Charles Bukowski

If you are going to try, go all the way or don't even start. If you follow it you will be alive with the gods. It is the only good fight there is.

Charles bukowski

Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else.

Action

Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it.

If you're going to try, go all the way

If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. 

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.

Nobody can save you but yourself

Nobody can save you but yourself. You will be put again and again into nearly impossible situations. They will attempt again and again through subterfuge, guise and force to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly inside. Nobody can save you but yourself and it will be easy enough to fail so very easily but don’t, don’t, don’t. just watch them. Listen to them. Do you want to be like that? a faceless, mindless, heartless being? Do you want to experience death before death? Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it. Think about it. Think about saving your self.

If it doesn't come bursting out of you

If it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don't do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don't do it.

Stop insisting on clearing your head

Stop insisting on clearing your head — clear your fucking heart instead.

Purpose and desire

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.

Regret is mostly caused by not having done anything

Regret is mostly caused by not having
done anything

Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. When it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. There is no other way. And there never was.

Art

Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.

Most people simply don’t give a damn

Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do, but most people simply don’t give a damn.

An artist says a hard thing in a simple way

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.

Burn and destroy ordinary concepts

The way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out of the heart.

To do a dull thing with style

To do a dull thing with style-now that's what I call art.

I wanted the whole world or nothing.

Death

You have to die a few times before you can really live.

We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus!

We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

The best often die by their own hand just to get away

The best often die by their own hand just to get away, and those left behind can never quite understand why anybody would ever want to get away from them.

There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower

There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. 

Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die.

We are here to laugh at the odds

We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

Most people are not ready for death

Most people are not ready for death, theirs or anybody elses.

Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing.

Freedom

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.

The free soul is rare

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.

How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock?

How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?

The less I needed

The less I needed, the better I felt.

It takes a wise man to make it without working

Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; it takes a wise man to make it without working.

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.

Life

Find what you love and let it kill you.

Fighting for one simple hour to do what I want to do

But my whole life has been a matter of fighting for one simple hour to do what I want to do. There was always something getting in the way of my getting to myself.

I was just caught up in a life in which I could find no meaning

I wasn’t lonely. I experienced no self-pity. I was just caught up in a life in which I could find no meaning.

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way.

If anything is worth winning then this is it

Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it.

Drinking is an emotional thing

Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standards of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall.

I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you're allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It's like killing yourself, and then you're reborn. I guess I've lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.

It's always a process of letting go

So it's always a process of letting go, one way or another. Life's as kind as you let it be.

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.

I was a man who thrived on solitude

I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,

don't swim in the same slough. Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself and stay out of the clutches of mediocrity.

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you.

Reinvigorate yourself and accept what is but only on the terms that you have invented and reinvented.

Be self-taught. 

And reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.

A wasted evening is a gross violation against the natural course of your only life

Each person is only given so many evenings and each wasted evening is a gross violation against the natural course of your only life.

There's no clarity

There's no clarity. There was never meant to be clarity.

This is very important -- to take leisure time

Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you're gonna lose everything...just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That's why they're all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

People

People empty me. I have to get away to refill.

People are strange

People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.

Do you hate people?

I don't hate them...I just feel better when they're not around.

I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right

Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped.

Then there was a short period when you weren't with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you.

I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right.

Something else is hurting you

Something else is hurting you - that’s why you need pot or whiskey, or whips and rubber suits, or screaming music turned so fucking loud you can’t think.

The problem with the world

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Genius might be to say a profound thing in a simple way

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Writing

Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth writing about.

Writers are desperate people

Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.

What makes a man a writer?

Well," I said, "it's simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.

Writing keeps the walls from failing.

Nothing can save you except writing. it keeps the walls from failing. 

Writing is something that you don't know how to do

Writing is something that you don't know how to do. You sit down and it's something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It's beyond me, because you yourself don't even know if you're going to be able to.

I'm always worried, well, you know, every time I go upstairs with my wine bottle. Sometimes I'll sit at that typewriter for fifteen minutes, you know. I don't go up there to write. The typewriter's up there. If it doesn't start moving, I say, well this could be the night that I hit the dust.

When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word

When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble.

Without literature, life is hell.

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