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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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  14,517 ratings  ·  722 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 Carren
Jun 16, 2008 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
Jun 17, 2014 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
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
You get so alone at times that it just makes sense to walk into a bookstore, flip through this book, take it to your table, buy a vanilla latte, and become immersed in words that seem simple, yet they have so much depth. It just makes sense to buy this collection, read it slowly, and spend a couple of weeks with verse arranged in such a way they pierce the everydayness. It just makes sense to spend some time with a poet like Bukowski, who is not afraid to write about the ordinary, flawed self:
Dave Schaafsma
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, gutter
I have had this book on my bedside table for months, with a few other books, mainly poetry that I try to read poem by poem, not to rush the experience of this tiny crystalized form of literary meditation. But not to lead you astray; Bukowski is not Neruda or Mary Oliver, a poet of great depth. Buk is very often the anti-poet, the poet of the gutter, the nihilist who sometimes reveals he still has a heart. The poet of anti-intellectuals who still likes his Brahms and Mozart, the poet of booze and ...more
Jan 19, 2012 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
Dec 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2018-reads
Imagine an old man (+45) with his four cats, living in a shabby one-room apartment with occasional girlfriends who come and go—that man is Charles Bukowski, otherwise known as the poet of the lowlifes.

Most poems are about drinking, getting wasted, writing, loneliness, failure, street fights, occasional hookups and poor living. Few poems get into the poet's childhood, especially his strained relationship with his father.

The style reflects such motifs. It's conversational and sometimes even vulg
Apr 23, 2011 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
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bukowski is a genious. enough said. *.* ♥
Melody Manful
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Charles Bukowski is crazy, fortunately, I love crazy people.

Hahaha examines Cats. Personally, after reading this book, I find this man to be absolutely nuts. I could picture myself becoming friends with him, easily, because let’s face it, I am as crazy as they come.

Stranger: Can you describe your friend Melody to me?

My Friends: Melody? That biatch is crazy with a capital K.

Me: Yes. Yes I am.

I will now review this piece how Bukowski would:

I wonder
between the two
of us
Bukowski and I
who is the
Sep 01, 2013 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.

Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
“Some people never go crazy
What truly horrible lives they must lead
Boring damned people
All over the earth
propagating more boring damned people
What a horror show
The earth swarmed with them”

“Some lose all mind and become soul, insane.
some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual.
some lose both and become accepted”

I added this book to my reading list because of the Beautiful Creatures "Lena & Ethan reading list".

Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Bukowski, you miserable bastard, I found you on a shelf in a thrift shop. You would have found that appropriate, if it weren't for the fact that you were nestled beside a volume of Hemingway, whom you professed to scorn but I think you really envied his easy success, the profits that eluded you for so many years. Hemingway stayed on the shelf, but you came home with me so I could have a look to see what makes you tick.

At the time you penned most of the poems in this book you were about my age, a
Edward  Goetz
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, poetry
I love the fact that Bukowski, even after winning fame, stayed so true to himself, and remained living where he always did: in the underbelly of society, a place few of us really know. It makes everything he writes so much more real; a perspective so many of us don't ever experience.

But for all that, his poetry still applies to so many of us, no matter where we live, or how much money we make. His wry observations on the modern world always ring true, making sure we always remember we all put ou
Taylor Quinn
Jun 02, 2014 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.”
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: charles-bukowski
there is a place in the heart
that will never be filled
we will wait
in that
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, poetry, fiction
"You get so alone at times that it just makes sense" is another raw collection of poems by Uncle Bukowski. The usual material about prostitutes, booze and fights couldn't miss it, but the writer goes further than that. This book is also a recollection of the past, where he expresses the occasional hookups, poor living, writing and failure in a wry and sincere tone. Loneliness is the bold word in this book title, but ironically, the author is never alone during his life. He has so much to tell, b ...more
Feb 25, 2010 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 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
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I wasn't a fan of everything in this book, poems like "no help for that" and "it's ours" redeem it 100% ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it

”Sometimes when everything seems at its worst, when all conspires and gnaws and the hours, days, weeks, years seems wasted; stretched there upon my bed in the dark looking upward, I get what many will consider an obnoxious thought: it’s still nice to be Bukowski.”

Bukowski wrote this 8 years before his death, where self realization was evident. He molded what he has seen and witnessed for most of his life, from childhood to adulthood, in a way that pleased him the most. So beautiful and so bewitc
May 20, 2014 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,
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
"take a writer away from his typewriter
and all you have left
the sickness
which started him
in the

my "problem" with poem books is, that I nearly never like every poem. Some Bukowski poems were amazing, some were good, some were disgusting, some were bad, some didn't make any sense, some were heartbreaking and some just touched my hearts.

All in all I enjoyed this book and would give it a 3.5
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, bought
I either felt like telling him off or I really liked the poem. He seemed to have a lot of feelings in this collection. The feeling, to me, was that he was just letting everything out. He also seemed to have no problem with people leaving how he thought.
Andy Carrington
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book that redefined poetry for me. Spent many night getting pissed by myself, reading this.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
something so sad
has hold of us
the breath
and we can't even


my death will at most seem


the price of creation
is never
too high.

the price of living
with other people


as long as there are
human beings about
there is never going to be
any peace
for any individual
upon this earth (or
anywhere else
they might escape to).

all you can do
is maybe grab
ten lucky minutes
or maybe an hour

is working toward you
right now, and
I mean you
and nobody but

رؤيا شعبان
Nov 11, 2015 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
May 27, 2016 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
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List of Poems 3 70 Dec 29, 2016 06:23PM  

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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

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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.” 452 likes
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