Charles Bukowski Quotes

41 of the best book quotes from Charles Bukowski
  1. #1
    “I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.
  2. #2
    “regret is mostly caused by not having
    done anything.”
  3. #3
    “there is a place in the heart that
    will never be filled
    a space
    and even during the
    best moments
    the greatest
    we will know it...
    will never be filled
    we will wait
    and wait
    in that
  4. #4
    “I have just listened to this
    symphony which Mozart dashed off
    in one day
    and it had enough wild and crazy
    joy to last
    whatever forever
    Mozart came as close as possible to
  5. #5
    “agony sometimes changes
    it never ceases for
  6. #6
    “we only have ourselves to go on, and
  7. #7
    “sometimes when everything seems at
    its worst
    when all conspires
    and gnaws
    and the hours, days, weeks
    seem wasted-
    stretched there upon my bed
    in the dark
    looking upward at the ceiling
    I get what many will consider an
    obnoxious thought:
    it’s still nice to be
  8. #8
    “everything is so sweetly awful, so
    continuously and
    sweetly awful: the art of
    consummation: life eating
  9. #9
    “what matters most is
    how well you
    walk through the
  10. #10
    “I am sad for the dead and I am sad for
    the living”
  1. #11
    “thinking, the courage it took to get
    out of bed each
    to face the same things
    over and over
  2. #12
    “you know the old saying: it’s all a
    matter of
    either they’re right and I’m wrong or
    I’m right and they’re all
    or maybe it’s some place in between.”
  3. #13
    “nothing matters and
    we know nothing matters
    and that
  4. #14
    “it was one of those times where
    nothing was lost because nothing
    had ever been found.”
  5. #15
    “we have
    more than ever
    the selfish wants of power
    the disregard for the
    the old
    the impoverished
    the helpless.
    we are replacing want with
    salvation with
  6. #16
    “you get what you can,
    try to keep that
    and add to it
    if possible.”
  7. #17
    “naturally, we are all caught in
    downmoods, it’s a matter of
    chemical imbalance
    and an existence
    which, at times,
    seems to forbid
    any real chance at
  8. #18
    “all she wants
    is what she always wanted, only it’s
    getting further and further
  9. #19
    “some men never
    and some men never
    but we’re all alive
  10. #20
    “to make a thing true all you’ve
    got to do is believe.”

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  1. #21
    “I love you but
    don’t know what to
  2. #22
    “When I was drunk and Lydia was insane we were nearly an equal match.”
  3. #23
    ″‘You been married?’
    ‘What happened?’
    ‘Mental Cruelty,’ according to the divorce papers.
    ‘Was it true?’ she asked.
    ‘Of course: both ways.‘”
  4. #24
    ″‘You don’t understand. I’m going to be great. I have more potential than you have!’
    ‘Potential,’ I said, ‘doesn’t mean a thing. You’ve got to do it. Almost every baby in a crib has more potential than I have.‘”
  5. #25
    “I disliked weekends. Everybody was out on the streets. Everybody was playing Ping-Pong or mowing their lawn or polishing their car or going to the supermarket or the beach or to the park. Crowds everywhere. Monday was my favorite day. Everybody was back on the job and out of sight.”
  6. #26
    “Dee Dee poured another glass of wine. It was good wine. I liked her. It was good to have a place to go when things went bad. I remembered the early days when things would go bad and there wasn’t anywhere to go. Maybe that had been good for me. Then. But now I wasn’t interested in what was good for me. I was interested in how I felt and how to stop feeling bad when things went wrong. How to start feeling good again.”
  7. #27
    “Lydia’s tone had suddenly calmed down. I felt better. Her violence frightened me. She always claimed that I was the jealous one, and I was often jealous, but when I saw things working against me I simply became disgusted and withdrew. Lydia was different. She reacted. She was the Head Cheerleader at the Game of Violence.”
  8. #28
    “Few beautiful women were willing to indicate in public that they belonged to someone. I had known enough women to realize this. I accepted them for what they were, and love came hard and very seldom. When it did it was usually for the wrong reasons. One simply became tired of holding love back and let it go because it needed some place to go. Then usually, there was trouble.”
  9. #29
    “Still, I kept thinking about Lydia. The good parts of our relationship felt like a rat walking around and gnawing at the inside of my stomach.”
  10. #30
    “Donny brought the drink and he and Dee Dee talked. They seemed to know the same people. I didn’t know any of them. It took a lot to excite me. I didn’t care. I didn’t like New York. I didn’t like Hollywood. I didn’t like rock music. I didn’t like anything. Maybe I was afraid. That was it – I was afraid. I wanted to sit alone in a room with the shades down. I feasted upon that. I was a crank. I was a lunatic. And Lydia was gone.”
  1. #31
    “There is nothing worse than being broke and having your woman leave you. Nothing to drink, no job, just the walls, sitting there staring at the walls and thinking. That’s how women got back at you, but it hurt and weakened them too. Or so I like to believe.”
  2. #32
    “Dee Dee knew that what happened to one happened to most of us. Our lives were not so different – even though we liked to think so.”
  3. #33
    “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.”
  4. #34
    “Dee Dee ordered another round of drinks. ‘Why can’t you be decent to people?’ she asked.
    ‘Fear,’ I said.”
  5. #35
    “She kissed me and left. I turned off the t.v. and opened another beer. Nothing to do on this island but get drunk. I walked to the window. On the beach below Dee Dee was sitting next to a young man, talking happily, smiling and gesturing with her hands. The young man grinned back. It felt good not to be part of that sort of thing. I was glad I wasn’t in love, that I wasn’t happy with the world. I liked being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers.”
  6. #36
    ″‘Did you write today?’
    ‘A little.’
    ‘Was it good?’
    ‘You never know until 18 days later.‘”
  7. #37
    “I was naturally a loner, content just to live with a woman, eat with her, sleep with her, walk down the street with her. I didn’t want conversation, or to go anywhere except the racetrack or the boxing matches. I didn’t understand t.v. I felt foolish paying money to go into a movie theatre and sit with other people to share their emotions. Parties sickened me. I hated the game-playing, the dirty play, the flirting, the amateur drunks, the bores.”
  8. #38
    “I was in love again, I was in trouble…”
  9. #39
    “Once a woman turns against you, forget it. They can love you, then something turns in them. They can watch you dying in a gutter, run over by a car, and they’ll spit on you.”
  10. #40
    ″‘I don’t want to interfere with your writing.’
    ‘There’s no way I can stop writing, it’s a form of insanity.‘”
  11. #41
    “That night I gave another bad reading. I didn’t care. They didn’t care. If John Cage could get one thousand dollars for eating an apple, I’d accept $500 plus air fare for being a lemon.”

Books about writing

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