Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
Addict
drugaddict

alcohol, skid row and hustlers, women and hard living

1933

A Prolific, Intoxicating Life Filled With Booze and Books

June 27, 2006

This week in 1933, California endorsed repeal of the 18th Amendment. Prohibition, impossible to enforce, had no apparent long-term effect on the drinking habits of Americans, famously not on those of American writers. For poet and novelist Charles Bukowski, alcohol and art seemed intertwined. He was prolific, the author of dozens of books—and of the screenplay for "Barfly," a movie based on his life and work—drawing inspiration from Los Angeles and alcohol, skid row and hustlers, women and hard living. On his gravestone are the words "Don't Try."

*

"are you drinking?"

*

washed-up, on shore,

the old yellow notebook

out again

I write from the bed

as I did last

year.

will see the doctor,

Monday.

"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-

aches and my back

hurts."

"are you drinking?" he will ask.

"are you getting your

exercise, your

vitamins?"

I think that I am just ill

with life, the same stale yet

fluctuating

factors.

even at the track

I watch the horses run by

and it seems

meaningless.

I leave early after buying tickets on the

remaining races.

"taking off?" asks the mutuel

clerk.

"yes, it's boring,"

I tell him.

"if you think it's boring

out there," he tells me, "you oughta be

back here."

so here I am

propped against my pillows

again

just an old guy

just an old writer

with a yellow

notebook.

something is

walking across the

floor

toward

me.

oh, it's just

my cat

this

time.

*

Source: "The Last Night of the Earth Poems," © 1992 by Charles Bukowski.
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