I am a lesbian who is all about Charles Bukowski. I am someone who, as an 18 year old stripper, was exposed to the beastliness of masculinity, and never forgot it. I avoid nearly all manifestations of masculinity, yet I am hooked on the words of Charles Bukowski.
I love words. I am always reading passages from books to myself, wishing I had someone to share it with. Typing up great excerpts makes me feel closer to the writer -- to feel their words flowing through my fingers, it feels as if I can create great literature as well. So, here is something from "Notes of a Dirty Old Man," which is so repulsive in places I have to skip ahead a few pages. Yet there are these certain parts that are so raw, you can feel the nerves still twitching beneath the bloody words. Here is one such selection:
"we move in. sit down. there's the bookcase. I lay my eyes across it. there doesn't seem to be a dull book in there. I catch all the books I've admired in there. what the hell? is it a dream? the kid's face is so beautfiul that everytime I look I feel good, like you know, chili and beans, hot, after coming off a bad one, the first food in weeks, well, fuck, I am always on guard.
the Bird. and the ocean down there. and bad battery. a lemon. the cops patrolling their stupid dry streets. what a bad war it is. and what an idiot nightmare, only this momentary cool space between us, we are all going to be smashed, very quickly into broken children's toys, into those highheels that ran so gaily down the stairway to be fucked out of it forever, forever, dunces and fools, dunces and tools, god damn our weak bravery.
we sit down. a quart of scotch appears. I pour a quarter of a pint down without pause. Jack likes me coming on. he's been carrying my soul and he's tired. he grins the grin. he's ok. once in a rare lifetime have you ever been in a roomful of people who only helped you when you looked at them, listened to them. this w as one of those magic times. i knew it. i glowed like a fucking hot tamale. it didn't matter. ok.
I smacked down another quarter pint out of embarassment. I realized taht I was the weaker of 4 people and I did not want to harm, I only wanted to realize their easy holiness.
"baby," they start saying to me, "you are drunk."
and I am. and I am. and I am.
there's nothing now but to be turned inot the heat or sleep.
they make a place for me.
I drink too fast. They talk on. I hear them, gently.
I sleep. I sleep in comradeship. the sea will not drown me and neither will they. they love my sleeping body. I am an asshole, they love my sleeping body. may all God's children come to this.
I began to go crazy. I was sweating, stinking; little circles whirling whirling whirling, light flanks and flashes of light in my dome. I really felt like I was going to go screwy. I walked over and got the suitcase. it was easy to carry. rags. then i took the typewriter, a steel portable. it had a good solid feel: gray, flat, heavy, leery, banal. the eyes whirled to the rear of my head and the chain was off the door, and one hand with suitcase and one hand with stolen typewriter I charged into machinegun fire, the mourning morning sunrise, the end of all.
HEY! WHERE YOU GO?
He raised the hammer, and that's all I needed -- the flash of electric light on hammer -- I had the suitcase in the left hand, the portable steel typer in the right, he was in perfect position, down by my knees and I swung with reat accuracy and some anger, I gave him the flat and heavy and hard side, greatly, along the side of his head, his skull, his temple, his being.
there was almost a shock of light like everywhere was crying, then it was still. I was outside, suddenly, sidewalk, down all those steps without realization, like luck, there was a yellow cab.
I was inside. UNION STATION.
it was good, the quiet sound of tires in the morning air. NO, WAIT, I said. MAKE IT THE BUS DEPOT.
WHATZ MATTA, MAN? the cabby asked.
I JUST KILLED MY FATHER.
YO KILLED YA FATHA?
YOU EVER HEAR OF JESUS CHRIST?
THEN MAKE IT: BUS DEPOT.
never mix pills with whiskey. boy, they weren't kidding.
he could feel his soul foating out from under his body. he could feel it hang upside down there like a cat, its feet gripping the springs.
motherfucker, come back! he said to his soul.
his soul laughed, you've treated me too bad too long, baby. you're getting what you need.
with him it wasn't dying that mattered. with him it was the unsolved loose parts left behind -- parts of him left in empty lots, Catholic Church Communion classes, jail cells, boats; parts of him left in band-aids and dow nsewers; parts of him left in thrown-away alarm clocks, thrown away shoes, thrown away women, thrown away friends.
it was so sad, so very sad. who could blow the blues the way they really were? nobody could. that's it. nobody could or ever did. they could only try and get bluer than blue because there was no way home.
he'd reached the end of cures. and Jesus, he was soft. all the hard poems; he'd played hard-man all his life but he ws soft. everybody was soft, really -- the hard was only there to protect the soft. what a ridiculous asshole trap.
who'd ever invented the game had worked up a neat little masterwork. call him God, He had a shot over the eye coming. but He never showed so you couldn't get Him in the sights. the Age of the Assassins had missed the BIggest One of all. earlier they'd almost got the Son, but He'd slipped on out and we still had to go on staggering over slippery bathroom floors."