“Hey baby, nobody suffers like the poor.”
He’s been called the “laureate of American lowlife” – and this classic photo by Mark Hanauer captures the intensity and bravado of one of America’s greatest Writers, Charles Bukowski!
Let’s Have A Drink And Write A Novel!
Charles Bukowski was a great writer and poet, his writing influenced by the rough and tumble life he lived in Los Angeles.
This “Wednesday Bookmobile” takes you on a tour of the wildly creative, tough as nails writing from this gritty legend.
A Boozer AND A Brawler!
He was both a boozer and a brawler – which he captured with incredible honesty in his writing, but so much more…he lived the life he wrote about, using the pseudonym Henry Chinaski in his books to tell his story…as his first novel, “Post Office” captures so well…
His work captured the ordinary lives of poor Americans, beginning with a fictionalized version of his own life as a postal employee.
Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, publishing over sixty books in all.
This is just one of his more memorable quotes. In 1986, Time magazine called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. He lived the life he wrote about, capturing life on the fringes of society – he embraced his life and wrote about it with power, anger and dignity – using his alter ego as an outlet to express his own rage.
Along with his novels, he published a huge amount of poetry…one of those collections was titled “Love Is A Dog From Hell.”
His novels included “Post Office”, “Ham On Rye” and “Hollywood.” That’s fitting because his life was turned into a movie starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway!
This 1987 film captured Bukowski’s life to a tee, a seedy world of alcohol, lust and violence.
First, check out the trailer:
Mickey Roarke was “Henry Chinaski”, who spends his days drinking and listening to the radio, and he spends his nights drinking and fighting. He meets Wanda – who is a barfly, who believes that “if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I’d go with him”.
The movie captures the spirit of Charles Bukowski in dialogue like this:
Tully: You can really write. Why do you live like a bum?
Henry: I am a bum. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to write about the sufferings of the upper classes?
Tully: This may be news to you but they suffer too.
Henry: Hey baby, nobody suffers like the poor.
Welcome To “Craby Joe’s”!
The film was shot using authentic locations around Los Angeles. All of the bar scenes, and the apartments featured throughout the film were real Bukowski haunts with names like Firefly, Boulevard Inn, Ski Room, Catelina Cocktails, The Elbow Inn, The Golden Horn, Craby Joe’s, Smog Cutter, Frady Hank, The Sunset, Silver Platter, Side Show and Snug Harbor.
This movie, like Bukowski’s writing, isn’t for everyone…this ISN’T “The Great Gatsby” life he’s writing about! But it is authentic, raw and beautifully written – and you can see more about this great Artist by going to the website that honors his work:
Bukowski died in 1994, but his work lives on…
There is another great Writer who also left behind a body of work that you should know about:
Richard Brautigan was one of the 60’s most colorful, eclectic writers, known best for his most famous book “Trout Fishing In America.”
He was a prolific Writer of novels and poetry as well, and if you want to know more about his work, check out my story here:
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Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve read this “laureate of lowlife!”