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Best Famous Charles Bukowski Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Charles Bukowski poems. This is a select list of the best famous Charles Bukowski poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Charles Bukowski poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Charles Bukowski poems.

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Written by Charles Bukowski |

16-bit Intel 8088 chip

 with an Apple Macintosh
you can't run Radio Shack programs
in its disc drive.
nor can a Commodore 64 drive read a file you have created on an IBM Personal Computer.
both Kaypro and Osborne computers use the CP/M operating system but can't read each other's handwriting for they format (write on) discs in different ways.
the Tandy 2000 runs MS-DOS but can't use most programs produced for the IBM Personal Computer unless certain bits and bytes are altered but the wind still blows over Savannah and in the Spring the turkey buzzard struts and flounces before his hens.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

The Icecream People

 the lady has me temporarily off the bottle
and now the pecker stands up
however, things change overnight-- instead of listening to Shostakovich and Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke the nights change, new complexities: we drive to Baskin-Robbins, 31 flavors: Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint.
we park outside and look at icecream people a very healthy and satisfied people, nary a potential suicide in sight (they probably even vote) and I tell her "what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they find out I'm going in for a walnut peach sundae?" "come on, chicken," she laughs and we go in and stand with the icecream people.
none of them are cursing or threatening the clerks.
there seem to be no hangovers or grievances.
I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave that flows about.
I feel like a leper in a beauty contest.
we finally get our sundaes and sit in the car and eat them.
I must admit they are quite good.
a curious new world.
(all my friends tell me I am looking better.
"you're looking good, man, we thought you were going to die there for a while.
") --those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the hospitals.
and later that night there is use for the pecker, use for love, and it is glorious, long and true, and afterwards we speak of easy things; our heads by the open window with the moonlight looking through, we sleep in each other's arms.
the icecream people make me feel good, inside and out.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

What Can We Do?

 at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of courage but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it's best at brutality, selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.
what can we do with it, this Humanity? nothing.
avoid the thing as much as possible.
treat it as you would anything poisonous, vicious and mindless.
but be careful.
it has enacted laws to protect itself from you.
it can kill you without cause.
and to escape it you must be subtle.
few escape.
it's up to you to figure a plan.
I have met nobody who has escaped.
I have met some of the great and famous but they have not escaped for they are only great and famous within Humanity.
I have not escaped but I have not failed in trying again and again.
before my death I hope to obtain my life.
from blank gun silencer - 1994

More great poems below...

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Are You Drinking?

 washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
 out again
 I write from the bed
 as I did last
will see the doctor, Monday.
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head- aches and my back hurts.
" "are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your exercise, your vitamins?" I think that I am just ill with life, the same stale yet fluctuating factors.
even at the track I watch the horses run by and it seems meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel clerk.
"yes, it's boring," I tell him.
"If you think it's boring out there," he tells me, "you oughta be back here.
" so here I am propped up against my pillows again just an old guy just an old writer with a yellow notebook.
something is walking across the floor toward me.
oh, it's just my cat this time.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Cut While Shaving

 It's never quite right, he said, the way people look,
the way the music sounds, the way the words are
It's never quite right, he said, all the things we are taught, all the loves we chase, all the deaths we die, all the lives we live, they are never quite right, they are hardly close to right, these lives we live one after the other, piled there as history, the waste of the species, the crushing of the light and the way, it's not quite right, it's hardly right at all he said.
don't I know it? I answered.
I walked away from the mirror.
it was morning, it was afternoon, it was night nothing changed it was locked in place.
something flashed, something broke, something remained.
I walked down the stairway and into it.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Death Wants More Death

 death wants more death, and its webs are full:
I remember my father's garage, how child-like
I would brush the corpses of flies
from the windows they thought were escape-
their sticky, ugly, vibrant bodies
shouting like dumb crazy dogs against the glass
only to spin and flit
in that second larger than hell or heaven
onto the edge of the ledge,
and then the spider from his dank hole
nervous and exposed
the puff of body swelling
hanging there
not really quite knowing,
and then knowing-
something sending it down its string,
the wet web,
toward the weak shield of buzzing,
the pulsing;
a last desperate moving hair-leg
there against the glass
there alive in the sun,
spun in white;
and almost like love:
the closing over,
the first hushed spider-sucking:
filling its sack 
upon this thing that lived;
crouching there upon its back
drawing its certain blood
as the world goes by outside
and my temples scream
and I hurl the broom against them:
the spider dull with spider-anger
still thinking of its prey
and waving an amazed broken leg;
the fly very still,
a dirty speck stranded to straw;
I shake the killer loose
and he walks lame and peeved
towards some dark corner
but I intercept his dawdling
his crawling like some broken hero,
and the straws smash his legs
now waving
above his head
and looking
looking for the enemy 
and somewhat valiant,
dying without apparent pain
simply crawling backward
piece by piece
leaving nothing there
until at last the red gut sack
its secrets,
and I run child-like
with God's anger a step behind,
back to simple sunlight,
as the world goes by
with curled smile
if anyone else
saw or sensed my crime

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Some People

 some people never go crazy.
me, sometimes I'll lie down behind the couch for 3 or 4 days.
they'll find me there.
it's Cherub, they'll say, and they pour wine down my throat rub my chest sprinkle me with oils.
then, I'll rise with a roar, rant, rage - curse them and the universe as I send them scattering over the lawn.
I'll feel much better, sit down to toast and eggs, hum a little tune, suddenly become as lovable as a pink overfed whale.
some people never go crazy.
what truly horrible lives they must lead.

Written by Charles Bukowski |


 Making love in the sun, in the morning sun
in a hotel room
above the alley
where poor men poke for bottles;
making love in the sun
making love by a carpet redder than our blood,
making love while the boys sell headlines
and Cadillacs,
making love by a photograph of Paris
and an open pack of Chesterfields,
making love while other men- poor folks-
That moment- to this.
may be years in the way they measure, but it's only one sentence back in my mind- there are so many days when living stops and pulls up and sits and waits like a train on the rails.
I pass the hotel at 8 and at 5; there are cats in the alleys and bottles and bums, and I look up at the window and think, I no longer know where you are, and I walk on and wonder where the living goes when it stops.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Love and Fame and Death

 it sits outside my window now
like and old woman going to market;
it sits and watches me,
it sweats nevously
through wire and fog and dog-bark
until suddenly
I slam the screen with a newspaper
like slapping at a fly
and you could hear the scream
over this plain city,
and then it left.
the way to end a poem like this is to become suddenly quiet.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

For The Foxes

 don't feel sorry for me.
I am a competent, satisfied human being.
be sorry for the others who fidget complain who constantly rearrange their lives like furniture.
juggling mates and attitudes their confusion is constant and it will touch whoever they deal with.
beware of them: one of their key words is "love.
" and beware those who only take instructions from their God for they have failed completely to live their own lives.
don't feel sorry for me because I am alone for even at the most terrible moments humor is my companion.
I am a dog walking backwards I am a broken banjo I am a telephone wire strung up in Toledo, Ohio I am a man eating a meal this night in the month of September.
put your sympathy aside.
they say water held up Christ: to come through you better be nearly as lucky.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

I Made A Mistake

 I reached up into the top of the closet
and took out a pair of blue panties
and showed them to her and
asked "are these yours?" 
and she looked and said,
"no, those belong to a dog.
" she left after that and I haven't seen her since.
she's not at her place.
I keep going there, leaving notes stuck into the door.
I go back and the notes are still there.
I take the Maltese cross cut it down from my car mirror, tie it to her doorknob with a shoelace, leave a book of poems.
when I go back the next night everything is still there.
I keep searching the streets for that blood-wine battleship she drives with a weak battery, and the doors hanging from broken hinges.
I drive around the streets an inch away from weeping, ashamed of my sentimentality and possible love.
a confused old man driving in the rain wondering where the good luck went.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

How Is Your Heart?

 during my worst times
 on the park benches
 in the jails
 or living with
 I always had this certain
 I wouldn't call it
 it was more of an inner
 that settled for
 whatever was occuring
 and it helped in the
 and when relationships 
 went wrong
 with the 
it helped through the wars and the hangovers the backalley fights the hospitals.
to awaken in a cheap room in a strange city and pull up the shade- this was the craziest kind of contentment and to walk across the floor to an old dresser with a cracked mirror- see myself, ugly, grinning at it all.
what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

An Almost Made Up Poem

 I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny
blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny
they are small, and the fountain is in France
where you wrote me that last letter and
I answered and never heard from you again.
you used to write insane poems about ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you knew famous artists and most of them were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right, go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous because we’ never met.
we got close once in New Orleans, one half block, but never met, never touched.
so you went with the famous and wrote about the famous, and, of course, what you found out is that the famous are worried about their fame –– not the beautiful young girl in bed with them, who gives them that, and then awakens in the morning to write upper case poems about ANGELS AND GOD.
we know God is dead, they’ told us, but listening to you I wasn’ sure.
maybe it was the upper case.
you were one of the best female poets and I told the publishers, editors, “ her, print her, she’ mad but she’ magic.
there’ no lie in her fire.
” I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.
I would have loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom, but that didn’ happen.
your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you.
kid, I wrote back, all lovers betray.
it didn’ help.
you said you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying bench every night and wept for the lovers who had hurt and forgotten you.
I wrote back but never heard again.
a friend wrote me of your suicide 3 or 4 months after it happened.
if I had met you I would probably have been unfair to you or you to me.
it was best like this.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Alone With Everybody

 the flesh covers the bone 
and they put a mind 
in there and 
sometimes a soul, 
and the women break 
vases against the walls 
and the men drink too 
and nobody finds the 
but keep 
crawling in and out 
of beds.
flesh covers the bone and the flesh searches for more than flesh.
there's no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate.
nobody ever finds the one.
the city dumps fill the junkyards fill the madhouses fill the hospitals fill the graveyards fill nothing else fills.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

His Wife The Painter

 There are sketches on the walls of men and women and ducks,
and outside a large green bus swerves through traffic like
insanity sprung from a waving line; Turgenev, Turgenev,
says the radio, and Jane Austin, Jane Austin, too.
"I am going to do her portrait on the 28th, while you are at work.
" He is just this edge of fat and he walks constantly, he fritters; they have him; they are eating him hollow like a webbed fly, and his eyes are red-suckled with anger-fear.
He feels hatred and discard of the world, sharper than his razor, and his gut-feel hangs like a wet polyp; and he self-decisions himself defeated trying to shake his hung beard from razor in water (like life), not warm enough.
Rue Transonian, le 15 Avril, 1843.
) Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale.
"She has a face unlike that of any woman I have ever known.
" "What is it? A love affair?" "Silly.
I can't love a woman.
Besides, she's pregnant.
" I can paint- a flower eaten by a snake; that sunlight is a lie; and that markets smell of shoes and naked boys clothed, and that under everything some river, some beat, some twist that clambers along the edge of my temple and bites nip-dizzy.
men drive cars and paint their houses, but they are mad; men sit in barber chairs; buy hats.
Recollection of Mortefontaine.
Paris, Louvre.
"I must write Kaiser, though I think he's a homosexual.
" "Are you still reading Freud?" "Page 299.
" She made a little hat and he fastened two snaps under one arm, reaching up from the bed like a long feeler from the snail, and she went to church, and he thought now I h've time and the dog.
About church: the trouble with a mask is it never changes.
So rude the flowers that grow and do not grow beautiful.
So magic the chair on the patio that does not hold legs and belly and arm and neck and mouth that bites into the wind like the ned of a tunnel.
He turned in bed and thought: I am searching for some segment in the air.
It floats about the peoples heads.
When it rains on the trees it sits between the branches warmer and more blood-real than the dove.
Christ Destroying the Cross.
Hanover, Dartmouth College, Baker Library.
He burned away in his sleep.