The “Laureate of American Lowlife,” Time magazine called him. Charles Bukowski would have been 90 years old today. He died of leukemia on March 9, 1994 at the age of 73. Pretty remarkable for a man who was told in his 20s to give up drinking or die. He never did give it up, but he did take it much more seriously. In a 1987 LA Times article, he said,
The wine does most of my writing for me.
That wasn’t just bravado. He meant it.
“Don’t Try” is engraved on his tombstone. What he meant, I think, is the theme of his poem, “So You Want to be a Writer.” If you’re a writer, it’s a must read.
Bukowski falls into one of three categories: Love him. Hate him. Don’t know him. Which one are you?
Want more? Visit Bukowski.net.