Charles Bukowski Quotes

44 of the best book quotes from Charles Bukowski
“nothing matters and we know nothing matters and that matters...”
“there is a place in the heart that will never be filled a space and even during the best moments and the greatest times we will know it... will never be filled and we will wait and wait in that space.”
“agony sometimes changes form but it never ceases for anybody.”
“you know the old saying: it’s all a matter of taste and either they’re right and I’m wrong or I’m right and they’re all wrong or maybe it’s some place in between.”
“some men never die and some men never live but we’re all alive tonight.”
“thinking, the courage it took to get out of bed each morning to face the same things over and over was enormous.”
“you get what you can, try to keep that and add to it if possible.”
“what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”
“I am sad for the dead and I am sad for the living”
“regret is mostly caused by not having done anything.”
“we only have ourselves to go on, and it’s enough...”
“sometimes when everything seems at its worst when all conspires and gnaws and the hours, days, weeks years 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 Bukowski.”
“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 happiness.”
“all she wants is what she always wanted, only it’s getting further and further away.”
“to make a thing true all you’ve got to do is believe.”
“I love you but don’t know what to do.”
“it was one of those times where nothing was lost because nothing had ever been found.”
“we have more than ever the selfish wants of power the disregard for the weak the old the impoverished the helpless. we are replacing want with war salvation with slavery.”
“everything is so sweetly awful, so continuously and sweetly awful: the art of consummation: life eating life...”
“I have just listened to this symphony which Mozart dashed off in one day and it had enough wild and crazy joy to last forever, whatever forever is Mozart came as close as possible to that.”
“I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.
“When I was drunk and Lydia was insane we were nearly an equal match.”
″‘You been married?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What happened?’ ‘Mental Cruelty,’ according to the divorce papers. ‘Was it true?’ she asked. ‘Of course: both ways.‘”
″‘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.‘”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Dee Dee ordered another round of drinks. ‘Why can’t you be decent to people?’ she asked. ‘Fear,’ I said.”
“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.”
″‘Did you write today?’ ‘A little.’ ‘Was it good?’ ‘You never know until 18 days later.‘”
“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.”
“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.”
“I was in love again, I was in trouble…”
“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.”
“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.”
″‘I don’t want to interfere with your writing.’ ‘There’s no way I can stop writing, it’s a form of insanity.‘”
“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.”
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”
“If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.”
“The masses are always wrong...Wisdom is doing everything the crowd does not do. All you do is reverse the totality of their learning and you have the heaven they’re looking for.”

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