Late to Bukowski

First read by me in January 2011. Yeah, so what?
I didn't crack up my first anything by Charles Bukowski until January of this year. At thirty-two. Of course, I knew who he was and was as familiar with his work as I could be without having read any of it. I saw the film version of Factotum in the theater and loved it. I don't watch many films over and over again, but Factotum is one that I do. 

I tried not to be embarrassed when I bought Post Office. I could feel the clerk, a person who I imagined tore through Bukowski with an unmatched literary fury by sixteen, look down on me through his glasses thinking was the simpleton I surely had to be. 

Had I been interested in being cool and impressing clerks with my sophisticated taste, I'd have scrounged through a used book store with a "lost in a move" excuse.

Upon reflection, I'm glad I didn't read Post Office or anything else by him until I ventured into my early thirties because at sixteen or whenever young writers/misfits read Bukowski, I wouldn't have gotten it. Sure, I would have laughed and enjoyed it, the language, the antics, but the anger and sadness would've flown over my head. 

I'm glad I didn't read him when I decided that I wanted to tell stories because I'm cringing at even imaging what hacky, heavily-influenced crap I might have spurned out in my early twenties (and to be clear, that hacky, heavy-influenced stuff is still there buried away on old hard drives for no one to ever see, just from different influences).

That said, I just got an idea for a sketch. Sorry, gotta go . . . 



  1. I'm in the same boat--I've never read anything by him. This is a good spur to do it.

  2. I'm halfway through Hollywood and I'm digging it so far too.


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