Notice To Quit

United States Post Office – Ground Story. View behind windows – Grand Central Post Office Annex, Forty-fifth Street and Lexington Avenue, Southwest corner / New York

«At the worst of times, in the worst of cities, if I could have a small room, if I could close the door of that small room and be alone in it with the old dresser, the bed, the torn window shade, I would begin to fill with something good; the unmolested tone of the singular self. I had no problem with myself, it was those places out there, those faces out there, the wasted ruined lives – people settling for the cheapest and easiest way out. Between church and state, the family structure; between our educational and entertainment systems; between the eight–hour job and the credit system, they were burned alive. Closing the door to a small room or sitting in a bar night and day was my way of saying no to all that.»

— Taken from: «Bukowski In His Own Words» (Little Lagoon Press, 1998)

In 1954 Bukowski and Jane Cooney Baker briefly lived at the Aragon apartment house on South WestLake Avenue / Los Angeles. Bukowski and Jane were evicted from the building. The «Notice To Quit» shows they were thrown out for «excessive drinking, fighting and foul language …» – The notice is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Bukowski because Bukowski and Jane had to pose as a married couple to get rented rooms. They never actually married. The building was later used as a set for the movie «Barfly». (Eviction notice from the collection of Howard Sounes)

Moyamensing Prison were Bukowski was imprisoned for failing to keep in contact with the army draft board. (The Urban Archives, Temple University / Philadelphia)


Audio: «Grammar Of Life» – a Bootleg recording on the CD «Happy Hour» included in the above mentioned Little Lagoon Press publication.

From «Charles Bukowski Speaks Out» (Chicago Literary Times – published in March 1963): Interview by Arnold L. Kaye, Los Angeles Correspondent to the Chicago Literary Times:

Kaye: «To get down to more serious matters, what influence do you feel Mickey Mouse has had on the American imagination?»

Bukowski: «Tough. Tough, indeed. I would say that Mickey Mouse had a greater influence on the American public than Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, Rabelais, Shostakovich, Lenin, and/or Van Gogh. Which say «What?» about the American public. Disneyland remains the central attraction of Southern California, but the graveyard remains our reality.»

Vincent van Gogh: «Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles» – Sketch taken from a letter to his brother Theo (October 1888)

3 comments on “Notice To Quit
  1. Stay on the fringes away form,
    Living in my own insanity is
    Enough of what I truly need
    No interruption to paint &
    Write, w/0 the realities of what
    May lay pass those fringes
    The Sheldon Perspective

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