Charles Bukowski has only recently come crashing into my life (shout out to my little brother who did something right for once), and every time I read his lines, his cutting cynicism catalyses my understanding of the world to no-end. Shooting to fame at the ripe old age of 50, Bukowski captures a pessimistic truth in his work that makes you look out of the window and see the dark beauty that touches the very edge of the horizon. The way he talks about writing as a ‘delicious juice‘ that oozes a wealth of wonder in every line as he puffs on his pall mall cig feeds my need for the artistic cliché whilst at the same time telling you that he does not give one flying fuck. Bukowski makes you feel like everything’s ok because he’s been there and done that (despite having spent most of his life being a post-man). Bukowski’s the kinda guy whose seen the world, and, although it’s a shit-hole, tells his readers in a matter-of-fact-this-is-what-we’re-working-with tone, that it can’t get any shitter because you will eventually die, and that’s alright.
His work, particularly his poems leave a hauntingly comfortable taste in your mouth that paralyses you for about 30 seconds after the final line. After reading his poems I am swept into Bukowski’s ‘parabox’ that temporarily ostracises you from the world to show you a truth that we all seem to spend our lives ignoring. I love his nitty gritty poetics, and his no bullshit ‘witticism’. Hank without question makes the top three of my top five guys to have a drink with, (though even in my dream world i’m stumbling over my words and spluttering up my drink under the pressure of being in the presence of such a ‘cool’ guy).
Here is one of Charles Bukowski’s poems in animation form that I’ve been re-reading recently, it’s called ‘The Man With Beautiful Eyes‘. The words are simple, and alludes to a world of anonymity and vulnerability that the new world seems to be so intolerably scared of. After reading this poem, whenever I see someone with beautiful eyes I always stop and wonder what their story is, and I’m hoping that will never change.
I hope you all enjoy this poem.