The Bone Palace Ballet

I was introduced to Charles Bukowski’s writing when I was a sophomore in college. Some hippie from Humbolt County came up to visit a roommate and told me to read him. I’m glad I listened. He is now one of my favorite authors. I fell in love with him almost immediately. That semester my drink, when we went out, was half-and-half whiskey and waters. I found myself going to the bar more, and paying attention to the people who were there. I saw the romance in dark, dingy, rent-by-the-week hotels. I fully realized the allure of the racetrack. I stayed away from the fighting though – I saw no cause to injure myself. I remember I saw a signed copy of his book in the library and schemed out a plan to sneak it past the alarms. However, shortly after I finished the plan and recruited the necessary accomplices, the library flooded and I graduated shortly after that. I still wonder if that book is there.

I’ve read all of his novels but Post Office. This is because I want something to hold onto. Something to read on my death bed. I’ve also read most of his short stories. Over the last few years, I’ve been in the slow process of reading his poems. I keep a book of them in the shitter with me and whenever I have to go bust out a few, I open the current book of poems and bust a few of those out too. A while back I just finished The Bone Palace Ballet, a collection of mostly newer poems that were put together posthumously. It was pretty good. Great shitter reading material. And you know what? I think Bukowski would take that as one of his best compliments.

Charles Bukowski having a nice read on the shitter

in other words

the Egyptians loved the cat
were often entombed with it
instead of with women
and never with the dog

but now
good people with
good eyes
are very few

yet fine cats
with great style
lounge about
in the alleys of
the universe.

our argument tonight
whatever it was
no matter
it made us

remember that
there is a
adjusting to the
space of itself
with a delightful

in other words
magic persists
without us
no matter what
we may try to do
to spoil it.

14 thoughts on “The Bone Palace Ballet”

  1. Nice redesign! Very much, very much easier to read. (But. Your comments popup window needs a left margin of a little bit; there’s no buffer, there…)

    But, yes! Very nice!

  2. Post Office is the only one of his novels that I *have* read! It’s great though.

    I like Bukowski a lot too, but I’m also irritated by the tendency of his fans to emulate him – & I know that’s because of one person in particular, who used being-like-Bukowski as an excuse for treating everyone around him like shit.

  3. gemgirl – thanks! i still got a lot i want to change such as a links page, and the individual entry index but i figured i’d just go ahead and put it up.

    SE – haha, it is. on both counts.

    erin – i guess i have been guilty of emulating him in the ways i spoke about above. but i can think of a lot better reasons than liking a particular author to treat people like shit.

  4. ooh, i like the redesign. i might try to do some work on my sight this weekend to add on a links bar below the banner, but then we might be twins…

  5. Good design. My old bus stop is right across from that building, and as silly as it seems, I always imagined someone breaking certain lights on that building to create a bunch of swastikas. People have accused me of being a skinhead based on my appearance before, but my fantasy was based simply on the shape of the swastika and the way that the building’s lights were setup. If you look at, the possibilities are endless.

  6. I am not so finicky about fonts, so I think it looks great 😉

    I started reading Bukowski when I was 14. It was actually better that way, because there was so much that was over my head and things that I just didn’t know yet… so every time I read it, I gain a little more insight.

    Also, I had a Bukowski book (Run With the Hunted) on loan from the library when my car caught on fire (it was a VW – bound to happen)… and I thought it perished. But after all the hub-bub, the mechanic rebuilding the Ghia found the book, safe under the seat. I never took it back… I figured there was a reason that it made it through the inferno with me… so I still have it. I think the library is looking for me, though… I probably owe $6million in fines. :\

  7. It’s fucked up, but only if you think about it like most people do. The swastika has been around for longer than Jesus. Just because one person turned it into his symbol for hatred doesn’t mean that it should be always regarded as such. Good pic though. I love that building.

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