We've read Bukowski. Awful man. Drunk, violent, pornographic. Obsessed with redheads. Reviled in the academe. Time magazine called him a laureate of American lowlife. Look at him. What a gluttonous face. He can't consume enough. On the other hand most of his poems get it right. Some of those poems kick you in the gut and you ache for the rest of the day. That's what this reader gets from Bukowski anyway.
A few weeks ago because I could not find my old copy of it I bought another copy of Bukowski's Love is a Dog From Hell. When I opened the book what fell out was a Safety Information Notice for a Clear Glass Aquarium. No date given. No explanation. It was Bukowski's Safety Information Notice for a Clear Glass Aquarium, weird and random and falling out of the book like it demanded to be noticed and read. Here are excerpts (language warning):
- The filled weight of an aquarium is approximately 10 to 12 pounds per gallon. When you fill your aquarium use ROOM TEMPERATURE BEER. (typical aquarium set-up condensation warning --EB)
- Use an approved aquarium stand. The filled weight of the fucking aquarium is 10 to 12 pounds per gallon of beer. Don't just put it on the fucking bookshelf. It will fall the fuck over.
- Don't fuck around with the aquarium. Put water in it, put fish in it, fill it with booze for chrissakes just don't fuck around with it. The aquarium's the one thing you got going for you.
- No fucking on the aquarium.
- You find the sonofawhore who stole my Volks you contact me I'm gonna come there chop off his head put it in the aquarium for the fucking fish to eat.
- A redhead can do anything she wants with the aquarium. She wants the aquarium, even if she wants to dump out all the fish and all the water and smash the aquarium to a thousand pieces in the street outside your fleabag room cause she's pissed about something you said, just give her the aquarium. It's hers, just like you.
Here's Bukowski's like a flower in the rain.
like a flower in the rain
by Charles Bukowski
I cut the middle fingernail of the middle
and I began rubbing along her cunt
as she sat upright in bed
spreading lotion over her arms
then she lit a cigarette:
"don't let this put you off,"
and smoked and continued to rub the
I continued to rub the cunt.
"you want an apple?" I asked.
"sure," she said, "you got one?"
but I got to her --
she began to twist
then she rolled on her side,
she was wet and open
like a flower in the rain.
the she rolled on her stomach
and her most beautiful ass
looked up at me
and I reached under and got the
she reached around and got my
cock, she rolled and twisted,
my face falling into the mass
of red hair that overflowed
from her head
and my fattened cock entered
into the miracle.
later we joked about the lotion
and the cigarette and the apple.
then I went out and got some chicken
and shrimp and French fries and buns
and mashed potatoes and gravy and
cole slaw, and we ate. she told me
how good she felt and I told her
how good I felt and we ate
the chicken and the shrimp and the
French fries and the buns and the
mashed potatoes and the gravy and
the cole slaw too.
-- from Love Is a Dog From Hell
Black Sparrow Press, 1977
-- Eric Bourland 23 May 2010 for BAP