Over the years I’ve waffled on Bukowski. I liked him. Then I didn’t. Then I did. Then I didn’t. I could never put my finger on why I liked him. Nor could I put my finger on why I didn’t. I just knew that he was different and that was good. But there was always something bad not to like. I still can’t put my finger on it.
I remember watching Barfly back in the late 1980s. It gave me a whole new dimension to Bukowski that simply reading his poems couldn’t do. In the same manner, watching a video of Bukowski reading his poems brings something new to his voice. Even hearing him talk about his life. The interviews. All of it pulls so much in that a single poem or collection can’t do on its own. I’m beginning to like him again.
One thing that strikes me about Charles Bukowksi is that he doesn’t fit in anywhere. He’s been called a Beat, but that doesn’t fit. He has some things in common with the New York poets, but he lived in L.A.
Over the years there have been a spate of imitations and none of them are ever as good as the original. That may have something to do with my feelings about him. I like originals. I hate imitations. Even good ones, though I’ve never seen or heard a good imitation of Bukowksi.
I loved reading his fiction as much as I did his poetry, maybe even more. Post Office was a good read and it gave me a new perspective on Buk the poet as well as the man. But the following video is perhaps one of the best presentations I’ve seen of Bukowski in a long while. It is diverse. I can’t speak to the quality of the footage, but the production is well done. And the inclusion of Bono reading one of his poems makes it even better.
I hope you’ll enjoy this nearly 10-minute video on Bukowski, his life, and his poems:
No related posts.