For the misunderstood, Bukowski

If you know of the writer, Charles Bukowski, then you’re probably already familiar with quote below. It’s one of the many beautiful things Bukowski has written, and also, possibly, my favorite:

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

— Charles Bukowski

Or, as I like to read it:

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

— Charles Bukowski

When I’m feeling low, it grounds me and gives me clarity. One day, I will fully embody the sentiment expressed in the quote above, and I will do it with attitude. In the mean time, however, I’ll continue doggedly working towards equanimity.

The following Bukowski poem is what made me love the man, or rather, his words:

“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

— Charles Bukowski

I remember when I first read the poem above, I involuntarily started sobbing — in part from grief because I was ashamed of the truth; another part from relief because I’d just found someone who truly understands; but mainly because, after struggling to properly articulate this feeling for so long, I had finally found the right words, and they were beautiful. Nothing else has ever evoked such as strong emotional reaction from me.

One day, Bukowski, one day I will move someone with my words as much as you moved me.

I was inspired to write this post when I read Kimberly Marotte’s poem ‘This poem sounds a lot like Bukowski (because it is).’ (click here to read it, or visit her blog at

This post is my small way of paying homage to one of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski. While I disagree with some of his personal beliefs, I can’t help but feel connected to him because of his words. He seamlessly marries contradictions to create works that have depth. It’s all rather humbling.

Peace, idacity,


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