Charles Bukowski: Literature And Poetry For Men

Women are far more dangerous than men. Men want to get away, women want a thing called vengeance.  – Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski, was a poet, a literary giant, and an unrepentant alcoholic. Now perhaps you’re thinking “A poet? Why the hell do I need to know about a pansy-ass poet?” Bukowski would’ve wholeheartedly agreed. Bukowski hated the poets. He did not want to be lumped in with them—the pansy poets.

In a letter he wrote that “I am not primarily a poet, I hate god gooey people poets messing the smears of their lives against the sniveling world…” The academics, the poetry snobs, returned Bukowski’s disgust. They reviled him. They complained that by making poetry accessible, raw, gritty, dirty, and readable he was destroying the art form.

Bukowski’s answer was simple, it came in the form of a poem called Art. It goes something like those with no spirit, resort to form. Look it up. According to Bukowski, for writing to be something other than foolishness or pretense the words had to cut into the paper like painting–writing should be like painting, and raw so that when you turn the page your hand should come away bloody.

That was Bukowski’s motto as he churned out hundreds of poems, six novels, a screenplay, and several collections of short stories and essays.

The ladies would rather go to bed with a poet than anything, even a German police dog…Charles Bukowski


While in high school Bukowski was afflicted with a severe case of acne vulgaris. The treatment of the condition at the time, drilling into the huge blisters on his face to drain the pus, left him with severe scarring. He’d leave the hospital with his face wrapped in bandages like the Invisible Man, scaring the women and children on L.A.’s streets and public transportation.

The scarring and his alcoholism gave him a beyond rugged appearance. He was downright ugly, so much so that a woman at a poetry reading remarked, “You’re so ugly, you’re beautiful.” The appearance of his ragged face did not matter to Bukowski—instead, he relished it, much like a Heidelberg scar.

As Bukowski’s reputation as a poet grew, despite his ugliness, he had the opportunity to be with many women. His novel Women is about his experiences with several of them. Like all of his writing it is highly readable, unpretentious, funny, and honest.

The FEMALE. There is no way. Don’t wait for the good woman. She doesn’t exist…the male, for all his bravado and exploration, is the loyal one, the one who generally feels love. -Charles Bukowski

While Bukowski’s writing is in general about existential alienation (Sartre was an admirer) and the absurdity of humanity, a recurring theme in his work is the relationship between man and woman. His story 6 Inches (you’ll never guess the twist) is a perfect allegory to the man-hating feminist movement.

The feminists of his day screamed misogyny, but Bukowski was an equal opportunity offender—the feminists, being utterly self-absorbed, self-pitying, and self-aggrandizing, missed the point, he was a self-proclaimed misanthropist. He criticized humanity as a whole and that included women.

“The great wash of humanity doesn’t interest me but it sure as hell ingests me in its horror show. I fight back with little tricks: the typewriter, the bottle, hiding out, ignoring the consensus,” he wrote. In Bukowski’s mind women were open to ridicule as much as men and humanity as a whole, and he when he got behind a typewriter or got drunk, often both at the same time, he did not hold back his contempt. I

n a correspondence he wrote, “I really do not get enough good ass and I never will because if a woman’s soul is sack of shit I will not fail to tell them so…”

You want real hell? Try living with a so-called beautiful woman. It’s a mirage that turns into a total nightmare. If you have to have a woman, look for kindness. A sense of overall reality.Charles Bukowski

Bukowski’s outward reputation was that of a brawling drunkard, and hard-ass, but much of that was a persona he cultivated through poetry readings, he was actually very sensitive and capable of deep love. His first love was Jane Cooney Baker, a woman ten years his senior, who died of alcoholism long before Bukowski passed away due to leukemia.

His poem For Jane: With All the Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough is as powerful a declaration of a man’s love for a woman as there is in all of poetry. Bukowski got married twice. First to a wealthy publisher’s daughter (who he married sight unseen before he was a famous poet) and finally to a woman he met at one of his poetry readings after he had completed his “research” of sleeping around for his novel Women.

On his first marriage, which ended in divorce a little over two years in, he wrote to a female friend, “I thought if I can make one person happy in this world then my life has not been wasted.” Of course, marriage doesn’t work that way. His writing was the manner in which he would bring pleasure to thousands of people, though in his own words he never wrote for other people but to save his ass from the grip of madness and suicide. Nevertheless, this sentiment shows the sensitivity and romanticism in his thinking that would express itself in his poetry.

Don’t try – Charles Bukowski

Thanks to Bukowski men can read poetry and literature that isn’t soft, slick, false, and crafted to read a certain way. Bukowski’s idol Hemingway was the precursor to the raw, scintillating, moving, humorous brand of men’s literature that Bukowski has left us.

No one wrote like Bukowski before Bukowski and no one has written as well since.

Read More: Society Is Oblivious To The Warnings Of Literature

50 thoughts on “Charles Bukowski: Literature And Poetry For Men”

  1. Good find. I rarely read the authors others follow but he seems like my kind of guy. The last author I listened someone on was for Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. For a beginner to his works, are there any recommendations?

    1. This…listen closely, written in the mid /late 70s….most has come to pass…

        1. Aint it? The crazy sob was talking about the fed 40 yrs ago…

      1. This quote caught my eye
        “if you get married they think you’re
        and if you are without a woman they think you’re

      2. I admire the man. But does Chuck Bukowski sound like Mister Rogers, or have I been taking crazy pills?

    2. The local library or book store will likely have several titles. Start with a short story collection. He gets pretty raw and amoral, necrophilia, homosexuality, for example. On the whole he is a rewarding read.

  2. I am sorry to be, in a way, spamming. But, hell it is TOO important.
    Telegony, the hypothesis that a woman’s partner/partners prior to conception are part of the DNA of any further pregnancy has been proven real in flies. Horsebreeders knew this forever.
    I know its wikipedia, but its relatively well footnoted, linking to the royal society and whatnot…
    I think Bukowski woulda found it funny if hed been around to see it. We need an article working through the effects of this being true in humans…

    1. Sperm compete for ‘getting in’ to the membrane surrounding the egg. I don’t know how much ‘say’ the egg itself has in which sperm is allowed to traverse the ‘gates’ of the egg’s protective membrane. Perhaps there is some communication we’re unaware of between the egg and the sperm. Even from the same sire, no sperm is alike. A tiny few amount of sperm may have traits from ancient ancestors which in no way resemble the sire. Perhaps there is residual genetic memory left over in the female from her previous escapades riding the carousel and getting drenched and ingesting the pheromones of the alpha mates. This ‘memory’ links and triggers the egg to ‘seek’ and allow a sperm with ancient ancestral link to the matching alpha pheromone exposure. So the egg finds the sperm with the little trace of familiar ‘bubba’ from the ol’ carousel. Blonde Swedish girls every so often pop out a ‘darkie’ or ‘dutch black’ even when no dark complected people are within hundreds of kilometers. Also dark mestizo hispanics or ‘indian’ appearing women will from time to time give birth to a child with white skin and red or blonde hair resembling a celt or the old Spanish bloodline. They call them ‘white buffalos’ and some of the pro ‘darkie’ cliques make them outcasts while others accept them.

        1. Give it a couple more years. I just read an article about someone trying to ban white people from doing yoga bc of cultural appropriation. Accusations of rape in the embryonic stage aren’t that far off anymore.

    2. Yes, you are spamming. The article you link to says that telegony is not real in the first paragraph, no matter how many exclamation points you use.
      Are you suggesting that truth should be determined by “things that horse breeders have known forever?”
      And before you bring up the fruit flies, that is one study and it doesn’t prove a genetic link. It’s the kind of study that raises questions worth investigating. Read the abstract for yourself and tell me if you think it says that, in your words, TELEGONY IS REAL!!!!

  3. Misanthropy, nihilism and fatalism are the hallmarks of a failing civilization. I’ve met plenty of men like this in America.
    This may be validating reading for some, but it’s lost on us who aren’t resigned to a meaningless universe where the only refuge is hedonism, and the only point is waiting for the reaper.

    1. i dislike nihilism and fatalism too, but man, that quote about living with a beautiful woman. summed up my life with my ex-wife so well that i’m tempted to read some of his stuff.

  4. For some reason, Bukowski was worshiped at the (really) liberal arts college I attended. At the same time, the only book I have of his was given to me by the ultra-conservative alcoholic ex-Navy dad of a female friend. Clearly, he spoke to a wide variety of people.

    1. He was loved at many liberal arts colleges, but this was when the left was the guardian of individualism, before they turned into the hysterical raving locus of group think they are today.

      1. It seems the defenders of free speech always becomes whatever party is in the minority.

  5. Never in my life seen the point of poetry. Can’t stand it. Barely read this article even.
    Probably stems from being a Welshman raised around the English. For those either too foreign or too English to understand what this means I’ll spell it out.
    English poetry is weapons grade.
    You can literally use it to drive people to suicide. The Hitchhikers guide was not joking on this account. The English just seem to have this bizarre mental block that kicks in with poetry.

    1. Part of me thinks there has to be some point to the art form, and that I should perhaps dig a little harder for a poetry that I would like. My views of poetry have been too clouded by the loudest and most obnoxious of the lot, guys like Percy Shelley. I’ve ever since then had the impression that they’re all a bunch of feminine, bisexual hacks who, when they’re not taking it up the ass, are moaning about how important and yet unappreciated they are (“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world” – Ms. Frankenstein’s husband, again).

      1. Well, Felix Dennis engages in poetry during his free time (author of “how to get rich”) and he certainly displays some Dark Triad characteristics. Wouldn’t be so quick to disqualify poets as manginas. Pook also appreciates their art, don’t remember why though.

    1. Check out the movie “Barfly” starring Mickey Rourke too- great performance.
      I believe it takes place around 1970, thats why the literary agent who discovered him was a woman- no fem poisoning yet.
      No way in hell this guy gets published today, he;d only have a blogspot site.

      1. “Factotum” was a good indie film starring Matt Dillon as Henry Chinaski. Absolutely worth watching. I’ve read all of Bukoski’s novels. Factotum, Women, and Post Office are my favorites. Post Office is one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read.

    1. I notice Bukowski is never talking with rapport with his ladies. Not much back and forth give and take but lengthy and interesting monologue. He’s storytelling and they sit there shifting their asses like mesmerized cats. Voila! It’s ‘STORYTELLING’ game. Simply ingenious. Another ancient storyteller was Moses who had a stellar notch count. You can bet he could run some storytelling game.
      Bukowski kind of brings to mind Andy Kauffman when he did his insult comedian bit. Also another performer from a different era who always drank on stage and played in pubs was Sir Harry Lauder who also entertained WW1 troops.

  6. This site should have a section and article at least once a week devoted to Bukowski.

    1. The more I read of his work the more I realize how timeless and insightful the man was. How he was able to survive having contempt for Humanity is beyond me.

      1. I once had a feminist teacher mark a paper down a letter grade for merely quoting him. And she made it clear to me that it was the reason she marked it down.She informed me if I ever mentioned that nitwit in her class assignnments again that the same would continue to happen and if I returned the paper without the quote she would revise my grade. I returned it corrected,but if anything makes a lad take a second look at something/idea/writer, it is telling him it’s not allowed. Here I was merely mentioning something and getting shamed,punished,and threats to be ostracize, from a teacher who I frankly despised in the first place. She made it clear many times that “girls were more better than boys” ,by actually saying that in class verbatim. That dual notion that I wasn’t allowed to say I was better than anyone ,because of equality and she(a teacher) was allowed to say what I wasn’t, weighed heavy on me.

  7. “The ladies would rather go to bed with a poet than anything, even a German police dog… – Charles Bukowski”
    That’s probably no longer true any more. Poetry, as any other art form is lost on today’s female.

    1. Perhaps, but Hank was a famous hipster when the broads “discovered” him. His early life vs. his later, more famous life squares with the hypergamy of females then, now and always. Early, nondescript life, no pussy (his first pussy was at 24, a 300 pound hooker). His later, more famous life, endless pussy.

  8. ‘Ol “Buckshot” Bukowski was actually born in Germany but left when he was just a toddler and he didn’t even learn his Mutter Sprache. But Bukowski was America’s Schopenauer.

  9. Great article. Heard & read about him but haven’t really got into his work. Worth checking out.

  10. “You want real hell? Try living with a so-called beautiful woman. It’s a mirage that turns into a total nightmare. If you have to have a woman, look for kindness. A sense of overall reality. – Charles Bukowski”
    Whereas that remark is true, most guys who who say things like that do so because they can’t get with a hot chick. And a hot chick, with all of her superficialities is still a commodity every hetero man wants to get with since we are bioligically wired for T&A.
    I’ve yet to see a photo of Bukowski with a hot chick. He seem to always to be chicks whose face-of-a-back-end-of-a-moose looks ran around the 6 mark.

    1. It’s easy living with a beautiful woman so long as you bend and do as they say. As she swallows you inch by inch like a boa constrictor, as she uses you up, don’t whine or complain. Just acquiesce. But if you want war, then just try to tame and break a beautiful woman late in life after she’s already tasted blood and run wild.
      Solution: Break ’em early and keep ’em broke. Not too high a price to pay for maintaining civilization is it?

      1. Frame control is often a battle of genius strategy and will. Its an unappreciated skill in this day and age.

    2. Chicks who spend most of their time looking hot don’t tend to have a sense of overall reality.
      Your answer is right there in the quote.
      I’m much more a fan of an interesting face and a strong character. Beyond looking after herself and being healthy, who gives a shit whether anyone else thinks she’s hot?!

        1. You think that because you have no character.
          You feel better when the big boys accept you. You date hot chicks because you care what the boys think.
          You spend the majority of you time changing yourself to be liked by your own gender. You are making big noises accusing people of being gay.
          You are gay. And thats OK. You don’t have to pretend anymore son.

  11. Dinosaurus We….. One of the greatest poems ever written. The guy was a straight up American treasure

    1. henry miller was a cuckolded bitch. he let some dyke take his wife, his ungrateful whore of a wife. dude was one of the biggest blue pill chumps ever.

  12. It has been said that the most brutally honest people are usually the most respected. Bukowski wrote hard truths in his many books. Ham On Rye has hard lessons of the street. I would recommend Bukowski as he exemplifies the ‘Devil may care’ attitude of Red Pill life. Don’t think of Bukowski as a poet, he wrote the word on the street, cut through the fog of ‘conventional’ wisdom and exposed hard truths of our ostensibly “civilized” urban living.
    P.S. Guys, by reading Bukowski, you’ll also laugh your asses of something fierce.

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