Title: You Get So Alone At Times That it Just Makes Sense
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 313
What we’ve got here is another excellent collection of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, first published in 1986. As always, Bukowski’s work is autobiographical and inspired by his experiences at the races and at the bars and whorehouses that he frequented.
In fact, his love of the horses was so extreme that this collection is dedicated to Jeff Copland, a racing addict who’s been, among other things, a trainer, an agent and a gambler – Bukowski met him at the races, and remained friends with him until the great poet’s death in 1994.
Bukowski’s poetry has always been more formidable than his prose, and while this isn’t necessarily his greatest collection, it’s as good a place as any to start. Trust me, after you’ve read a dozen of his poems, you’ll already be in love with his words – that’s a good thing, it’s like the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
Let’s take a look at some of his poetry – ‘Red Mercedes‘ for example. It gives us a fantastic insight in to the poet’s mindset, and it’s a poem that we can all relate to: “Naturally, we are all caught in downmoods, it’s a matter of chemical imbalance and an existence which, at times, seems to forbid any real chance at happiness.”
At other times, we get a glimpse of the great poet’s addiction to classical music – perhaps the least damaging of his many vices. ‘1813-1883‘, for example, is the period during which Richard Wagner lived and composed his music, and the poem explains how Bukowski is “listening to Wagner, as outside in the dark the wind blows a cold rain.”
Do yourself a favour and read some of Bukowski’s work. For me?