Henry Charles Bukowski

I don’t know if we would have been friends or not, but there’s that undefinable quality I like about Henry Charles Bukowski. I respect the blatant in your face honesty, yet I don’t care much for some of the descriptive phrases and words he uses, even though they were necessary. It was his style, and without it there would be no Bukowski. He was the great author and poet. Who am I to criticize and pass judgement?

He didn’t seem to care about the consequences of his actions nor about those things he said. Of course, this can be good or bad when it comes to making the right or wrong friends, even enemies. But, that didn’t concern Charles. Writing did. And, I am grateful. He wouldn’t be what he was without that inherent quality. It made his work great work. Only great work stands out from all the rest of the mediocre and average. His life was in his writing.

Bukowski apparently was born in Germany. And, if you know anything about Charles, he pretty much said things the way he felt. This is understatement. You knew where you stood. You knew where he stood. You heard what he hated. And, you learned what things he loved.

He was a novelist, American poet and short story writer. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from his work, as well as from Poe and Thoreau. He was what he was, and he acted it out. That’s why Bukowski is Bukowski. I loved his ‘Born into this’.

'If you're losing your soul and you know it, 
then you've still got a soul left to lose' 
~ Bukowski

I can’t tell you enough about him. You must read him. I think he’s one who you either like right away or don’t. There will be no question. I find of course truth in what he says in his writings as would anyone else. I also find twisted humor and see that how one looks at the world molds oneself. It creates the path you walk on to your own destiny.

I think ones parents influence their children’s self image which stays somewhere within them throughout their lives. Bukowski’s father was very abusive toward Charles and his mother, whipping him undeservingly more than a couple times each week.

This would profoundly influence ones growth at such a young age, as later he grew up to become an alcoholic and depressed. Apparently, greatness can come from living a terribly unjust and painful upbringing and life in general. He didn’t see alcoholism as a problem.

I think alcohol must have worked good for him, at least as far as his writing went. I think I would have joined him for a few rounds if an invite was extended to me. I would have even sprung for the liquor for the honor of his presence, even though he would have likely said something to insult me. I know I would have overlooked any remarks and laughed returning a jab at him, overlooking what he said not taking it too serious. I would have known it was simply ‘how he was’.

True greatness doesn’t always come wrapped up pretty. You might be able to identify with him, but mostly, probably not. Yet, to know him, is not necessarily ‘to love this guy’. I don’t really know him. How would I? I guess I sense his spirit. But, I do love his work. And, because of that, I think I have to say I also feel a fondness for the real man I think is revealed still living large within his incredible works. Highly recommended reading (anything he wrote,) along with Poe and Thoreau. Get to know these fellows. They made my mind grow.

*Note- If you are the holder of he copyright of Bukowski’s quote above and you object, email me and I will remove it, asap.

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About Steven Humphreys

I live in sunny California with my beautiful wife, three wonderful cats and very handsome dog! I write a lot these days about different subjects I hope you will find interesting and informative. Thanks for your interest. Read more 'about me' on this site. Thanks for visiting!
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