Pause for Poetry: A Reading by Charles Bukowski

Published by Ecco

Published by Ecco

This week’s Pause for Poetry focuses on a reading of

Charles Bukowski’s poem, “the man with the beautiful eyes” from his book The Last Night of the Earth Poems.

Known simply as CB to his fans, Bukowski was a prolific writer and drinker. Some 150 plus primary poetry and prose texts are linked to him, 45 of which are still in print today, including the novels Factotum (avoid the recent film version of this book), Post Office and Ham on Rye (all highly recommended by The LA Books Examiner).
Many of CB’s works feature his alter ego, Henry Chinaski, a downtrodden and depraved Angeleno whose misadventures, soaked in booze, gambling, violence, cursing, and sex, continue to fascinate and inspire new generations of writers.
Interesting notes about CB:
  • He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941.
  • His first book of poetry was not published until 1959.
  • He wrote the 1987 film Barfly with Mickey Rourke. (In its obituary of Bukowski, The New York Post used a photo of Mickey Rourke as Henry Chinaski in the film instead of a photo of CB).
  • He worked as a dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, security guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator.
  • He also reportedly worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, and a cake and cookie factory.
  • He almost single-handedly revived the career of John Fante, one of LA’s greatest writers.
With this in mind, let’s all hit the pause button on our lives for a few minutes and watch this animated video reading of CB’s poem, “the man with the beautiful eyes,” by Johnathan Hodgson.
Lyrics for “the man with the beautiful eyes.”
CB Book Checklist
Books by John Fante

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