Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

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by Charles Bukowski
     
 

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From "neither Shakespeare nor Mickey Spillane"

young young young, only wanting the Word,
going mad in the streets and in the bars,
brutal fights, broken glass, crazy women
screaming in
your cheap room,
you a familiar guest at the drunk tank, North
Avenue 21, Lincoln Heights

sifting through the madness for the Word, the
line
the

…  See more details below

Overview

From "neither Shakespeare nor Mickey Spillane"

young young young, only wanting the Word,
going mad in the streets and in the bars,
brutal fights, broken glass, crazy women
screaming in
your cheap room,
you a familiar guest at the drunk tank, North
Avenue 21, Lincoln Heights

sifting through the madness for the Word, the
line
the way,
hoping for a check from somewhere,
dreaming of a letter from a great editor:
"Chinaski, you don't know how long we've been waiting for you!"

no chance at all.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
By the time he died in 1994, Charles Bukowski had achieved international fame and notoriety as a postmodern Villon, a troubadour of the down-and-out and the misbegotten. "I have compassion for almost all the individuals of the world," he once said; "at the same time, they repulse me." The poems and short stories of this German-born Los Angeleno rendered the lives of flophouse friends, prostitutes, and hopeless alcoholics with warts-and-all precision. This 400-page collection presents the last great batch of Bukowski's poetic work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060527358
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.39(d)

Read an Excerpt

sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way
new poems

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don'tdo it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way
new poems
. Copyright © by Charles Bukowski. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Charles Bukowski 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 two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

Brief Biography

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

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