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He never put himself out to be better than he was. He was never on some high horse like most people I come across in literary circles. He was always honest. And this made his work great. I can open up The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and visit the mind of a man with locked-in syndrome.
And I can get glimpse at the Hawaii landscape in The Descendants. Charles Bukowski does something a little different. This culture has never been something that I have been subjected to. I am a straight-laced, teetotaling, money-saving, monogamy-loving, average-endowed young adult male.
I have things in my past that can be viewed as depressing but never so much as to call me unfortunate. In his work, Charles Bukowski creates a dystopia without an apocalypse. It is a dystopia, to me. Lonely smelly diners, one-eyed cats chasing blind mice, husbands of fat wives cheating with even fatter women. It might sound comic, or dare I say, "poetic" but it happens.
There is something deeply moving about wandering into the bottom of the barrel. Charles Bukowski is overbearingly honest in most of his poetry. The writing feels like that, to me. Anyone who puts their soul, as filthy as it is, on paper like that deserves the plaudits. I live in a bubble. Not yet. I think I read his work so I can prepare for whatever can come. And when it happens, I can look at it and say, "Well, this is familiar territory.
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