Like Thelonious Monk, another spiky American Original, Charles Bukowski was sui generis. Bukowski's writing, whether poetry or fiction, hit like a letter bomb. But though its brutal honesty was not for the timorous, Bukowski's work was all heart, informed by down-and-out decades beginning with a childhood that made Oliver Twist's seem positively idyllic. Bukowski (1920-1994) wrote about racetrack railbirds (he was for years a regular at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita) and stylish jailbirds, losers and boozers, a full course-load of carnal knowledge, and the seamy side of L.A., his hometown, a city of angels with dirty faces and dirtier dreams. Here is Bukowski in 1972, before a full house in San Francisco, at an event sponsored by the legendary City Lights Bookstore--"his biggest reading up to that point," kindred spirit Richard Meltzer points out in his booklet notes. Fully engaged and wittily engaging, it is, writes Meltzer, "a concrete, tangible serving of the ACTUAL Bukowski in full force--as ripe and as bold and as concentrated a dose of the poet and his art as you're likely to find off the printed page."
Introduction, Creation of the Morning Line, Death, The Sex Fiends, "Love," He Said, Piss and Shit, The Death of an Idiot, Style, The World's Greatest Loser, Last Days of the Suicide Kid, The Shoelace, Hot, Earthquake, The Rat, The Best Love Poem