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Bone Palace Ballet [NOOK Book]


This is a collection of 175 previously unpublished works by Bukowski. It contains yarns about his childhood in the Depression and his early literary passions, his apprentice days as a hard-drinking, starving poetic aspirant, and his later years when he looks back at fate with defiance.

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Bone Palace Ballet

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This is a collection of 175 previously unpublished works by Bukowski. It contains yarns about his childhood in the Depression and his early literary passions, his apprentice days as a hard-drinking, starving poetic aspirant, and his later years when he looks back at fate with defiance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Even as he approached death, Bukowski (1920-1994) remained a poet contemptuous of transcendence. From its first section, "As Young As We Were Ever Going to Get," to its last, "the big guy doesn't have me out of here yet," this posthumous collection of new poems revels in the substance of thoroughly earthyand often sordidexperiences. Bukowski chronicles his own lusts, bad behavior and wry observations. The first section shows the young Bukowski staring up the skirt of a sexy English teacher and discovering the comfort of literature in his early dysfunctional home. The second section, "the streets were all I saw," tells stories from Bukowski's early adulthood, when he spent his time starving "in a roominghouse and/ pretending to be a writer." Not surprisingly, Bukowski (Betting on the Muse, etc.) romanticizes the visits to whores and barroom escapades, remembering his drunken youth as a time when there was a "feeling of/ joy and gamble in/ the air." The third and fourth sections contain stories from his adulthood and some startlingly clear impressionistic sketches. In the final section, Bukowski stares down the reaper and takes stock. Receiving bags full of letters telling him "what a great writer I am," he confesses, "I read everything, dump every-/ thing, go about my/ business.// I am aware that no man is/ a `great' writer." It's this kind of unadorned self-awareness that allows Bukowski to observe the world, have a laugh and mind his own businessall the while reeling off memorably candid poems that don't take themselves too seriously. (June)
Library Journal
This posthumous collection of poems by Bukowski (Pulp, LJ 6/1/96) is a wonderful swan song. The settings remain mostly the sametaprooms, race tracks, and back alleysand the themes largely unchangedfragile relationships, heavy drinking, and the art of writing. However, one new theme that surfaces in this collection is the acceptance of death and old age. Bukowski knows he faces death and seeks "the grave to find a more/ comfortable/ position." He realizes that death will be his final act, and he will be "alone but not lonely." Accepting it, he writes with clarity and precision"I will write the stuff only for myself/ and to myself"and goes on to realize that in death he will "no longer defile these pages/ with my raw and simple/ lines." The only drawback of this work lies in a handful of weaker poems that show Bukowski attempting to be clever, and this is when he fails. For the most part, however, readers will see Bukowski at his best. Highly recommended.Tim Gavin, Episcopal Acad., Merion, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061871436
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,346,084
  • File size: 552 KB

Meet the Author

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowsk is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944 when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.


During the course of his long, prolific literary career, Charles Bukowski was known as a poet, novelist, short story writer, and journalist. But it is as a cult figure, an "honorary beat" who chronicled his notorious lifestyle in raw, unflinching poetry and prose, that he is best remembered. Born in the aftermath of World War I to a German mother and an American serviceman of German descent, he was brought to the U.S. at the age of three and raised in Los Angeles. By all accounts, his childhood was lonely and unhappy: His father beat him regularly, and he suffered from debilitating shyness and a severely disfiguring case of acne. By his own admission, he underwent a brief flirtation with the far right, associating as a teenager with Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. After high school, he attended Los Angeles City College for two years, studying art, literature, and journalism before dropping out.

Although two of his stories were published in small literary magazines while he was still in his early 20s, Bukowski became discouraged by his lack of immediate success and gave up writing for ten years. During this time he drifted around the country, working odd jobs; fraternizing with bums, hustlers, and whores; and drinking so excessively that he nearly died of a bleeding ulcer.

In the late 1950s, Bukowski returned to writing, churning out copious amounts of poetry and prose while supporting himself with mind-numbing clerical work in the post office. Encouraged and mentored by Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin, he finally quit his job in 1969 to concentrate on writing full time. In 1985, he married his longtime girlfriend Linda Lee Beighle. Together they moved to San Pedro, California, where Bukowski began to live a saner, more stable existence. He continued writing until his death from leukemia in 1994, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

Bukowski mined his notorious lifestyle for an oeuvre that was largely autobiographical. In literally thousands of poems, he celebrated the skid row drunks and derelicts of his misspent youth; and, between 1971 and 1989, he penned five novels (Post Office, Factotum, Women, Ham on Rye, and Hollywood) featuring Henry Chinaski, an alcoholic, womanizing, misanthrope he identified as his literary alter ego. (He also wrote the autobiographical screenplay for the 1987 film Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.) Yet, for all the shock value of his graphic language and violent, unlovely images, Bukowski's writing retains a startling lyricism. Today, years after his death, he remains one of the 20th century's most influential and widely imitated writers.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      August 16, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Andernach, Germany
    1. Date of Death:
      March 9, 1994
    2. Place of Death:
      San Pedro, California
    1. Education:
      Los Angeles City College, 2 years

Table of Contents

God's man 17
not normal 21
classical 23
the puking lady 25
depression kid 30
burlesque 34
first love 37
mountain 40
field exercises 43
what will the neighbors think? 45
full circle 49
a place in Philly 53
the Kenyon Review and other matters 55
big night on the town 57
total madness 59
on the bum 64
society should realize... 67
madman 69
nazi 71
16 Jap machine gun bullets 73
bar stool 75
the mirror game 81
liar, liar, pants on fire! 83
the inspection 84
somewhere in Texas 87
city boy 89
the strange morning outside the bar 93
a $15 boy and a $1500 casket 98
rosary 101
the smirking dark 103
two crazies 106
a note on the masses 108
Lord Byron 111
the weak 115
a tough time 116
some luck, somehow 121
art class 123
payoff 127
ding-dong 129
AFDC for you and me 133
I know you 134
bone palace ballet 135
oh 137
what can you do? 138
my friend, the parking lot attendant 140
last will and testament 142
12 minutes to post 144
in the center of the action 145
the fool 146
the rock 149
ah 150
room 106 151
in other words 153
the horseplayer 155
the big one 157
the parade 158
bum on the loose 159
going away 161
stag 162
late payment 164
2 horse collars 165
counsel 166
the fighter 167
my worst rejection slip 168
40,000 173
coffeeshop 176
poetry readings 181
journey to the end 185
upon reading a critical review 186
the beautiful lady 187
black 188
my style 189
dead 190
a re-evaluation 191
snake-eyes 192
our world 193
how to get rid of the purists 195
a curious thing 197
the finger 201
don't forget 203
last call 204
undecent 206
one of those 207
candy-ass 209
the word 210
please 213
good night, sweet prince 215
Dreiser wasn't so hot either 216
cruising 220
the way it is 223
a final word on no final word 225
each man's hell is different 227
the powers that be 229
clever 231
the poem 233
my mail 235
walking with the dead 239
up through the night 240
the fool dines out 241
hey, hey, hey 243
band-aid 244
the dangling carrot 247
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013


    It's a very real look at someone's descent into old age, and deciding what's really important. It's important

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2004

    It's good.

    It's almost as if hank can do no wrong. Almost. Still, it's a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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