Those marks on his face, they resemble the man's character--a mixture of bitter resignation and love of one's fate. Drunken braggart, brute, he has inspired me to have sympathy for myself especially when I am at my worst. His sensitivity was drawn directly from abuse, his meat was tenderized. An eye on what is in fact, true of America. He was a lover of culture, but not its servant. His success was extremely unlikely, and ultimately undeniable. He outlived his more prestigious contemporaries, in more ways than one. Who would argue that his poems are not more relevant than, for instance, those of Ginsberg? Yet Ginsberg had his day and in those days, I imagine Bukowski was much like you or me, racked with doubt by and by of our own value, our own right to exist. I don't know if you could even call it heroic, maybe it is even cowardly how he persisted, and yet...watch the way his writing progresses from the first to last; it is marvelous to witness a man unfolding in letters like he did. When I needed one, he was my greatest friends. From my own life I remember a night, when my little brother (now dead) and I had gotten blind drunk, began shoplifting books at the Barnes and Noble, and when we were away I gave him a copy of "Love is a Dog from Hell"...he slapped it out of my hands and said Bukowski is boring! This was only because my brother looked to me for guidance and I think was confused by more lasting allegiance to a writer who was, if nothing else, consistent. And so it is today, with peers on /lit/ or elsewhere, who have moved on to the greener grass...and yet there is no shame in honoring the great. So my thoughts are, basically, like the thoughts I have of a dead brother---marvelous and warm, heart-wrenching. There are very few writers who have become a part of my life like that.
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