Bukowski discussion

Favorite Bukowski?

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message 1: by Tommy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Tommy All of them...If I had to narrow it down to two: Post Office and Ham on Rye

message 2: by Collin (new)

Collin | 1 comments ME!!!!!!!!

message 3: by Hartooo (new)

Hartooo Awesome | 1 comments I'd also have to go with Ham on Rye.

message 4: by Robb (new)

Robb (robbolson) | 1 comments The trilogy,

Prose? Factotum, Ham on Rye, Post Office. So gooood.

Poetry? Play The Piano..., Love is a Dog From Hell, Burning in Water Drowning if Flame.

message 5: by S (new)

S | 1 comments
This as of five minutes ago:


"Strange eyes in my head
I’m the coward and the fool and the clown
And I listen to a man telling me that I can get a restaurant guide and an expanding cultural events calendar

I’m just not here today
I don’t want restaurants and expanding cultural events
I want an old shack in the hills rent free
With enough to eat and drink until I die

Strange eyes in my head
Strange ways

No chance"

And this as of five minutes hence:


"I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead."

message 6: by Ben (new)

Ben | 1 comments I've read so much of his stuff, but what I really like now is to put his CD of his live recording in Redondo Beach, HOSTAGE. There is something about listening to his voice reading his stuff in front of a live audience. I can listen to it over and over.

message 7: by Josh (new)

Josh Ricker | 1 comments just got the pleasures of the damned, a giant book filled with his poetry and i love it. i've also read ham on rye and i did not care for it that much. the narrator angered me greatly.

message 8: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 1 comments most definitely Run with the Hunted- i enjoyed the blend of prose and poetry. it was just the right combination of each.

message 9: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (kendraakabatass) | 2 comments Love is a Dog from Hell
Post Office

message 10: by daine (new)

daine (dainethemain) | 1 comments WOMEN

message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 4 comments Hi everyone. I just found this group!
Great choice of author.
My first novel experience by Bukowski was Post Office. Since it was the first, It will always be my favorite! He has such a raw and angry soul and it really shows up in his writing!

message 12: by William (new)

William | 3 comments Either Factotum or Ham on Rye.

message 13: by Becky (new)

Becky (spextacular) | 1 comments splash

the illusion is that you are simply
reading this poem.
the reality is that this is
more than a
this is a beggar's knife.
this is a tulip.
this is a soldier marching
through Madrid.
this is you on your
death bed.
this is Li Po laughing
this is not a god-damned
this is a horse asleep.
a butterfly in
your brain.
this is the devil's
you are not reading this
on a page.
the page is reading
feel it?
it's like a cobra. it's a hungry eagle circling the room.

this is not a poem. poems are dull,
they make you sleep.

these words force you
to a new

you have been blessed, you have been pushed into a
blinding area of

the elephant dreams
with you
the curve of space
bends and

you can die now.
you can die now as
people were meant to
hearing the music,
being the music,

message 14: by Claire (new)

Claire | 1 comments Most beautiful woman in Town. Perhaps Women because I hated it so much, but I will never forget it.

message 15: by Dave (new)

Dave | 2 comments "Portions From A Wine-Stained Notebook"

message 16: by Chad Palermo, Son of Skid Row (new)

Chad Palermo (cmichaelpalermo) | 1 comments Mod
I'm partial to Factotum and Ham on Rye.

message 17: by Garrett (new)

Garrett Mortin | 1 comments WOMEN because it was my first experience w/ Bukowski

message 18: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (cisforcharlene) | 4 comments It depends on the day and how I'm feeling.

message 19: by Jkcraven (new)

Jkcraven | 1 comments Has to be 'Women' solely because of what he does to that pair of red shoes towards the end of the book. I pissed myself haha.

message 20: by John (new)

John (Johnnie_B) *Factotum*, follwed by *Post Office* and then *Ham on Rye*. They're all top-notch.

message 21: by Hillary (new)

Hillary (hillaryruth) | 1 comments women

message 22: by Sandrina (new)

Sandrina (anirdnas) | 2 comments Post Office

message 23: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy (chrissyetc) Post Office

message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1 comments Danielle wrote: "most definitely Run with the Hunted- i enjoyed the blend of prose and poetry. it was just the right combination of each."

Yes. I love The Roominghouse Madrigals. As much as I enjoy the style he settled into, I wish he'd kept up the experimentation.

message 25: by S (new)

S I love this so much that I'm getting something to honor it in ink.


there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

message 26: by Hosho (last edited Feb 06, 2012 07:28PM) (new)

Hosho (hmccreesh) | 2 comments Poetry Collection: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
Individual poem: The Crunch [original version!]
Short Story: Less Delicate Than the Locust
Novel: [undecided!]

message 27: by Chris (new)

Chris Volkay | 2 comments I like his poetry. I don't really care for his novels though. He was better in the short form, I think.

message 28: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Perez | 2 comments The first story I ever read by Bukowski was "The Devil Was Hot." My friend showed it to me and I was like "dude who is that?" "What book is that from?" That very night I went to my local Barnes and Noble looking for SOOUTH OF NO NORTH, the book in which that story appeared, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I had to ask for it at the information desk and they found it in his poetry section. Then my older brother came over and said "Oh you like Bukowski? I got some of his poetry books at the house." That night I read through SOUTH OF NO NORTH, and couple of his poems . . . I was hooked. The rest is history.

message 29: by Nick (new)

Nick Gerrard | 4 comments The short stories. The man is a master of the art!

message 30: by Miss (new)

Miss Deed | 1 comments Septugenarian stew. It's got a little bit of everything. Sings lik a night bird too

message 31: by Kari (new)

Kari (kariflickinger) Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion... and Tales of Ordinary Madness...

message 32: by Patlayanseker (new)

Patlayanseker | 1 comments Tales of Ordinary Madness.. It was the first Bukowski book I read. Or It could be The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship. It was one of the letest books of him, and I was impressed in a way that I could not explain.

message 33: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin King (caitlinking) I adore Post Office. My first experience of Bukowski was his poetry, in the form of The Last Night of The Earth. Beautiful.

message 34: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin King (caitlinking) Sierra wrote: "I love this so much that I'm getting something to honor it in ink.


there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to ..."

Sierra - did you end up getting your "Bluebird" tattoo? This is mine: http://my-bluebird.tumblr.com/post/15...

Would love to see a picture of yours if you got it!

message 35: by Mark (new)

Mark (dogbrainz) | 1 comments Definately "Ham on Rye". I think that any first time Bukowski reader should begin with this book, it explains why he is who he is.

message 36: by Ariel (new)

Ariel (arielbnz) | 1 comments Post Office and Ham on Rye.

I didn´t read all his shortstories, because what should i do if i read all of Hank? Re-read it or perhaps re-read John Fante?

I try to read and enjoy every Hank book, take a few month or a year and then read another, because every book is a different experience. (its hard because i want to read all but you value more his legacy)

message 37: by Nima (new)

Nima Bahrami (nimche) | 1 comments Definately Post Office and Factotum...
The language wild and rich wih a well-formed type of story telling that you even cant find it in Ham On Rye...

message 38: by James (new)

James | 2 comments I'd have to go with Ham on Rye, but embarassingly enough I still haven't read Post Office so I might be a bit ignorant.

message 39: by Francisco (new)

Francisco Mosimann (chicomosimann) Factotum, Love is a dog from hell and South of No North

message 40: by David (new)

David (1800dave) | 5 comments Very much depends on my mood. Either Post Office or Factotum, am currently re-reading Factotum so that probably tells you something.

message 41: by Mga (new)

Mga Van der sluis | 2 comments If I have to narrow it down it would be his poem
The genius of the crowd :

The Genius Of The Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

message 42: by Stephane (new)

Stephane | 1 comments Women & Ham on rye

Rewindingsforlosers | 1 comments Post Office

message 44: by Croatoan616 (new)

Croatoan616 (winered200) | 3 comments I've only read two of his novels and from them I'd definitely choose Ham on Rye!

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Post Office :)

message 46: by Meaghan (new)

Meaghan | 1 comments Women. Ham on Rye. South of No North

message 47: by Jonathon (new)

Jonathon | 1 comments Seems I'm the only one who loved Pulp more than any of his other prose. That book is so strange and ridiculous.

As for poetry my favorite is What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire.

message 48: by Andrés (new)

Andrés Cabrera | 1 comments Ham on Rye and Factotum. Both are awesome!

message 49: by Mga (new)

Mga Van der sluis | 2 comments Chris wrote: "I like his poetry. I don't really care for his novels though. He was better in the short form, I think." Yeah same here I do like his novels but his poetry is awesome

message 50: by Hosho (new)

Hosho (hmccreesh) | 2 comments Poetry: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
Short Story: Less Delicate Than the Locust
Novel: (3 way tie!) - Women, Post Office, Factotum

Truly a singular voice in American poetry -- while still being damn fun to read.

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