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The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain [NOOK Book]

Overview

The second of five new books of unpublished poems from the late, great, Charles Bukowski, America's most imitated and influential poet –– 143 never–before–seen works of gritty, amusing, and inspiring verse.

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The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain

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Overview

The second of five new books of unpublished poems from the late, great, Charles Bukowski, America's most imitated and influential poet –– 143 never–before–seen works of gritty, amusing, and inspiring verse.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With at least three more full manuscripts apparently still remaining in the trunk Charles Bukowski left at his death in 1994, the appearance of this second installment of posthumous work will only whet fans appetites for more. The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain collects 140 of Bukowski's oft-imitated short lyrics on love, loss and the effect of alcohol on both. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061979750
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 871,831
  • File size: 592 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.

Biography

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

Read an Excerpt

The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain
New Poems

German

being the German kid in the 20's in Los Angeles
was difficult.
there was much anti-German feeling then,
a carry-over from World War I.
gangs of kids chased me through the neighborhood
yelling, "Hienie! Hienie! Hienie!"
they never caught me.
I was like a cat.
I knew all the paths through brush and alleys.
I scaled 6-foot back fences in a flash and was off through
backyards and around blocks
and onto garage roofs and other hiding places.
then too, they didn't really want to catch me.
they were afraid I might bayonet them
or gouge out their eyes.
this went on for about 18 months
then all of a sudden it seemed to stop.
I was more or less accepted (but never really)
which was all right with me.
those sons-of-bitches were Americans,
they and their parents had been born here.
they had names like Jones and Sullivan and
Baker.
they were pale and often fat with runny
noses and big belt buckles.
I decided never to become an American.
my hero was Baron Manfred von Richthofen
the German air ace;
he'd shot down 80 of their best
and there was nothing they could do about
that now.
their parents didn't like my parents
(I didn't either) and
I decided when I got big I'd go live in some place
like Iceland,
never open my door to anybody and live on my
luck, live with a beautiful wife and a bunch of wild
animals:
which is, more or less, what
happened.

The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain
New Poems
. Copyright © by CharlesBukowski. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

German 3
The old girl 5
The birds 9
Game day 11
Gas 13
Mystery leg 15
Be cool, fool 22
An unliterary afternoon 24
Poop 27
The end of an era 31
The 60's 38
The would-be horseplayer 41
The night Richard Nixon shook my hand 43
Throwing away the alarm clock 44
Pretenders 45
$1.25 a gallon 47
Floss-job 49
A friendly place 51
The old couple 54
What? 56
Born again 57
Card girls 58
It's never been so good 61
Goading the muse 63
The wavering line 66
The road to hell 70
Crucifixion 72
Barfly 73
Thoughts while eating a sandwich 77
Nothing's free 78
What bothers them most 79
Into the wastebasket 84
It's over and done 87
Nice guy 88
Feet to the fire 90
The poetry game 91
The fix is in 93
Photos 94
Tonight 95
A visitor complains 97
Besieged 100
The novice 101
Cleopatra now 103
Please 106
The barometer 107
Enemy of the king, 1935 109
Nights of vanilla mice 111
Lark in the dark 113
Lonely hearts 115
B as in bullshit 117
A riot in the streets 118
Interlude 119
D.N.F. 121
Reading little poems in little magazines 122
How to get away? 124
The difficulty of breathing 126
Help wanted and received 129
Heart in the cage 130
Places to die and places to hide 132
Poem for the young and tough 134
Ow 135
My doom smiles at me- 136
Hey, Kafka! 138
A strange visit 140
1970 blues 142
Snow white 144
Sour grapes 145
Fencing with the shadows 146
A hell of a duet 148
The dogs 150
Cold summer 153
Crime does pay 155
Throwing my weight around 157
They rolled the bed out of there 160
Crawl 163
Nothing here 165
My last winter 166
First poem back 167
A summation 168
Walking papers 169
Alone in this room 171
Farewell, farewell 172
About the mail lately 173
Life on the half shell 175
The hardest 176
A terrible need 177
Body slam 178
The gods are good 179
The sound of typewriters 180
A fight 184
Sunbeam 187
Apparitions 191
Speed 192
It's difficult to see your own death approaching 194
Made in the shade (Happy New Year) 195
One for Wolfgang 196
Night unto night 197
Notes on some poetry 199
The buzz 201
A simple kindness 203
Good try, all 205
Proper credentials are needed to join 207
Silly damned thing anyhow 210
Moth to the flame 212
7 come 11 213
Put out the light 215
Foxholes 217
Calm elation, 1993 218
I have this new room 223
Writing 225
Human nature 227
Notations 229
Democracy 231
Kraznick 232
Hungaria, Symphonia Poem #9 by Franz Liszt 234
Club Hell, 1942 236
Unloading the goods 239
Saratoga hot walker 241
The sixties? 244
Experience 250
Fame at last 252
Party of nine 255
He showed me his back 258
The unfolding 259
Drunk before noon 261
Thumbs up, thumbs down 263
They are after me 265
Feeling fairly good tonight 268
There's a poet on every bar stool 269
Valet 274
Prescience 277
10:45 a.m 278
The horses of Mexico 280
A big night 282
A musical difference 284
You tell me what it means 286
Dear reader: 288
Not much singing 290
The shadows 292
A pause before the counter attack 293
Picture this 294
9 bad boys 295
One more day 296
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First Chapter

The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain
New Poems

German

being the German kid in the 20's in Los Angeles
was difficult.
there was much anti-German feeling then,
a carry-over from World War I.
gangs of kids chased me through the neighborhood
yelling, "Hienie! Hienie! Hienie!"
they never caught me.
I was like a cat.
I knew all the paths through brush and alleys.
I scaled 6-foot back fences in a flash and was off through
backyards and around blocks
and onto garage roofs and other hiding places.
then too, they didn't really want to catch me.
they were afraid I might bayonet them
or gouge out their eyes.
this went on for about 18 months
then all of a sudden it seemed to stop.
I was more or less accepted (but never really)
which was all right with me.
those sons-of-bitches were Americans,
they and their parents had been born here.
they had names like Jones and Sullivan and
Baker.
they were pale and often fat with runny
noses and big belt buckles.
I decided never to become an American.
my hero was Baron Manfred von Richthofen
the German air ace;
he'd shot down 80 of their best
and there was nothing they could do about
that now.
their parents didn't like my parents
(I didn't either) and
I decided when I got big I'd go live in some place
like Iceland,
never open my door to anybody and live on my
luck, live with a beautiful wife and a bunch of wild
animals:
which is, more or less, what
happened.

The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain
New Poems
. Copyright © by Charles Bukowski. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Part2 of the Cat and the Crow. Revenge for Chester the Cat!

    Today is even going to be better than yester day! Said Chester. Ohh im gonna get that crow Crow Crow man! That crows lunch today! The off spring is a snack . Then his wife Crow Crowly is dinner! Mmm mh! I can smell a crow sish kabab right now! Caw! Caw! Hey you scardy cat! Said Crowman. Hellooo lunch ! Om nom nom! Burp! Ahhh! Now that is what i call a crow kibab! Now the offspring ! Chep! Cheep! Om! Nom! Nom! Burp! My babies! My husband! Ahhhh! With the swipe of Chesters claw he gobbled her down! The last thing you heard was scresming of the digesting famly of Crow Crowman.

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

    Posted July 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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