Charles Bukowski Quotes
1. Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
2. For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
3. Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
4. If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.
5. We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
6. My ambition is handicapped by laziness
7. You have to die a few times before you can really
8. The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
9. That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.
10. I wanted the whole world or nothing.
11. An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
12. Find what you love and let it kill you.
13. If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose
14. Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.
15. Some lose all mind and become soul,insane.
some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual.
some lose both and become accepted
16. I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.
17. Being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.
18. I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often.
19. The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.
20. Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.
21. A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.
22. There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you.
23. Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.
24. Of course it’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.
25. It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
26. Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.
27. Nothing was ever in tune. People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Back, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.
28. I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.
29. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.
30. I stopped looking for a Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasn’t a nightmare.
31. Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you’ve suddenly become an idiot. There’s no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help.
32. I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.
33. You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.
34. What a weary time those years were — to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability.
35. We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting
36. Life’s as kind as you let it be.
37. We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain.
38. Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you’ll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter. Most people make too much of it. On these grounds a good fuck is not to be entirely scorned. But that’s the result of a chance meeting too. You’re damned right. Drink up. We’ll have another.
39. The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable.
40. I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.
41. I often carry things to read
so that I will not have to look at
42. Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.
43. Without literature, life is hell.
44. This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything…just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.
45. I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the
room was like sunlight to me.
46. She was desperate and she was choosey
at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn’t have quite enough going for her to become what
she imagined herself to be.
47. And yet women-good women–frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep.
48. There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you.
49. I never met another man I’d rather be. And even if that’s a delusion, it’s a lucky one.
50. The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting
51. I drive around the streets
an inch away from weeping,
ashamed of my sentimentality and
52. I carry death in my left pocket. Sometimes I take it out and talk to it: “Hello, baby, how you doing? When you coming for me? I’ll be ready.
53. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
54. She’s mad, but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire.
55. I’m going, she said. I love you but you’re
crazy, you’re doomed.
56. Too often the people complain that they have done nothing with their
lives and then they wait for somebody to tell them that this isn’t so.
57. Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It’s like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss.
58. Anything is a waste of time unless you are fucking well or creating well or getting well or looming toward a kind of phantom-love-happiness.
59. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
60. Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?