 10

Monday, September 8th, 2008

The tenth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 9

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

The ninth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 8

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

The eighth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 7

Friday, September 5th, 2008

The seventh part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 6

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

The sixth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 5

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

The fifth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Afternoon Viewing: ‘Born into This’ Part 4

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

The fourth part of the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born into This:

Related:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3