Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

469 Inspiring Quotes by Charles Bukowski

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Charles Bukowski.

Wikipedia Summary for Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski ( boo-KOW-skee; born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈkaʁl buˈkɔfski]; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German–American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor

Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man in the LA underground newspaper Open City.

Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. As noted by one reviewer, "Bukowski continued to be, thanks to his antics and deliberate clownish performances, the king of the underground and the epitome of the littles in the ensuing decades, stressing his loyalty to those small press editors who had first championed his work and consolidating his presence in new ventures such as the New York Quarterly, Chiron Review, or Slipstream." Some of these works include his Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, published by his friend and fellow poet Charles Potts, and better known works such as Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame. These poems and stories were later republished by John Martin's Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/Ecco Press) as collected volumes of his work.

In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal ... [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."Since his death in 1994, Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings, despite his work having received relatively little attention from academic critics in the United States during his lifetime. In contrast, Bukowski enjoyed extraordinary fame in Europe, especially in Germany, the place of his birth.

yellow Labrador puppy running on field

Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone.

--Charles Bukowski

white desk lamp beside green plant

As we live we all get caught and torn by various traps. Nobody escapes them. Some even live with them. The idea is to realize that a trap is a trap. If you are in one and you don't realize it, then you're finished.

--Charles Bukowski

long exposure photography of beach

If you're doing it for money or fame, don't do it. If you're doing it because you want women in your bed, don't do it.

--Charles Bukowski

closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

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."

--Charles Bukowski

depth photography of purple petaled flowers

Most people are not ready for death, theirs or anybody elses.

--Charles Bukowski

white rock formation on sea during daytime

To experience real agony is something hard to write about, impossible to understand while it grips you; you're frightened out of your wits, can't sit still, move, or even go decently insane.

--Charles Bukowski


white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

To create art means
to be crazy alone
forever.

--Charles Bukowski

golden retriever inside car

Anything, anything to stop drowning in this dull, trivial and cowardly existence.

--Charles Bukowski

two clown fishes underwater

Simplicity is always the secret, to a profound truth, to doing things, to writing, to painting. Life is profound in its simplicity.

--Charles Bukowski


yellow flower in green grass field

We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our education system.

--Charles Bukowski

black textile in close up photography

You shoulda known the entirety of the trap, a**hole,
love means eventual pain
victory means eventual defeat
grace means eventual slovenliness,
there's no way
out...you see, you
understand?

--Charles Bukowski

sunflower

If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.

--Charles Bukowski

clear wine glass with red wine

Some lose all mind and become soul, insane. Some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual. Some lose both and become accepted.

--Charles Bukowski

close up photography of moon

The gods seldom
give
but so quickly
take.

--Charles Bukowski

closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

She had wild eyes, slightly insane. She also carried an overload of compassion that was real enough and which obviously cost her something.

--Charles Bukowski

woman carrying toddler on seashore

Knowledge is knowing as little as possible.

--Charles Bukowski

brown mountain

I wish to weep
but sorrow is
stupid.
I wish to believe
but belief is a
graveyard.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of man in water

Ya got cigarettes?" she asks. "Yes," I say,
"I got cigarettes." "Matches?" she asks.
"Enough to burn Rome." "Whiskey?"
"Enough whiskey for a Mississippi River
of pain." "You drunk?" "Not yet.

--Charles Bukowski

fireplace on fire

That's the way it ends. The thin edge of the wedge.

--Charles Bukowski

white smoke

My 6 foot goddess makes me laugh the laughter of the mutilated who still need love... she has saved me from everything that is not here.

--Charles Bukowski

person sitting on black surface looking to sky

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

--Charles Bukowski



selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

Pretty words, as pretty women, wrinkle up and die.

--Charles Bukowski

white and red flower with green leaves

Animals never worry about heaven or hell. Neither do I. Maybe that's why we get along.

--Charles Bukowski

brown wooden door with silver door lever

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure ad moving on. Yet most people are stricken wth fear. They fear failure so much that they fail.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

Drinking is another way of thinking, another way of living. It gives you two lives instead of one.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette photo of couple standing on beach watching sunset

I am not a snob; it is simply that I am not interested with what most people have to say, or what they want to do -- mostly with my time.

--Charles Bukowski



couple sitting near trees during golden hour

There are so many days
when living stops and pulls up and sits
and waits like a train on the rails.

--Charles Bukowski



crescent moon above mountain

I
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that's all, just
cats and
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good
night.

--Charles Bukowski


brown and red paint brushes

Love is a fog that burns with the first daylight of reality.

--Charles Bukowski

fawn pug lying on floor

"What good are you? What can you do? It has cost me a thousands of dollars to raise you, feed you, clothe you! Suppose I left you here on the street? Then what would you do?" "Catch butterflies."

--Charles Bukowski

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

Those who have been writing literature have not been writing life.

--Charles Bukowski


photography of white wall lot

People who believe in politics are like people who believe in God: they are sucking wind through bent straws.

--Charles Bukowski

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

And if I have any advice to give to anybody it's this: take up watercolor painting.

--Charles Bukowski

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Places to hunt places to hide are getting harder to find, and pet canaries and goldfish too, did you notice that?

--Charles Bukowski

gray slabs

Eating seemed very important.

--Charles Bukowski

blue and white light digital wallpaper

What you see on the freeway is just what there is,
a funeral procession of the dead,
the greatest horror of our time in motion.
I'll see you there tomorrow!

--Charles Bukowski

gray concrete painted wall

The pest, in a sense, is a very superior being to us: he knows where to find us and how -- usually in the bath or in sexual intercourse or asleep.

--Charles Bukowski

white wall paint with black line

"How come you walk so funny?"
"I was frying some chicken in the pan and the grease exploded, it burned my legs."
"I thought maybe you had war wounds."
"No, the chicken did it."

--Charles Bukowski


closeup photography of black and brown bird

There is a blue bird in my heart that wants to get out.

--Charles Bukowski

woman and man holding hands

Joan of Arc had style. Jesus had style.

--Charles Bukowski

orange flowers

People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.

--Charles Bukowski

man standing on sand while spreading arms beside calm body of water

A good book can make an almost impossible existence, liveable.

--Charles Bukowski

tree under blue sky

I met a genius on the train today about 6 years old, he sat beside me and as the train ran down along the coast we came to the ocean and then he looked at me and said, it's not pretty.

--Charles Bukowski


close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

If you can only remain pure in your stupidity, someday you may get a phone call from hell.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of off-road car

Human relationships simply aren't durable. I think back to the women in my life. they seem non-existent.

--Charles Bukowski

orange room with open door

What? You'd dare drink right after getting out of jail for intoxication?" That's when you need a drink the most.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

Complaint is often the result of an insufficient ability to live within the obvious restrictions of this god damned cage.

--Charles Bukowski

five woman standing on seashore

I found the best thing
I could do
was just to type away
at my own work
and let the dying
die
as they always have.

--Charles Bukowski

blue rose

Yes, Wagner and the storm intermix with the wine as nights like this run up my wrists and up into my head and back down into the gut.

--Charles Bukowski

red flowers with water droplets

But isn't there always one good thing to look back on? think of how many cups of coffee we drank together.

--Charles Bukowski


silhouette of kneeling man

They thought I had guts they were wrong I was only frightened of more important things.

--Charles Bukowski

boy and cat in front of moon

If I have any advice to anybody it's this: take up watercolor painting.

--Charles Bukowski

black textile on white textile

I write right off the typer. I call it my "machinegun." I hit it hard, usually late at night while drinking wine and listening to classical music on the radio and smoking mangalore ganesh beedies.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky with white clouds

I just sit here and look at my hands. It is one of my better evenings. Yesterday I was very depressed.

--Charles Bukowski


body of water during daytime

My garden
in the sun and in the rain
and in the day and in the night
pain is a flower
pain is flowers
blooming all the time.

--Charles Bukowski


selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

She knew what she wanted and it wasn't me. I know more women like that than any other kind.

--Charles Bukowski

brown chopped logs

Having nothing to struggle
against
they have nothing to struggle
for.

--Charles Bukowski

Arizona landscape rain

Even though I write about the human race, the further away from them, the better I feel. Two miles is great; two thousand miles is beautiful.

--Charles Bukowski

stars across the sky view at the desert

Somebody once asked me what my theory of life was, and I said, 'Don't try.' That fits the writing, too. I don't try; I just type.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus photo of green snake plant

I'm too careless. I don't put out enough effort. I'm tired.

--Charles Bukowski



painting of man walking down a road holding umbrella

There's nothing unusual about love.

--Charles Bukowski

orange leaves tree

The best part was
pulling down the
shades
stuffing the doorbell
with rags
putting the phone
in the
refrigerator
and going to bed
for 3 or 4
days.
and the next best
part
was
nobody ever
missed
me.

--Charles Bukowski


silhouette photo of trees during night time

I tell you such fine music waits in the shadows of hell.

--Charles Bukowski

white rose enclosed photograph

People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective.

--Charles Bukowski

coconut tree near body of water

Walking out with the people, I didn't know which was more exciting, the air race, the parachute jump that failed, or the cunt.

--Charles Bukowski

Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

My greatest problem was stamps, envelopes, paper and wine, with the world on the edge of World War II.

--Charles Bukowski

black textile on white textile

Oh, I don't mean you're handsome, not the way people think of handsome. Your face seems kind. But your eyes -- they're beautiful. They're wild, crazy, like some animal peering out of a forest on fire.

--Charles Bukowski

brown labrador puppy

Life's as kind as you let it be.

--Charles Bukowski

raindrops on clear window

You women have more holes than swiss cheese.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset hgihway

And the color in my eyes
has gone back into the sea.

--Charles Bukowski


white pendant lamp

What were you going to do tonight?" "I was going to listen to the songs of Rachmaninoff." "Who's that?" "A dead Russian.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

Now something so sad has hold of us that the breath leaves and we can't even cry.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of pine trees with mist

All people start to
come apart finally
and there it is:
just empty ashtrays in a room
or wisps of hair on a comb
in the dissolving moonlight.

--Charles Bukowski

gray elephant

The wisest thing to do if you're living in hell is to make yourself comfortable.

--Charles Bukowski

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

People need me. I fill them. If they can't see me for a while they get desperate, they get sick. But if I see them too often I get sick. It's hard to feed without getting fed.

--Charles Bukowski


A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

I can see where creation often stops while the body still lives and often does not care to. the death of life before life dies.

--Charles Bukowski


pink tulips on gray wooden surface

Courts are places where the ending is written first and all that precedes is simply vaudeville.

--Charles Bukowski

snowflake

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

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.


purple textile with white line

Understand me. I'm not like an ordinary world. I have my madness, I live in another dimension and I do not have time for things that have no soul.

--Charles Bukowski

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

I would be married, but I'd have no wife, I would be married to a single life.

--Charles Bukowski

None

The female loves to play man against man. And if she is in a position to do it, there is not one who will resist.

--Charles Bukowski


brown and gray stick

Crawled like a blind slug into the
web.

--Charles Bukowski

sunflowers

Drink from the well of yourself and begin again.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow and purple flower with white background

Love is not a candle burning down. Life is. And love and life are not the same or else Love, having choice, nobody would ever die.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff

It does seem
the more we drink
the better the words
go.

--Charles Bukowski

clear hour glass with brown frame

I can relax with bums because I am a bum. I don't like laws, morals, religions, rules. I don't like to be shaped by society.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow sunflowers

I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive in its own terms.

--Charles Bukowski

four coffee cups on floor

We must bring
our own light
to the
darkness.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky with white clouds

That your power of command
with simple language was
one of the magnificent things of
our century.

--Charles Bukowski

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

I heard an airplane passing overhead. I wished I was on it.

--Charles Bukowski


green ceramic mug on wooden desk

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.

--Charles Bukowski

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

Before you kill something make sure you have something better to replace it with.

--Charles Bukowski

pink flower

Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care.


closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

I am too sick to lay down the sidewalks frighten me the whole damned city frightens me, what I will become what I have become frightens me.

--Charles Bukowski



None

We have wasted History like a bunch of drunks shooting dice back in the men's crapper of the local bar.

--Charles Bukowski

white wall paint with black shadow

It doesn't matter if Prince Charles falls off his horse
or that the hummingbird is so seldom
seen
or that we are too senseless to go
insane.
coffee. give us more of that NOTHING
coffee.

--Charles Bukowski

couple sitting on the field facing the city

Sexual intercourse is kicking death in the ass while singing.

--Charles Bukowski

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

Writers have to put up with this editor thing; it is ageless and eternal and wrong.

--Charles Bukowski



rainbow desert

The writer has no responsibility other than to jack off in bed alone and write a good page.

--Charles Bukowski


silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist. There are women who can make you feel more with their bodies and their souls but these are the exact women who will turn the knife into you right in front of the crowd.



silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

Don't ever write a novel unless it hurts like a hot turd coming out.

--Charles Bukowski

iceberg near mountain during day

She's mad, but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire.

--Charles Bukowski


three people paddling in canoe

This incompleteness is all we have.

--Charles Bukowski

purple

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.

--Charles Bukowski

time lapse photography body of water

A bad trip? this whole country, this whole world is on a bad trip, friend. but they'll arrest you for swallowing a tablet.

--Charles Bukowski



grayscale photo of woman wearing collared shirt

I'm going to open another vottle. not a vottle, but a bottle. you open it and I'll drink it. and you try to write as much as I did without falling off of your chair.

--Charles Bukowski

white flowers in brown stem

Music is much like fucking, but some composers can't climax and others climax too often, leaving themselves and the listener jaded and spent.

--Charles Bukowski

man and woman kissing

I often stood in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get.

--Charles Bukowski

brown chopped logs

Life wore a man out, wore a man thin.
Tomorrow would be a better day.

--Charles Bukowski

three clear glass cups

The park grass looked greener, the park benches looked better and the flowers were trying harder.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset grasslands

The whole world is caught in her glance and at last the universe is magnificent.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

So tired you want to quit, then you get more tired, and forget to quit.

--Charles Bukowski


aerial photo of green trees

My heart is a thousand years old. I am not like other people.

--Charles Bukowski


two women walking on bridge during daytime

First of all read Céline; the greatest writer of 2,000 years.

--Charles Bukowski

purple textile with white line

I like the way Mahler wandered about in his music and still retained his passion. He must have looked like an earthquake walking down the street.

--Charles Bukowski

clear hour glass

All a guy needed was a chance. Somebody was alway controlling who got a chance and who didn't.

--Charles Bukowski

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit.

--Charles Bukowski

shade under a green-leafed tree

And love was lightning and remembrance.

--Charles Bukowski


person holding white book

You can forgive a fool because he only runs in one direction and doesn't deceive anybody. It's the deceivers who make you feel bad.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky with white clouds

Art is its own excuse, and it's either Art or it's something else. It's either a poem or a piece of cheese.

--Charles Bukowski

pink rose

There is enough treachery , hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day.

--Charles Bukowski

lone tree in grassland

Never get out of bed before noon.

--Charles Bukowski


red rose in close up photography

Those who escape hell however never talk about it and nothing much bothers them after that.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus of common poppy flower

Meanwhile the 3 a.m. drunks of the world would lay in their beds, trying in vain to sleep, and deserving that rest, if they could find it.

--Charles Bukowski

purple textile in close up photography

We are the sickest of the breed -- as fine museums -- great art --
generations of knowledge -- are all forgotten
as we find profundity in being an
asshole.

--Charles Bukowski

person on road at sunset

It's good to have things done with when they don't work it's also good not to hate or even forget the person you've failed with.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset with storm clouds

It seemed to me that I had never met another person on earth as discouraging to my happiness as my father. and it appeared that I had the same effect upon him.

--Charles Bukowski


black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

I've been so
down in the mouth
lately
that sometimes when I
bend over to
lace my shoes
there are
three
tongues.

--Charles Bukowski


rock formation surrounding by body of water

People are not good to each other. Perhaps if they were our deaths would not be so sad.

--Charles Bukowski

Dark purple to red to orange gradient

I remember when each 4th lot was vacant and overgrown, and the landlord only go this rent when you had it, and each day was clear and good and each moment was full of promise.

--Charles Bukowski

white desk lamp beside green plant

I don't like the clean-shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways. They interest me. They are full of surprises and explosions.

--Charles Bukowski

gray cactus plant on white pot

Each person is only given so many evenings and each wasted evening is a gross violation against the natural course of your only life.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

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.

--Charles Bukowski


black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

You know, doctor, wisdom comes at a hell of an hour--when youth is gone, the storm is over and the girls have gone home.

--Charles Bukowski

pink and white light illustration

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.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

What a weary time those years were, to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability.

--Charles Bukowski

woman holding brown umbrella

One can never be sure whether it's good poetry or bad acid.

--Charles Bukowski

blooming yellow sunflower field

I no longer want it all, just some comfort and some sex and some minor love.

--Charles Bukowski

blooming yellow sunflower field

Wherever the crowd goes run in the other direction. They're always wrong.

--Charles Bukowski

multicolored abstract painting

and we are in bed together
laughing
and we don't care
about anything.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

I hated you when it would have taken less courage to love.

--Charles Bukowski

red and black logo

As the soul wanes, form appears.

--Charles Bukowski

boat docked near house

Hate contains truth. beauty is a facade.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Intellectuals say simple things in difficult ways. Artists say difficult things in simple ways.

--Charles Bukowski

person in black hoodie using laptop computer

Learn, he says, that there will be hours, days and months ahead of feeling absolutely terrible and nothing can change that; neither new girlfriends, health professionals, changes of diet, dope, humility, or God.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky

Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
to love.

--Charles Bukowski

pink tulips in close up photography

Now we are citizens of nothing. the sun itself knows the sad truth of how we surrendered our lives and deaths to simple ritual….how we said no, no, no, no to the most beautiful YES ever uttered -
life itself.

--Charles Bukowski

black textile on white background

The psyche has been burned and left us senseless, the world has been darker than lights-out in a closet full of hungry bats, and the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.

--Charles Bukowski

pink petaled flower on white surface

No concept of danger,
reality, flow or
compassion.
you can feel the despair
escaping from their
machines,
their lives as hopeless and
as numbed as yours.

--Charles Bukowski

green trees under white sky during daytime

My love is a hummingbird sitting that quiet moment on the bough, as the same cat crouches.

--Charles Bukowski

lighted candles on man's hand lying on the floor

If it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don't do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don't do it.

--Charles Bukowski

person holding gray and beige roman numeral alarm clock

She wasn't very
interesting
but few people
are.

--Charles Bukowski


green ceramic mug beside book

Jan was an excellent fuck...she had a tight pussy and she took it like it was a knife that was killing her.

--Charles Bukowski

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it's your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.

--Charles Bukowski

brown wooden table clock at 10 10

I have no definite talent or trade, and how I stay alive is largely a matter of magic.

--Charles Bukowski

water color palette on white surface

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of person's hands forming heart

The empty, the angry, the lonely, the tricked, we are all museums of fear.

--Charles Bukowski


couple standing on grass field mountain

She slammed the door and
was gone.
I looked at the closed door
and at the doorknob
and strangely
I didn't feel
alone.

--Charles Bukowski

rock mountain during starry night

Death meant little to me. It was the last joke in a series of bad jokes.

--Charles Bukowski

man in black tank top standing near tree under starry night

It's hot tonight and half the neighborhood is drunk. the other half is dead. if I have any advice about writing poetry it's -- don't. I'm going to send out for some fried chicken.

--Charles Bukowski


yellow green leaf

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.

--Charles Bukowski

adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

She's mad but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire.

--Charles Bukowski

man in black jacket and black pants standing on brown rock formation during daytime

For a man of 55 who didn't get laid until he was 23 and not very often until he was 50 I think that I should stay listed via Pacific Telephone until I get as much as the average man has had.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow painted wall

I didn't know who to
believe
but
one thing I do
know: when a man is
living
many claim relationships
that are hardly
so
and after he dies, well,
then it's everybody's
party.

--Charles Bukowski

two birds on flight

When you're young
a pair of
female
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
alone
in the closet
can fire your
bones;
when you're old
it's just
a pair of shoes
without
anybody
in them
and
just as
well.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of woman hugging mna under starry night sky

Getting drunk was good. I decided that I would always like getting drunk. It took away the obvious and maybe if you could get away from the obvious often enough, you wouldn't become so obvious yourself.

--Charles Bukowski

person wearing round black analog watch at 9:46

I have no time for things that have no soul.

--Charles Bukowski


white wall paint with black shadow

As the shadows assume
shapes
I fight the slow
retreat
now
my once-promise
dwindling
dwindling
now
lighting new cigarettes
pouring more
drinks
it has been a beautiful
fight
still
is.

--Charles Bukowski

photo of pine tree

Be it peace or happiness
let it enfold you.

--Charles Bukowski

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

I do think that poetry is important though, if you don't strive at it, if you don't fill it full of stars and falseness.

--Charles Bukowski

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

Since some people had told me that I was ugly, I always preferred shade to the sun, darkness to light.

--Charles Bukowski

pink tulip flower

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

--Charles Bukowski

empty pathway

To be young is the only religion.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

To die on a kitchen floor at 7 o'clock in the morning while other people are frying eggs is not so rough unless it happens to you.

--Charles Bukowski

grayscale photography of man riding bicycle

It got so bad that Al thought
maybe it was
him
so he went to a shrink
and asked
and the shrink said,
"you're one of the sanest men
I've ever met."
poor Al.
that made him feel
worse
than ever.

--Charles Bukowski

woman doing yoga on rock platform next to body of water

I know that some night
in some bedroom
soon
my fingers will
rift
through
soft clean
hair
songs such as no radio
plays
all sadness, grinning
into flow.

--Charles Bukowski

landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays

I always had this certain
contentment-
I wouldn't call it
happiness-
it was more of an inner
balance
that settled for
whatever was occurring.

--Charles Bukowski

clear wine glass with red wine

If you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

--Charles Bukowski



stars across the sky view at the desert

I think that the world should be full of cats and full of rain, that's all, just cats and rain, rain and cats, very nice, good night.

--Charles Bukowski

black wooden louver door window

Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness.

--Charles Bukowski

birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

You've got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her, and if you don't want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it's always a process of letting go, one way or the other.

--Charles Bukowski

person holding sunflower bouquet during daytime

The way to create art is to burn and destroy
ordinary concepts and to substitute them
with new truths that run down from the top of the head
and out of the heart.

--Charles Bukowski

white

Having a bunch of cats around is good. If you're feeling bad, just look at the cats, you'll feel better, because they know that everything is, just as it is.

--Charles Bukowski

brown tree on surrounded by brown grass during golden hour

When a hot woman meets a hermit one of them is going to change.

--Charles Bukowski

white tulips with green leaves

I don't carry notebooks and I don't consciously store ideas. I try not to think that I am a writer and I am pretty good at doing that. I don't like writers, but then I don't like insurance salesmen either.

--Charles Bukowski



brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

I hope that I never become a vogue. A vogue is damned and doomed forever.

--Charles Bukowski



white tulip flower in close up photography

I'll use the knives for spreading jam, and the gas to warm my greying love.

--Charles Bukowski

rainbow desert

The price of creation
is never
too high.
the price of living
with other people
always
is.

--Charles Bukowski

grey hlalway

I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely.

--Charles Bukowski

couple sitting on the field facing the city

The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable.

--Charles Bukowski

boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

Generally, a writer of force is anywhere from 20 years to 200 years ahead of his generation.

--Charles Bukowski




silhouette of trees during nighttime

It will rain all this night and we will sleep transfixed by the dark water as our blood runs through our fragile life.

--Charles Bukowski

Arizona landscape

I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.

--Charles Bukowski

water color palette on white surface

'I think I need a drink.'
'Almost everybody does only they don't know it.'

--Charles Bukowski

stainless steel key on brown rod

Most people are much better at saying things in letters than in conversation, and some people can write artistic, inventive letters, but when they try a poem or story or novel they become pretentious.

--Charles Bukowski

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

I write fiction"
"What's fiction?"
"Fiction is an improvement on life.

--Charles Bukowski

bonfire in forest

I went home each night dizzy and sick. He was murdering me with the sound of his voice.

--Charles Bukowski

top view of green succulent plants

The less I needed, the better I felt.

--Charles Bukowski

photo of outer space

Beware women grown
old
who were never
anything but
young.

--Charles Bukowski


silhouette photo of mountain during night time

I have been treated better than I should have been -- -not by life in general nor by the machinery of things but by women.

--Charles Bukowski

blue mountains at daytime

We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus!

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

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.


assorted books on wooden table

It is all ash and dry leaves and grief gone like an ocean liner.

--Charles Bukowski

person in red shirt walking on brown field under gray sky during daytime

I am a dangerous man when turned loose with a typewriter.

--Charles Bukowski

two gold-colored skeleton keys

I am this fiery snail crawling home.

--Charles Bukowski

person wearing round black analog watch at 9:46

What a pitiful mass of dangerous nothing.

--Charles Bukowski

assorted-color beach houses

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.

--Charles Bukowski

green trees beside lake during daytime

I want quiet thunder.

--Charles Bukowski

low angle photography of gray concrete building

Agony sometimes changes
form
but
it never ceases for
anybody.

--Charles Bukowski

grayscale photo of elephant on grass field

There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

There's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I pour whiskey on him and inhale

cigarette smoke

and the whores and the bartenders

and the grocery clerks

never know that

he's

in there.


woman in black shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytime

When you clean up a city, you destroy it.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of mountain during sunset

He still couldn't write or
what he wrote didn't
work
because that tremendous
brave optimism
that buoyed everybody up
so well
during the depression
just turned to
sugar water
during
good times.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of black DSLR camera

Without literature, life is hell.

--Charles Bukowski

two persons holding each other hands

Regret is mostly caused by not having
done anything.

--Charles Bukowski

gray elephant

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?

--Charles Bukowski

woman in blue denim jacket and black pants standing beside train

My poems are only bits of scratching
on the floor of a
cage.

--Charles Bukowski

white pencil on black platform

Her one drink had Cecelia giggling and talking and she was explaining that animals had souls too. Nobody challenged her opinion. It was possible, we knew. What we weren't sure of was if we had any.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

I had also read somewhere that if a man didn't truly believe or understand what he was espousing, somehow he could do a more convincing job.

--Charles Bukowski

landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

I never met another man I'd rather be. And even if that's a delusion, it's a lucky one.

--Charles Bukowski

crescent moon above mountain

I have one problem, I don't hate people. They disgust me and I want to get away from them. I do not have hatred. I have an escape mechanism.

--Charles Bukowski


white and yellow flower in close up photography

People don't need love. What they need is success in one form or another. It can be love but it needn't be.

--Charles Bukowski


woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

And then there are some who believe that old relationships can be revived and made new again. but please if you feel that way don't phone don't write don't arrive.

--Charles Bukowski



purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

I am a dolt of a man, easily made happy or even stupidly happy almost without cause and left alone I am mostly content.

--Charles Bukowski


shallow focus photography of stack of books

Humanity, you never had it to begin with.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset highway

"What is your advice to young writers?"
"Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes."

--Charles Bukowski


black mountain under blue sky during night time

Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.


red textile in close up photography

My youth, one time, that time I knew even through the nothingness, it was a celebration of something not to do but only know.

--Charles Bukowski

black and white rectangular frame

Why does a man destroy himself or what destroys him? I would have to judge that suicide is mostly the tool of the thinking man. The right to suicide should be the same as the right to love.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of woman standing outdoors

Are you anti-black?
I'm anti-everything.

--Charles Bukowski

white wooden hut during daytime

We had such tremendous fun and much agony together for some years.

--Charles Bukowski


street lamp

Keep your money in your pocket. Or bet it on a good horse.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus photography of red tulip

I view his furry storage tanks -- what can a man think about while looking at a cat's nuts? Certainly not the sunken navies of great sea battles.

--Charles Bukowski

trees under blue sky and stars during nighttime photo

You can't beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. Your life is your life. Know it while you have it.

--Charles Bukowski

rock formation above water

You've got to rise from the floor alone or fall back alone.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of kneeling man

Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.

--Charles Bukowski

light blue

I got up and walked back to my roominghouse. The moonlight was bright. My footsteps echoed in the empty street and it sounded as if somebody was following me, I looked around. I was mistaken. I was quite alone.

--Charles Bukowski

brown tree branch during daytime

I was fighting a small fight of my own which wasn't leading
anywhere-but like a man with a bent spoon trying to dig through a cement wall I knew that a small fight was better than quitting: it
kept the heart alive.

--Charles Bukowski

white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

Bad writing's like bad women: there's just not much you can do about it.

--Charles Bukowski

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.

--Charles Bukowski

black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

I was young I was so young it hurt like a knife inside because there was no alternative except to hide as long as possible -- - not in self-pity but with dismay at my limited chance: trying to connect.

--Charles Bukowski

man in Burton shirt facing ocean

There was something about
that city, though
it didn't let me feel guilty
that I had no feeling for the
things so many others
needed.
it let me alone.

--Charles Bukowski


white wooden door

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?

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you'll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter. Most people make too much of it. On these grounds a good fuck is not to be entirely scorned. But that's the result of a chance meeting too. You're damned right. Drink up. We'll have another.


flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial view of green trees

I kept writing not because I felt I was so good, but because I felt they were so bad, including Shakespeare, all those. The stilted formalism, like chewing cardboard.

--Charles Bukowski

sunflower field during daytime

Love came hard and very seldom. When it did it was usually for the wrong reasons.

--Charles Bukowski

three person looking stars and milky way

True revolution comes from true revulsion; when things get bad enough the kitten will kill the lion.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

It was like a church in there as only the truly lost sit in bars on Tuesday mornings at 8:00 a.m.

--Charles Bukowski

brown mountain

You fall into the mirror,
come through the other
side staring at a lightbulb.

--Charles Bukowski

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

Something else is hurting you -- that's why you need pot or whiskey, or whips and rubber suits, or screaming music turned so fucking loud you can't think.

--Charles Bukowski

plain background

I've learned to feel good when
I feel good.
it's better to be driven around in a red porsche
than to own
one. the luck of the fool is
inviolate.

--Charles Bukowski

green mountain ]

No matter how little a man has he will find that he will always settle for less.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of forest

Love is a horse with a broken leg trying to stand while 45,000 people watch.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette photography of man sitting on rock

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.

--Charles Bukowski

A view of the night showing stars

I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.

--Charles Bukowski

two gray pencils on yellow surface

The rent is a little higher here
but so far I've been able to
pay it
and that's a miracle too
like still maybe being sane
while thinking of guns and sidewalks
and old ladies in libraries.

--Charles Bukowski

purple and black light illustration

Even the stove and the refrigerator looked human, I mean good human -- they seemed to have arms and voices and they said, hang around, kid, it's good here, it can be very good here.

--Charles Bukowski

clear hour glass

It's when you begin to lie to yourself in a poem in order to simply make a poem, that you fail.

--Charles Bukowski

red blue yellow and red paint

For me
obedience to another is the decay
of self.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

We only asked for leopards to guard our thinning dreams.

--Charles Bukowski


men's white dress shirt

You get so alone at times that it just makes sense.

--Charles Bukowski

round black clock on linen

I don't write so much now. I'm getting on 33, pot belly and creeping dementia.

--Charles Bukowski

two women lying on hammock

I was born to hustle roses down the avenue of the dead.

--Charles Bukowski

landscape photography of horizon

To do a dull thing with style-now that's what I call art.

--Charles Bukowski

brown and black leaf in close up photography

Knowledge without follow-through is worse than no knowledge.

--Charles Bukowski

three people paddling in canoe

God is a lonely place without steak.

--Charles Bukowski

city lights from hill

I wasn't lonely. I experienced no self-pity. I was just caught up in a life in which I could find no meaning.

--Charles Bukowski

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

I was fairly poor but most of my money went for wine and classical music. I loved to mix the two together.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

I wait on my fix:
I am a poetry junkie.

--Charles Bukowski

pug lying on pet bed

The streets were full of insane and dull people. Most of them lived in nice houses and didn't seem to work, and you wondered how they did it.

--Charles Bukowski

photography of starry sky

The trouble with a mask is it never changes.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow painted wall

The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn't understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.


brown leaf tree facing the lake

There is something about writing poetry that brings a man close to the cliff's edge.

--Charles Bukowski

black and white butterfly on green leaf

You can't overestimate the stupidity of the general public.

--Charles Bukowski

two birds on flight

Well, people got attatched. Once you cut the umbilical cord they attatched to the other things. Sight, sound, sex, money, mirages, mothers, masturbation, murder, and Monday morning hangovers.

--Charles Bukowski

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.

--Charles Bukowski

None

In a more universal sense, we only get one thing. You know...a head stone if we're lucky; if not, green grass.

--Charles Bukowski

desert grassland

Nothing can save you except writing. It keeps the walls from failing.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow flowers

I am aware that a computer can't create a poem, but neither can a typewriter.

--Charles Bukowski

grayscale photography of raindrops

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.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky with white clouds

The hangover was brutal but he didn't mind. It told him he had been somewhere else, someplace good.

--Charles Bukowski

brown sand beach during daytime

If you let them kill you, they will.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

my happiest times were
when
i was left alone in
the house on a
saturday.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

As a child
i suppose
i was not quite
normal.
my happiest times were
when
i was left alone in
the house on a
saturday.


couple sitting near trees during golden hour

So, that's what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That's what they needed. People were fools.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

So, that's what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That's what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.


rock formation above water

The whole world is a sack of shit ripping open. I can´t save it.

--Charles Bukowski

red textile on brown wooden table

Once a woman turns against you, forget it. They can love you, then something turns in them. They can watch you dying in a gutter, run over by a car, and they'll spit on you.

--Charles Bukowski

photo of outer space

Waiting
in a life full of little stories
for a death to come.

--Charles Bukowski

orange rose in bloom close up photo

It was only the matter of a new voice. Nobody listened to an old voice anymore. Old voices became a part of one's self, like a fingernail.

--Charles Bukowski

body of water under clear blue sky painting

Do you hate people?"
"I don't hate them...I just feel better when they're not around."

--Charles Bukowski

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

But as God said, crossing his legs, I see where I have made plenty of poets but not so very much poetry.

--Charles Bukowski

purple flowers under sunny sky

When I get down to my last dime I'll just walk over to skid row.
There are some real weirdos down there.
They're everywhere.

--Charles Bukowski

beach shore during day time

Lawyers, doctors, plumbers, they all made the money. Writers? Writers starved. Writers suicided. Writers went mad.

--Charles Bukowski

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

Look, let me put it this way: with me, you're number one and there isn't even a number two.

--Charles Bukowski

selective focus photography of Russian Blue cat

In this room the hours of love still make shadows.

--Charles Bukowski

forest near mountain alps

The first place smelled like work, so I took the second.

--Charles Bukowski

long exposure photography of beach

All that shit they were fed about democracy and opportunity was just to keep them from burning down the palace.

--Charles Bukowski

forest trees photograph

Sometimes I've called writing a disease. If so, I'm glad that it caught me.

--Charles Bukowski

pink petaled flower

So where do you go? Back to the bottle And back to a tiny room somewhere. And wait. And wait, and wait. That's all.

--Charles Bukowski

fine trees waving

I just want a hot cup of coffee,black,and I don't want to hear about your troubles.

--Charles Bukowski

black and white photo of woman looking upward

My ambition is handicapped by laziness.

--Charles Bukowski


calm ocean

I mean, say that you figure that everything is senseless, then it can't be quite senseless because you are aware that it's senseless and your awareness of senselessness almost gives it sense. You know what I mean?

--Charles Bukowski

white and yellow flower in close up photography

Bullfighting can be an art Boxing can be an art Loving can be an art Opening a can of sardines can be an art.

--Charles Bukowski

white textile on brown wooden table

I felt that even the sun belonged to my father, that I had no right to it because it was shining upon my father's house. I was like his roses, something that belonged to him and not to me.

--Charles Bukowski

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

The telephone is needed for
Emergency purposes only
These people are not
Emergencies, they are
Calamities.

--Charles Bukowski

green mountains beside lake under blue sky during daytime

I run with the hunted.

--Charles Bukowski

sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.

--Charles Bukowski

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

When I say that basically writing is a hard hustle, I don't mean that it is a bad life, if one can get away with it. It's the miracle of miracles to make a living by the typer.

--Charles Bukowski


white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!


bonfire in forest

One doesn't even think of
the liver
and if the liver
doesn't think of
us, that's
fine.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow painted wall

I don't know. It's been terribly hard for me. How do I know you won't do it again?'
'Nobody is ever quite sure of what they will do. You aren't sure what you might do.

--Charles Bukowski


adult black and tan dachshund

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.

--Charles Bukowski

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

My spoon was bent so that if I wanted to eat I had to pick the spoon up with my right hand. If I picked it up with my left hand, the spoon bent away from my mouth. I wanted to pick the spoon up with my left hand.

--Charles Bukowski

sliced lemon on pink surface

I was beaten down long ago in some alley in another world.

--Charles Bukowski



black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

You can steal my women but don't play with my whiskey.

--Charles Bukowski

black and white bird on seashore

"Are you sick now?"
"No."
"Then what's wrong?"
"I don't like people."
"Do you think that's right?"
"Probably not."

--Charles Bukowski

a woman sits on the end of a dock during daytime staring across a lake

If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.

--Charles Bukowski

brown rock formation on body of water during daytime

It's nice enough to make a man weep, but I don't weep, do you?

--Charles Bukowski

blue and white striped textile

A life can change in a tenth of a second or sometimes it can take 70 years.

--Charles Bukowski



castle surrounded fog

She likes that and I like it too because to make a thing true all you've got to do is believe.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow sunflower in close up photography

They, all of them, seemed to put literary form in front of the actuality and living of life itself.

--Charles Bukowski

river between trees under blue sky

I enjoy the bad things that are said about me. It enhances sales and makes me feel evil. I don't like to feel good 'cause I am good. But evil? Yes. It gives me another dimension.

--Charles Bukowski

pink and white abstract painting

I was alone with myself. And disgusting as I was it was better than being with somebody else, anybody else, all of them out there doing their pitiful little tricks and handsprings.

--Charles Bukowski



fan of 1 US dollar banknotes and coins on beige surface

Our disappointment sits between us.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of forest

Was I the only person who was distracted by this future without a chance?

--Charles Bukowski

3 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

I am a series of small victories and large defeats.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here.


black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

I grow tired of 18th century moralities in a 20th century space-atomic age.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you're allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It's like killing yourself, and then you're reborn. I guess I've lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.


black and white photography of alarm clock displaying 1:37 time

Sometimes all we need to be able to continue alone
are the dead
rattling the walls
that close us in.

--Charles Bukowski

white and blue ice in water

When a writer is swayed with his fame and his fortune, you can float him down the river with the turds.

--Charles Bukowski


blue painted wall with white paint

If I never see you again
I will always carry you
inside
outside
on my fingertips
and at brain edges
and in centers
centers
of what I am of
what remains.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset dirt road

People so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky with stars during night time

The centuries are sprinkled with rare magic
with divine creatures
who help us get past the common and extraordinary ills that beset us.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of people riding bicycle

Something had happened. The bath towels knew it, the bathtub and the toilet knew it. My father turned and walked out the door. He knew it. It was my last beating. From him.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

I have lost my rhythm.
I can't sleep.
I can't eat.
I have been robbed of
my filth.

--Charles Bukowski

bird in the sky

I decided to stay in bed until noon. Maybe by then half the world would be dead and it would only be half as hard to take.

--Charles Bukowski


white flower graphic wallpaper

There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death.

--Charles Bukowski


man in white and black button up shirt holding lighted candle

Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it.

--Charles Bukowski

black bird flying on white background

The Artist," an ancient sage had once said, "is always sitting on the doorsteps of the rich.

--Charles Bukowski

shallow focus photography of hand with red paint

We waste days like mad blackbirds and pray for alcoholic nightsour silk-sick human smiles wrap around us like somebody else's confetti.

--Charles Bukowski

solid background

I am not a man who looks for solutions in God or politics. If somebody else wants to do the dirty work and create a better world for us and he can do it, I will accept it.

--Charles Bukowski

green leaf tree on shore

There are too many ways to drown even if you don't want to drown.

--Charles Bukowski

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live.

--Charles Bukowski

person holding pocket watch

There's no release, just gurus and self- appointed gods and hucksters. the more people say, the less there is to say.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others.

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them; I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence.


tan wallpaper

I have, he went on, betrayed myself with
belief, deluded myself with love
tricked myself with sex.
the bottle is damned faithful, he said,
the bottle will not lie.

--Charles Bukowski

library shelf near black wooden ladder

Stay with the beer. beer is continuous blood. a continuous lover.

--Charles Bukowski

pink tulip in bloom close up photo

Those faces you see every day on the streets were not created entirely without hope: be kind to them: like you they have not escaped.

--Charles Bukowski

green trees on brown dried leaves during daytime

I'm very clever
at
hiding poems
perhaps more
clever than I
am
at
writing
them.

--Charles Bukowski

Arizona landscape

Much publishing is done through politics, friends, and natural stupidity.

--Charles Bukowski


brown and gray brick wall

Of one hundred movies there's one that is fair, one that's good and ninety eight that are very bad. most movies start badly and steadily get worse.

--Charles Bukowski

library shelf near black wooden ladder

Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of forest

It's all overrated, man. Sex is only a great thing if you're not getting any.

--Charles Bukowski


a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

Magic persists without us no matter what we may do to try to spoil it.

--Charles Bukowski

blue textile on brown wooden table

People see so many movies that when they finally see one not so bad as the others, they think it's great. an Academy Award means that you don't stink quite as much as your cousin.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of grass under moonlight

My cock was hard, but my spirit wasn't in it.

--Charles Bukowski

Arizona landscape donkey

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself.

--Charles Bukowski

clear hour glass with brown frame

Take a writer away from his typewriter and all you have left is the sickness which started him typing in the beginning.

--Charles Bukowski

rock formation under starry skies

Parties sickened me. I hated the game-playing, the dirty play, the flirting, the amateurs drunks, the bores.

--Charles Bukowski


blue flowers in tilt shift lens

You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.

--Charles Bukowski

pink tulips in clear glass vase

Some men never die and some men never live but we're all alive tonight.

--Charles Bukowski

Russian Blue cat sleeping on whit textile

Fiction is an improvement on life.

--Charles Bukowski

blue sky and white clouds

There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken.

--Charles Bukowski

black fishes

Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way, or even to say a simple thing in a simpler way.

--Charles Bukowski


three person looking stars and milky way

I'm not a guru. I wish you wouldn't pose these things at me, man. Ask me about women or something.

--Charles Bukowski

yellow sunflower on white wall

I drive around the streets
an inch away from weeping,
ashamed of my sentimentality and
possible love.

--Charles Bukowski

red tulip in bloom during daytime

Sometimes things are just what they seem to be and that's all there is to it.

--Charles Bukowski

sunset

Some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth
writing
about.

--Charles Bukowski

person wearing black top

You're the most unknown famous man I ever met.

--Charles Bukowski

iceberg near mountain during day

It's 4:30 in the morning, it's always 4:30 in the morning.

--Charles Bukowski

grassland

Love is for real men.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

The grace is being able to like rock music, symphony music, jazz … anything that contains the original energy of joy.

--Charles Bukowski

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

There's a light somewhere. It may not be much light but it beats the darkness.

--Charles Bukowski

person with flashlight near lighted green tree on mountain under starry night

People run from rain but sit in bathtubs full of water.

--Charles Bukowski


tree and pink sky painting

Sometimes I feel as if we are all trapped in a movie. We know our lines, where to walk, how to act, only there is no camera. Yet, we can't break out of the movie. And it's a bad one.

--Charles Bukowski

blue

There is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy.

--Charles Bukowski

blue

You boys can keep your virgins
give me hot old women in high heels
with asses that forgot to get old.

--Charles Bukowski

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Find what you love and let it kill you.

--Charles Bukowski


brown and black train track in between trees phtoography

So be careful when you bend over.

--Charles Bukowski



black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

And love is a word used
too much and
much
too soon.

--Charles Bukowski

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

There's no point in writing my kind of stuff, when they're printing that kind of stuff. So I gave up and started drinking.

--Charles Bukowski

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

The courage it took to get out of bed each
morning
to face the same things
over and over
was
enormous.

--Charles Bukowski

pink flowers with white background

In New York you've got to have all the luck.

--Charles Bukowski

blue

Disneyland remains the central attraction of Southern California, but the graveyard remains our reality.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of mountain under blue sky during daytime

I suppose like others I have come through fire and sword, love gone wrong, head-on crashes, drunk at sea, and I have listened to the simple sound of water running in tubs and wished to drown.

--Charles Bukowski

silhouette of kneeling man

I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.

--Charles Bukowski

We wish you a perfect day!