Okay, so he’s no great stylist. You won’t quote his poems at length the way you might quote Keats or Shakespeare. But I guarantee you will get what he has to say because it is written to communicate simply and directly. You can read a book of Bukowski poems the way you read a pulp novel, from end to end, with total comprehension. In my book, that counts.
finished, can’t find the handle, mugged in the backalleys of nowhere, too many dark days and nights, too many unkind noons, plus a steady fixation for the ladies of death. I am finished, roll me up, package me, toss me to the birds of Normandy or the gulls of Santa Monica, I no longer read I no longer breed, I talk to old men over quiet fences. is this where my suicide complex un- complexes?: as I am asked over the telephone: did you ever know Kerouac? I now allow cars to pass me on the freeway. I haven't been in a fist fight for 15 years. I have to get up and piss 3 times a night. and when I see a sexpot on the street I only see trouble. I am finished, back to square one, drinking alone and listening to classical music. much about dying is getting ready. the tiger walks through my dreams. the cigarette in my mouth just exploded. curious things still do occur. no, I never knew Kerouac. so you see: my life wasn’t useless after all.
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