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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 | |

Metamorphosis

 a girlfriend came in
built me a bed
scrubbed and waxed the kitchen floor
scrubbed the walls
vacuumed
cleaned the toilet
the bathtub
scrubbed the bathroom floor
and cut my toenails and 
my hair.
then all on the same day the plumber came and fixed the kitchen faucet and the toilet and the gas man fixed the heater and the phone man fixed the phone.
noe I sit in all this perfection.
it is quiet.
I have broken off with all 3 of my girlfriends.
I felt better when everything was in disorder.
it will take me some months to get back to normal: I can't even find a roach to commune with.
I have lost my rythm.
I can't sleep.
I can't eat.
I have been robbed of my filth.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Hooray Say The Roses

 hooray say the roses, today is blamesday
and we are red as blood.
hooray say the roses, today is Wednesday and we bloom wher soldiers fell and lovers too, and the snake at the word.
hooray say the roses, darkness comes all at once, like lights gone out, the sun leaves dark continents and rows of stone.
hooray say the roses, cannons and spires, birds, bees, bombers, today is Friday the hand holding a medal out the window, a moth going by, half a mile an hour, hooray hooray hooray say the roses we have empires on our stems, the sun moves the mouth: hooray hooray hooray and that is why you like us.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Whats The Use Of A Title?

 They dont make it 
the beautiful die in flame- 
sucide pills,rat poison,rope what- 
ever.
.
.
they rip their arms off, throw themselves out of windows, they pull their eyes out of the sockets, reject love reject hate reject,reject.
they do'nt make it the beautiful can't endure, they are butterflies they are doves they are sparrows, they dont make it.
onetall shot of flame while the old men play checkers in the park one flame,one good flame while the old men play checkers in the park in the sun.
the beautiful are found in the edge of a room crumpled into spiders and needles and silence and we can never understand why they left,they were so beautiful.
they dont make it, the beautiful die young and leave the ugly to their ugly lives.
lovley and brilliant: life and suidcide and death as the old men play checkers in the sun in the park.


More great poems below...

Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Working Out

 Van Gogh cut off his ear
gave it to a
prostitute
who flung it away in
extreme
disgust.
Van, whores don't want ears they want money.
I guess that's why you were such a great painter: you didn't understand much else.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

The Sun Weilds Mercy

 and the sun weilds mercy
but like a jet torch carried to high,
and the jets whip across its sight
and rockets leap like toads,
and the boys get out the maps
and pin-cuishon the moon,
old green cheese,
no life there but too much on earth:
our unwashed India boys
crosssing their legs,playing pipes,
starving with sucked in bellies,
watching the snakes volute
like beautiful women in the hungry air;
the rockets leap,
the rockets leap like hares,
clearing clump and dog
replacing out-dated bullets;
the Chineses still carve
in jade,quietly stuffing rice
into their hunger, a hunger
a thousand years old,
their muddy rivers moving with fire
and song, barges, houseboats
pushed by drifting poles
of waiting without wanting;
in Turkey they face the East
on their carpets
praying to a purple god
who smokes and laughs
and sticks fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer,
for some reason,precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond circling senselessly;
the painters paint dipping
their reds and greens and yellows,
poets rhyme their lonliness,
musicians starve as always
and the novelists miss the mark,
but not the pelican , the gull;
pelicans dip and dive, rise,
shaking shocked half-dead
radioactive fish from their beaks;
indeed, indeed, the waters wash
the rocks with slime; and on wall st.
the market staggers like a lost drunk looking for his key; ah, this will be a good one,by God: it will take us back to the sabre-teeth, the winged monkey scrabbling in pits over bits of helmet, instrument and glass; a lightning crashes across the window and in a million rooms lovers lie entwined and lost and sick as peace; the sky still breaks red and orange for the painters-and for the lovers, flowers open as they always have opened but covered with thin dust of rocket fuel and mushrooms, poison mushrooms; it's a bad time, a dog-sick time-curtain act 3, standing room only, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT, SOLD OUT again, by god,by somebody and something, by rockets and generals and leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians, by manufacturers of soup and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters of their own indexerity; I can now see now the coal-slick contanminated fields, a snail or 2, bile, obsidian, a fish or 3 in the shallows, an obloquy of our source and our sight.
.
.
.
.
has this happend before? is history a circle that catches itself by the tail, a dream, a nightmare, a general's dream, a presidents dream, a dictators dream.
.
.
can't we awaken? or are the forces of life greater than we are? can't we awaken? must we foever, dear freinds, die in our sleep?


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Who In The Hell Is Tom Jones?

 I was shacked with a
24 year old girl from
New York City for
two weeks- about
the time of the garbage
strike out there, and
one night my 34 year 
old woman arrived and
she said, "I want to see
my rival.
" she did and then she said, "o, you're a cute little thing!" next I knew there was a screech of wildcats- such screaming and scratch- ing, wounded animal moans, blood and piss.
.
.
I was drunk and in my shorts.
I tried to seperate them and fell, wrenched my knee.
then they were through the screen door and down the walk and out into the street.
squadcars full of cops arrived.
a police heli- coptor circled overhead.
I stood in the bathroom and grinned in the mirror.
it's not often at the age of 55 that such splendid things occur.
better than the Watts riots.
the 34 year old came back in.
she had pissed all over her- self and her clothing was torn and she was followed by 2 cops who wanted to know why.
pulling up my shorts I tried to explain.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Prayer In Bad Weather

 by God, I don't know what to
do.
they're so nice to have around.
they have a way of playing with the balls and looking at the cock very seriously turning it tweeking it examining each part as their long hair falls on your belly.
it's not the fucking and sucking alone that reaches into a man and softens him, it's the extras, it's all the extras.
now it's raining tonight and there's nobody they are elsewhere examining things in new bedrooms in new moods or maybe in old bedrooms.
anyhow, it's raining tonight, on hell of a dashing, pouring rain.
.
.
.
very little to do.
I've read the newspaper paid the gas bill the electric co.
the phone bill.
it keeps raining.
they soften a man and then let him swim in his own juice.
I need an old-fashioned whore at the door tonight closing her green umbrella, drops her green umbrella, drops of moonlit rain on her purse, saying "shit, man, can't you get better music than that on your radio? and turn up the heat.
.
.
" it's always when a man's swollen with love and everything else that keeps raining splattering flooding rain good for the trees and the grass and the air.
.
.
good for things that live alone.
I would give anything for a female's hand on me tonight.
they soften a man and then leave him listening to the rain.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

My Groupie

 I read last Saturday in the
redwoods outside of Santa Cruz
and I was about 3/4's finished
when I heard a long high scream
and a quite attractive 
young girl came running toward me
long gown & divine eyes of fire
and she leaped up on the stage
and screamed: "I WANT YOU!
I WANT YOU! TAKE ME! TAKE
ME!"
I told her, "look, get the hell
away from me.
" but she kept tearing at my clothing and throwing herself at me.
"where were you," I asked her, "when I was living on one candy bar a day and sending short stories to the Atlantic Monthly?" she grabbed my balls and almost twisted them off.
her kisses tasted like shitsoup.
2 women jumped up on the stage and carried her off into the woods.
I could still hear her screams as I began the next poem.
mabye, I thought, I should have taken her on stage in front of all those eyes.
but one can never be sure whether it's good poetry or bad acid.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Flophouse

 you haven't lived
until you've been in a
flophouse
with nothing but one
light bulb
and 56 men
squeezed together
on cots
with everybody
snoring
at once
and some of those
snores
so
deep and
gross and
unbelievable-
dark
snotty
gross
subhuman
wheezings
from hell
itself.
your mind almost breaks under those death-like sounds and the intermingling odors: hard unwashed socks pissed and shitted underwear and over it all slowly circulating air much like that emanating from uncovered garbage cans.
and those bodies in the dark fat and thin and bent some legless armless some mindless and worst of all: the total absence of hope it shrouds them covers them totally.
it's not bearable.
you get up go out walk the streets up and down sidewalks past buildings around the corner and back up the same street thinking those men were all children once what has happened to them? and what has happened to me? it's dark and cold out here.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

True Story

 they found him walking along the freeway
all red in
front
he had taken a rusty tin can
and cut off his sexual
machinery
as if to say --
see what you've done to
me? you might as well have the
rest.
and he put part of him in one pocket and part of him in another and that's how they found him, walking along.
they gave him over to the doctors who tried to sew the parts back on but the parts were quite contented the way they were.
I think sometimes of all of the good ass turned over to the monsters of the world.
maybe it was his protest against this or his protest against everything.
a one man Freedom March that never squeezed in between the concert reviews and the baseball scores.
God, or somebody, bless him.


Written by Charles Bukowski | |

Layover

 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-
work.
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 | |

Decline

 naked along the side of the house,
8 a.
m.
, spreading sesame seed oil over my body, Jesus, have I come to this? I once battled in dark alleys for a laugh.
now I'm not laughing.
I splash myself with oil and wonder, how many years do you want? how many days? my blood is soiled and a dark angel sits in my brain.
things are made of something and go to nothing.
I understand the fall of cities, of nations.
a small plane passes overhead.
I look upward as if it made sense to look upward.
it's true, the sky has rotted: it won't be long for any of us.
from The Olympia Review - 1994


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
written.
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 | |

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 | |

Show Biz

 I can't have it
and you can't have it
and we won't
get it

so don't bet on it
or even think about
it

just get out of bed
each morning

wash
shave
clothe
yourself
and go out into
it

because
outside of that
all that's left is
suicide and
madness

so you just
can't
expect too much

you can't even
expect

so what you do
is
work from a modest
minimal
base

like when you
walk outside
be glad your car
might possibly
be there

and if it is-
that the tires
aren't
flat

then you get
in
and if it
starts--you
start.
and it's the damndest movie you've ever seen because you're in it-- low budget and 4 billion critics and the longest run you ever hope for is one day.