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You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
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You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,387 Ratings  ·  345 Reviews
Charles Bukowski examines cats and his childhood in You Get So Alone at Times, a book of poetry that reveals his tender side. He delves into his youth to analyze its repercussions.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 5th 1986 by Black Sparrow Press
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Davy Cee
Dec 03, 2013 Davy Cee is currently reading it
The library is after me again to return this book to them. I just can't seem to let it go. I've taken to not answering my door in fear of an angry librarian come to collect on a raft of overdue fines. I think I might hide it inside my old toaster for a while just in case they break in and try to take it back.

Yes, it's that good.

And I'm a cheap bastard.
Man, I wish you guys could see how banged-up and dog-eared my copy of "You Get So Alone" is. I think that's the only way I can do this collection justice. The poet as an older man lacks the vinegar and vitriol of his younger self, but being eight years from his death certainly infused these poems with the magnetic appeal of a someone who has seen enough to write about it however he damn well pleases. His rage has abated and a brutally subtle wit stepped up to fill its shoes, all to an immensely ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Jareed rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who want to experience a hard emotional punch to the gut in verse
Shelves: poetry
While the Beat Generation was making its headway in literature with the likes of On the Road and Howl, Bukowski was, in most instances, dead drunk. In the post-World War II lit movement where the Beat Generation found its threshold, Bukowski was in engaged in what was to be a ten-year alcohol induced stupor predicated on his failure to initially break in the literary world. He actually wrote in a time after the Beat Generation, and this perhaps have brought contentions of whether he is actually ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Aad rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
--beasts bounding through time--

Van Gogh writing his brother for paints
Hemingway testing his shotgun
Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine
the impossibility of being human
Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief
Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town
the impossibility of being human
Burroughs killing his wife with a gun
Mailer stabbing his
the impossibility of being human
Maupassant going mad in a rowboat
Dostoevsky lined up against a wall to be shot
Crane off the back of a boat into the prope
Jun 10, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I think there is blood on my Bukowski book. Of course, the book is not mine. It is an ILL copy but I'm pretty sure the dried stains on the bottom right corners is blood. I wonder where the book has been. I've tried to not touch the area.

This is another excellent collection. Except for a few poems here and there that I did not react to, every one was memorable and true. I dread the day I run out of new-to-me Bukowski poetry.

Many of the writer's topics were the same, whores and other poets to name
Feb 02, 2009 Natalie rated it liked it
This book makes me wonder if Charles Bukowski was the loneliest man on Earth. (Not as an insult)

I'll further explain my feelings towards this book with the texts exchanged between me and a friend (starting with me):

- "It's funny, the reason I can't just sit through a bukowski book and finish it at once is because he actually kinda starts to annoy me after a while... ha"
- "I can see that. But how so?"
- "It's too hard to explain in a text or even a few sentences, we'll just have to look at the boo
Melody Manful
Feb 19, 2015 Melody Manful rated it it was amazing
I wonder
between the two
of us
Bukowski and I
who is the
him for this book
or me
for calling
it a
Either way
there's something
wrong with us
and so
is this
May 30, 2015 Fenia rated it it was amazing
Bukowski is a genious. enough said. *.* ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Melanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
The question I put to every poem - do I believe your truth, do I enjoy your lies?

If both answers are a 'no' I'll consider them a stone cold sober waste of time.

But let's move on to 'alkies'. I always had a sneaking suspicion that despite the obvious and secret trials and tribulations of being an alcoholic, (high functioning or otherwise) alcoholics are out there having so much more fun than I and additionally gaining great material and inspiration for that book, poem,
song, film project.

Feb 25, 2010 M.L. rated it it was amazing
Lots of people think that Bukowski's later work is less immediate and raw and powerful - after he found some commercial success (mainly in Europe) - than his earlier work. They ask "why don't you keep writing about drinking and fighting in alleys and sleeping with prostitutes?". To them, it felt more "real".

But I like the later stuff. It moves with more confidence and less self-awareness. I always got the sense that too many of his earlier experiences were experienced with exactly the self-satis
Jul 18, 2007 Kerstin rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite collections of poetry. Charles Bukowski led a pretty rough life (he was an unapologetic, womanizing, violent drunk) which is reflected in his work. Some of his pieces are coarse, lewd, and downright graphic. But amongst all of the chaos and drunkeness he will write something beautiful and poignant, which seems even more so in contrast to then violent and lacivious poems around it. And that's kind of what poetry is, isn't it? Finding something beautiful in the everyday. ...more
May 22, 2014 Gorfo rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I would never want Bukowski for a friend.

He's the friend that gets slobbering drunk at the party.
The friend who rails and rails for hours about some nonsense that nobody wants to listen to.
He's the one who ruins the carpet that's been in the family for generations- the one that your great-great grandmother wove with her bare hands-
and he doesn't apologize for it.
He's never the friend you look to for advice,
or the friend that you would ever share a drink with when you were in a happy mood,
Jan 05, 2009 Danielle rated it it was amazing
I loved Bukowski in high school, haven't picked him up since then, but the purposeful coarseness, the rough exterior hiding vulnerable loneliness, the delight in being developing teenage girl should grow up without him. His poetry is so much better than his prose, this collection is my favorite.
Taylor Quinn
Jun 14, 2014 Taylor Quinn rated it it was amazing
“there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
the greatest times

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

we will wait

in that space.”
Roya Shaban
Nov 12, 2015 Roya Shaban rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is absolutely my favorite of all Bukowski's books (so far ) . probable one of best book i read this year .
the thing is i was just in mood , lonely , very lonely , the loneliest girl in the whole city ... then i wanted something to read . .and this is how this book Caught my attention .
" You get so alone at times that it just make sense "
one of my friends told me once that i care too much about authors more than their works , and that's true . the first reason why am reading for Bukowski
Karl Prinz
Feb 26, 2012 Karl Prinz rated it liked it
I'll compare reading an entire collection of Bukowski poems to listening to a whole Sex Pistols album. You love the first song and the second. By the third and fourth, the feeling wanes as thematic and musical monotony sets in, and with each proceeding poem or song, your enthusiasm continues to decrease. You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense stays in Bukowski's wheelhouse of drinking everything in sight, screwing everyone in sight, gambling at the horse track, and realizing, from ti ...more
May 28, 2016 Marianthi rated it it was ok
Bukowski is not my cup of tea. Mostly because I prefer my cup of tea to not be a sexist and vulgar alcoholic. - Whilst reading this book I dogeared the poems I really liked and there are only 7 or 8 in this whole collection, with the majority found towards the very end of the book.

The most profound and beautiful verse that made this whole book worth reading, is the following.

"what matters most is
how well you
walk through the

It's probably the only thing Mr. Bukowski and I would wholeheartedl
Nov 28, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing
I changed the status of this book from currently reading to read when I finally figured out that I will always be currently reading this. It's a constant companion. It's a book that if it were not easily accessible only Kindle now it would be tattered and falling apart at the bindings. It would be That Book. So yes, I've read it and I will a million more times most likely.
If I have to describe how I felt reading this, it'll probably go like this:

I wake up and find myself surprisingly in whirlpool of dark, negative, depressing emotions
and while I am totally terrified that I'm getting sucked into the oblivion of it
I don't exactly struggle trying to get out either.

Fantastic read.
Nov 18, 2013 Jauncheeto rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
"Some men never die and some men never live and we're all alive tonight."

Bukowski reminds me of my first time stepping foot in the Tate Museum of Modern Art (London) and staring at rocks on the floor. They were part of the exhibit. It irked me that someone was getting paid to do that. Anyone could do it. But no one did. This is Bukowski-- hell, he's got some moments where he twists his prose into remarkable, ethereal figurines, but most of the time he spits the words of a layman (drunken at that
Apr 14, 2016 Joana rated it liked it
Parece que estou a criar um padrão ultimamente com os livros que tenho lido. Parece que todos tentam recuperar o passado e, este não é excepção. Aqui temos o velho Bukowski de sempre. O boémio, o bêbedo, o solitário, o fodelhão e o cru. Mas também temos um novo escritor. Um Charles Bukowski mais velho, mais solitário e mais sábio. Um Bukowski que relembra sobretudo o que ficou para trás - do mais banal, ao mais triste até mesmo ao mais feliz. Um Bukowski mais doce, mais reflexivo e sentimental.
Apr 16, 2016 Annabelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled


we will wait and

in that

I think reading this collection further assured me that I am not just cut out for reading poetry.

This is possibly a result from bad experiences back in high school, where we all had to learn for every poem we read just one aspect of it and just stick to it, and from what I've learned now, that definitely isn't the case.

Poetry and how you receive it is definitely a subjective matter, different to each and
Jun 04, 2016 Reid rated it really liked it
My first Bukowski, definitely a keeper. This calls for a drink!
Rebekah Gordon
Dec 20, 2015 Rebekah Gordon rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Some of this was very good (and some excellent, even), but I mostly hated it. Now at least I know to give extreme side-eye to dudes who say Bukowski is their favorite poet/writer.
Apr 06, 2016 Noor rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, adult, 17
I still majorly don't like poetry, but I do admit that some of it are good. However, it's not my thing and I just don't like it because mostly I don't get it and also it seems boring to me.
I actually have mixed feelings on Bukowski but I think the pros outweighs the cons?

I mean, on one hand I can sort of relate to the self-entitled bitterness Bukowski feels towards everything in life, but on the other hand, the guy gets poetic over a girl he dated who got groped by a teacher so. Enter question mark?

I imagine Bukowski to be that guy who hires a prostitute and then tries to get himself off instead and the woman is like, 'You know I can-?' and Bukowski is just like, 'no, no let me w
Feb 05, 2010 Brandon rated it liked it
Shelves: charles-bukowski
In the poem "Murder" he states:

the writing becomes a useless
a jerk-off of a once

Bukowski wasn't speaking of himself when he wrote those lines, but that's pretty much how I feel about this collection. That's not saying it doesn't have its memorable moments. "Helping the Old" could be considered one of Bukowski's finest poems. "Invasion" - my favorite piece in this collection - is strange and beautiful. Another poem that particularly stood out, but not because of its quality, was th
Jan 19, 2010 Matthew rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary
Bukowski reminds me of this character from Naked Lunch who refused to edit anything that he ever wrote because the spontaneity of raw poetry, even--or especially--when it was crap made it the essence of true art. This is an unfair comparison, but it has some merit. The majority of the poems in here should have been left on the cutting room floor. They have an easy, conversational style that creates a sense of intimacy between the author and the reader, but as often as not they're just little non ...more
Taylor Church
Jan 02, 2016 Taylor Church rated it it was amazing
For a while now I've wanted to get my hands on some Bukowski, and I finally did thanks to my sister. This being a collection of poems I didn't get too excited, cause honestly I don't read a lot of poetry. But his was different. It was uniquely pessimistic and real without being macabre and ugly. Part of why some verse doesn't appeal to me is I feel like the writer is trying too hard to be deep or even esoteric. But these poems are like tiny short stories, some with very meaningful motifs and bea ...more
Mohamed Ghazi
Oct 17, 2015 Mohamed Ghazi rated it liked it
I got high hopes on this book and I got disappointed at some parts. Don't get me wrong, some of the poems are breathtaking. I would give them 5/5. Other poems are boring and I found them pointless.
Nevertheless, Bukowski has a way of writing that gives me the inspiration I need to write. I think that's the most important thing

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List of Poems 3 39 Apr 10, 2016 05:46AM  
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Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands ...more
More about Charles Bukowski...

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“Lighting new cigarettes,
pouring more

It has been a beautiful

“Now something so sad has hold of us that the breath leaves and we can't even cry.” 280 likes
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