Sunday, 15 March 2015

Charles Bukowski

Time Magazine once called Charles Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”, someone able to invite the whole world along on a journey into the dark alleyways of urban America. He certainly is a true cult writer with millions of fans around the world; who’s life has been immortalised in movies and books.
Bukowski was a hard-working writer, publishing a large number of poetry collections, novels, short-stories and screenplays – you can find the whole impressive list on his Wikipedia entry. Yet the machismo display of sex, alcohol abuse and violence which is presented in his work seems to have prevent the scholarly attention which some of his fellow Black Sparrow Press poets have received.
In his introduction to the five poems featured in the anthology Paul Hoover explains that Bukowski somehow occupies a particular position within the poetry scene at the time: “Although his work is reminiscent of Beat poetry in its confessionalism, existential bleakness, and use of American speech, Bukowski implicitly rejects visionary and shamanistic poetics in favour of a gritty roominghouse lyricism.”

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Comparing Notes
(w/ Mr B)

The blood
-shot eyes
and scabbed elbows revealing
soft tissue
heavy breath over
the sudden
broken nails
and the long blonde
curls on the bathroom floor
dirty tiling
three hundred pages
into Simone de

and he still thinks
about his size
in the world
and he still keeps
note of his size
in a world

that no longer exists

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