Bring Me Your Love (It’s Too Hard)


Illustration by R. Crumb for Charles Bukowski’s short story «Bring Me Your Love» (1990).

In the early 1980s, two titans of the artfully cynical and subversive joined forces in an extraordinary collaboration: Legendary cartoonist and album cover artist R. Crumb illustrated two short books by Charles Bukowski: «Bring Me Your Love» and «There’s No Business». Crumb’s signature underground comix aesthetic and Bukowski’s commentary on contemporary culture and the human condition by way of his familiar tropes — sex, alcohol, the drudgery of work — coalesce into the kind of fit that makes you wonder why it hadn’t happened sooner.

From: «462–0614» by Charles Bukowski
Published 1977 in:

— «Love is a Dog From Hell» – pg. 111
«Second Coming» (Magazine – Vol. 5 – № 1)
and «Northwest Review» (Magazine – Vol. 16 – № 3):

(…) they can’t believe
that the loveless people
the streets
the loneliness
the walls
are mine too.
and when I hang up the phone
they think I have held back my

I don’t write out of
when the phone rings
I too would like to hear words
that might ease
some of this.

that’s why my number’s

Bukowski on the phone (During his Hamburg visit 1978 — © Michael Montfort)

Postscriptum: It’s hard …

I would scream
but they have places for people
who scream.
The few who are different
are eliminated quickly enough
by the police, by their mothers, their
brothers, others; by
all that’s left is what you
hard …

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