Sex, Death and Digestion

«Great poets die in steaming pots of shit.» (Bukowski’s Motto – here: Introducing his chapbook: «Poems Written Before Jumping Out Of An 8 Story Window», 1968)

Video: Excerpt from «The Charles Bukowski Tapes (II)» by Barbet Schröder / 1985 (Bukowski on the site of the 8 story Window jump – contemplating it.)

«Sex is interesting, but not the only thing decisive.
I’d like to say it’s not even as important
(technically) as is shitting.

A man can be 70 years old,
without ever having pushed a number,
but without a bowel, he may be dead in a week.»

– Charles Bukowski («Notes of a Dirty Old Man», 1969)

In the late 60s, Bukowski’s reputation spread through the entire underground of L.A. The magazine «Open City» committed him to a weekly column. That was the birth of the legendary «Notes …». Here Bukowski was able to enjoy his heart’s content. He wrote on all subjects – from bad museums, about the death of Kennedy – to advice for suicides. Such a «column» had never existed before. The book published a selection of them – and was one of the first to make Bukowski known to the German public – in his birthcountry.

«From a certain point onwards there is no return. This point must be reached. » «Von einem gewissen Punkt an gibt es keine Rückkehr mehr. Dieser Punkt ist zu erreichen.»

(From Franz Kafka’s «Betrachtungen über Sünde, Leid, Hoffnung und den wahren Weg», 1917-19)

One comment on “Sex, Death and Digestion
  1. I carried this portrait of Kafka in my notebook at all times when younger. It still didn’t make me like his books (except The Metamorphosis).

    I’d love to live then and read The Notes at the source. Sometimes I think I did, and then was (re)born in 1970.

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