100 Thought-Provoking Charles Bukowski Quotes
Heinrich Karl Bukowski, better known as Henry Charles Bukowski, was a German-born American novelist, short story writer and poet, who is included among the influential poets to have enriched American literature during their lifetime. Bukowski’s works were primarily focused on the social and economic situation in Los Angeles, the city in which he lived. Bukowski’s poems, short stories and novels dealt with the lives of downtrodden and poorer sections of the American population, which made TIME magazine describe him as the ‘laureate of American lowlife’. He produced a staggering amount of work throughout his career with the number of poems running into thousands. In addition to that he wrote six novels as well as plenty of short stories. Some of his well-known poetry collections include ‘The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills’, ‘Scarlet’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ among others. On the other hand, ‘Post Office’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Ham on Rye’ are some of his well known novels. Bukowski also wrote for an underground publication named Open City. He was a highly intelligent man, who had a unique take on the world. We bring to you some of the best known quotes from Charles Bukowski’s life, times and work. Some of these quotes are excerpted from Charles Bukowski's poems, novels and short stories.
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. Do you hate people?”
“I don't hate them...I just feel better when they're not around. Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way. What matters most is how well you walk through the fire We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. My ambition is handicapped by laziness You have to die a few times before you can really
live. I wanted the whole world or nothing. The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence. An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. There are worse things
than being alone
but it often takes
decades to realize this
and most often when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
than too late If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose Find what you love and let it kill you. Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone. Some lose all mind and become soul,insane.
some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual.
some lose both and become accepted I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of. Being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right. Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them. The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them. Those who escape hell
never talk about
and nothing much
that. A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover. 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 you. Poetry is what happens when nothing else can. Of course it's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well. I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love. Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love. Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink. I stopped looking for a Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasn't a nightmare. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock Baby," I said, "I'm a genius but nobody knows it but me. You boys can keep your virgins
give me hot old women in high heels
with asses that forgot to get old. There is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable. Life's as kind as you let it be. My beerdrunk soul is sadder than all the dead christmas trees of the world. We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics. What a weary time those years were -- to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability. I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again. She was consumed by 3 simple things:
drink, despair, loneliness; and 2 more:
youth and beauty I often carry things to read
so that I will not have to look at
the people. Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are. Without literature, life is hell. ...in that drunken place
like to hand your heart to her
give it back. Lighting new cigarettes,
It has been a beautiful
is. We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain. Great art is horseshit, buy tacos. Dogs and angels are not
very far apart She was desperate and she was choosey
at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn't have quite enough going for her to become what
she imagined herself to be. There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you. It wasn’t my day. My week. My month. My year. My life. God damn it. The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting I never met another man I'd rather be. And even if that's a delusion, it's a lucky one. I drive around the streets
an inch away from weeping,
ashamed of my sentimentality and
possible love. Some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth
about. And yet women-good women--frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep. I carry death in my left pocket. Sometimes I take it out and talk to it: "Hello, baby, how you doing? When you coming for me? I'll be ready. I'm going, she said. I love you but you're
crazy, you're doomed. I want so much that is not here and do not know
where to go. Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It's like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss. You son of a bitch, she said, I am
trying to build a meaningful
you can't build it with a hammer,
he said. Too often the people complain that they have done nothing with their
lives and then they wait for somebody to tell them that this isn't so. Anything is a waste of time unless you are fucking well or creating well or getting well or looming toward a kind of phantom-love-happiness. It was like the beginning of life and laughter. It was the real meaning of the sun Each man's hell is in a different place:
mine is just up and behind
my ruined face. She is no longer
the beautiful woman
she was. she sends
photos of herself
sitting upon a rock
by the ocean
alone and damned.
I could have had
her once. I wonder
if she thinks I
saved her? The trouble with a mask is it never changes In the morning it was morning and I was still alive. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. If you get married they think you're
and if you are without a woman they think you're
incomplete. The fuckers. There, I feel better. God-damned human race. There, I feel better. I wish to weep
but sorrow is
I wish to believe
but belief is a
graveyard. The tigers have found me
and I do not care. "she’ mad but she’
magic. there’ no lie in her fire. I said goodbye again
sucking up all that was left of her into the
little that was left of
me. I said, 'don't look for me again. fuck it.
we are all lost. goodbye, goodbye. So it's always a process of letting go, one way or another Nothing can save
it keeps the walls
failing. People run from rain but
in bathtubs full of
water. In this land some of us fuck more than
we die but most of us die
better than we fuck Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers. Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else. Any asshole can chase a skirt, art takes discipline. I wasn't a misanthrope and I wasn't a misogynist but I liked being alone. It felt good to sit alone in a small space and smoke and drink. I had always been good company for myself. He asked, "What makes a man a writer?" "Well," I said, "it's simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge. Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. it’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it. Whiskey makes the heart beat faster
but it sure doesn't help the
mind and isn't it funny how you can ache just
from the deadly drone of
existence? One can never be sure whether it's good poetry or bad acid To fight for each minute is to
fight for what is possible within
so that your life and your death
will not be like
theirs. People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice. And then there are some who
believe that old
relationships can be
revived and made new
if you feel that way
don't arrive I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely. Nothing is worse than to finish a good shit, then reach over and find the toilet paper container empty. Even the most horrible human being on earth deserves to wipe his ass.
In my next life I want to be a cat. To sleep 20 hours a day and wait to be fed. To sit around licking my ass.
It was better for me when I could imagine greatness in others, even if it wasn't always there.
It's better to do a dull thing with style than a dangerous thing without it.
I didn't have any friends at school, didn't want any. I felt better being alone. I sat on a bench and watched the others play and they looked foolish to me.
The more crap you believe, the better off you are.
The best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
would ever want to
them It was a joy! Words weren't dull, words were things that could make your mind hum. If you read them and let yourself feel the magic, you could live without pain, with hope, no matter what happened to you.