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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 |

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 |

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.

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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 |

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 |

Consummation Of Grief

 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.

Written by Charles Bukowski |


 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 pur whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's 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 works? you want to blow my book sales in Europe? 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 sad.
then I put him back, but he's singing a little in there, I haven't quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it's nice enough to make a man weep, but I don't weep, do you?

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 |

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 |

Cause And Effect

 the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
why anybody
would ever want to
get away

Written by Charles Bukowski |


we were young
at this
drinking smoking typing it was a most splendid miraculous time still is only now instead of moving toward time it moves toward us makes each word drill into the paper clear fast hard feeding a closing space.

Written by Charles Bukowski |


 you haven't lived
until you've been in a
with nothing but one
light bulb
and 56 men
squeezed together
on cots
with everybody
at once
and some of those
deep and
gross and
from hell
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 |

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 |

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 |

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.