Quotes for "Women"

Bukowski, Charles

“What’s that you’re drinking?” “This,”


“What’s that you’re drinking?” “This,” I said, “is orange juice mixed with life.”


“I’m—” I started to say…. “I know who you are. I was at your reading.” “Thanks. I’d like to eat your pussy. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ll drive you crazy.” “What do you think of Allen Ginsberg?” “Look, don’t get me off the track.


“You don’t understand. I’m going to be great. I have more potential than you have!” “Potential,” I said, “doesn’t mean a thing. You’ve got to do it. Almost every baby in a crib has more potential than I have.”


When I was drunk and Lydia was insane we were nearly an equal match.


Dee Dee knew something about life. Dee Dee knew that what happened to one happened to most of us. Our lives were not so different—even though we liked to think so.


Valentino would have kept both Lydia and Dee Dee. That’s why he died so young.


Why did I do these things? I didn’t want her now. And Mindy was flying all the way from New York City. I knew plenty of women. Why always more women? What was I trying to do? New affairs were exciting but they were also hard work. The first kiss, the first fuck had some drama. People were interesting at first. Then later, slowly but surely, all the flaws and madness would manifest themselves. I would become less and less to them; they would mean less and less to me. I was old and I was ugly. Maybe that’s


Why did I do these things? I didn’t want her now. And Mindy was flying all the way from New York City. I knew plenty of women. Why always more women? What was I trying to do? New affairs were exciting but they were also hard work. The first kiss, the first fuck had some drama. People were interesting at first. Then later, slowly but surely, all the flaws and madness would manifest themselves. I would become less and less to them; they would mean less and less to me. I was old and I was ugly. Maybe that’s


Mindy pressed her body against me and kissed me. It was a long kiss. My cock rose. I had recently been taking a lot of vitamin ?.


I helped with the dishes and then Glendoline brought out her novel and read to us. It wasn’t really bad, but it was very unprofessional and needed a lot of polishing. Glendoline presumed that the reader was as fascinated by her life as she was—which was a deadly mistake. The other deadly mistakes she had made were too numerous to mention.


I was LOST. Those horny sex bitches had driven me out of my mind and now I was LOST. I looked around. There was the backdrop of mountains and all around me were trees and brush. There was no center, no starting point, no connection between anything. I felt fear, real fear. Why had I let them take me out of my city, my Los Angeles? A man could call a cab there, he could telephone. There were reasonable solutions to reasonable problems.


What the hell would Jack London do?


HENRY CHINASKI, MINOR POET, FLOODS UTAH COUNTRYSIDE IN ORDER TO SAVE HIS SOFT LOS ANGELES ASS.


“Lydia, my leg is still in terrible shape. I just don’t know if I can handle it with this leg.” “What?” “It’s true. I don’t think I can fuck with my leg the way it is.” “What the hell good are you then?” “Well, I can fry eggs and do magic tricks.”


“Lydia, sex isn’t everything! You are obsessed. For Christ’s sake, give it a rest.” “A rest until your leg heals? How am I going to make it meanwhile?” “I’ll play Scrabble with you.” Lydia screamed. The car began to swerve all over the street. “YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! I’LL KILL YOU!”


Once she had been a little girl, someday she would be dead, but now she was showing me her upper legs.


She confused me. I was used to vile drunken wenches.


Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped. Then there was a short period when you weren’t with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you. I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right.


There was something to be learned about writing from watching boxing matches or going to the racetrack. The message wasn’t clear but it helped me. That was the important part: the message wasn’t clear. It was wordless, like a house burning, or an earthquake or a flood, or a woman getting out of a car, showing her legs. I didn’t know what other writers needed; I didn’t care, I couldn’t read them anyway. I was locked into my own habits, my own prejudices. It wasn’t bad being dumb if the ignorance was all your own.


We walked up the narrow aisle, the air blue with smoke. There was no whistling, no obscene gestures. My scarred and battered face was sometimes an asset.


That night I slept up against Katherine, but my heart was sad and cold.


“His face is yellow, Hank. Did you see his eyes? He’s sick.” “He’s sick on the dream. We’re all sick on the dream, that’s why we’re out here.”


I heard a long insane wail like a wolverine shot in the arctic snow and left to bleed and die alone….


She drove very fast, but she didn’t drive fast as if she meant to break the law. She drove fast as if it were her given right.


She drove very fast, but she didn’t drive fast as if she meant to break the law. She drove fast as if it were her given right. There was a difference and I appreciated it.


I guess the main thing about mescaline is that it makes you feel terror.” “I’ve felt that without any help at all.”


There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn’t have the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was that there was very little greatness.


The place trembled with sound. I didn’t need to do anything. They would do it all. But you had to be careful. Drunk as they were they could immediately detect any false gesture, any false word. You could never underestimate an audience. They had paid to get in; they had paid for drinks; they intended to get something and if you didn’t give it to them they’d run you right into the ocean.


I got up, went to the kitchen sink and vomited. I came back and sat down. I had a new beer. I hated it when the beer wouldn’t stay down. I simply had been drunk too many days and nights in a row. I needed a rest. And I needed a drink.


Tammie walked on in. “Hank?” “Yes?” “What’s a strumpet? I know what a trumpet is, but what’s a strumpet?”


That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen


“What was Keesing like?” “All right. But I really wonder how he stood being with her. Maybe the codeine and pills helped.


“None of us quite know how to use sex, what to do with it,” I said. “With most people sex is just a toy—wind it up and let it run.” “What about love?” asked Valerie. “Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It’s like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss.”


People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Bach, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.


“Cecelia, let’s fuck.” “I don’t want to.” In a way I didn’t want to either. Which is why I had asked.


“Death to all whores who keep their legs closed against me!” I screamed.


A door opened and a man came running out of a ground floor apartment. He was the manager. “Hey, there is no swimming allowed this time of night! The pool lights are off!” I paddled toward him, reached the pool edge and looked up at him. “Look, motherfucker, I drink two barrels of beer a day and I’m a professional wrestler. I’m a kindly soul by nature. But I intend to swim and I want those lights turned ON! NOW! I’m only asking you one time!” I paddled off.


A door opened and a man came running out of a ground floor apartment. He was the manager. “Hey, there is no swimming allowed this time of night! The pool lights are off!” I paddled toward him, reached the pool edge and looked up at him. “Look, motherfucker, I drink two barrels of beer a day and I’m a professional wrestler. I’m a kindly soul by nature. But I intend to swim and I want those lights turned ON! NOW! I’m only asking you one time!” I paddled off.


A sound awakened me. It was not quite daylight. Cecelia was moving around getting dressed. I looked at my watch. “It’s 5 AM. What are you doing?” “I want to watch the sun come up. I love sunrises!” “No wonder you don’t drink.”


The woman next to me was 26, 27. Something had wearied her—her eyes and mouth looked tired—but she still held together in spite of it. Her hair was dark and well-kept. She had on a skirt and she had good legs. Her soul was topaz and you could see it in her eyes. I laid my leg against hers. She didn’t move away. I drained my drink. “Buy me a drink,” I asked her. She nodded to the barkeep. He came over. “Vodka-7 for the gentleman.” “Thanks….” “Babette.” “Thanks, Babette. My name’s Henry Chinaski, alcoholic writer.” “Never heard of you.” “Likewise.”


Cecelia sat and watched us drink. I could see that I repulsed her. I ate meat. I had no god. I liked to fuck. Nature didn’t interest me. I never voted. I liked wars. Outer space bored me. Baseball bored me. History bored me. Zoos bored me.


“All right, so I’m not going to get into her panties.” “Do you want to?” asked Bobby. “It’s not so much my sex drive that’s offended, it’s my ego.” “And don’t forget your age,” said Bobby. “There’s nothing worse than an old chauv pig,” I said. We drank in silence.


Dudley had come out of the closet and announced he was a homo. He was nervous, fat and ambitious.


“You don’t know what you’re missing.” “Don’t be concerned.”


Neither worked for a living despite the fact their poetry paid them nothing. They lived on will power and handouts


Liza stayed away from literature, she stayed away from the so-called larger questions


People were usually much better in their letters than in reality. They were much like poets in this way.


“You seem almost diffident.” “I’m on my third drink.” “What happens after the fourth?” “Not much. I drink it and wait for the fifth.”


I kissed her. She kissed me back like a lonely woman.


“What do you think of women?” she asked. “I’m not a thinker. Every woman is different. Basically they seem to be a combination of the best and the worst—both magic and terrible. I’m glad that they exist, however.”


“How do you treat them?” “They are better to me than I am to them.”


When I awakened I heard her in the bathroom. Maybe I should have slammed her? How did a man know what to do? Generally, I decided, it was better to wait, if you had any feeling for the individual. If you hated her right off, it was better to fuck her right off; if you didn’t, it was better to wait, then fuck her and hate her later on.


That night I left my name as Lancelot Lovejoy, and I was even sober enough


That night I left my name as Lancelot Lovejoy, and I was even sober enough to recognize the call 45 minutes later.


All I could fry were steaks, although I made a good beef stew, especially when drunk. I liked to gamble with my beef stews. I put almost everything into them and sometimes got away with it.


“When are you going back to work?” I asked her. “Do you want me to?” “No, but you have to live.” “But you’re not working.” “In a way, I am.” “You mean you live in order to write?” “No, I just exist. Then later I try to remember and write some of it down.”


Cassie was waiting in the bar. Sara slipped me a love note with her phone number. Debra was not as inventive—she just wrote down her phone number.


It was, after all, as Lydia had often said, “If you want to drink, drink; if you want to fuck, throw the bottle away.” My problem was that I wanted to do both.


“I think you stepped out of bounds. What you just did was gross and obvious.” “I guess I lack imagination.” “And you’re a writer?” “I write. But mostly I take photographs.” “I think you fuck women just in order to write about fucking them.”


His name was Jean John.


“Will you read some of your poems?” “Christ, no.” “Why not?” “I just want to drink.” “You talk about drinking a lot in your books. Do you think drinking has helped your writing?” “No. I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon.”


When she spoke it was with wit and incisiveness.


“Humanity, you never had it from the beginning.” That was my motto.


When the last bottle was empty I told Sara that I was too drunk to drive home. “Oh, you can sleep in my bed, but no sex.” “Why?” “One doesn’t have sex without marriage.” “One doesn’t?” “Drayer Baba doesn’t believe in it.” “Sometimes God can be mistaken.” “Never.”


hung up. “What are you going to do?” Sara asked. “I’m going to Debra’s. I said I’d be there in 45 minutes.” “But I thought we’d have lunch together. I know this Mexican place.” “Look, she’s concerned. How can we sit around and chat over lunch?”


I thought about breakups, how difficult they were, but then usually it was only after you broke up with one woman that you met another. I had to taste women in order to really know them, to get inside of them. I could invent men in my mind because I was one, but women, for me, were almost impossible to fictionalize without first knowing them. So I explored them as best I could and I found human beings inside.


She was strange but individual and inventive; there had been happiness … except in bed … it was flaming … but Drayer Baba kept us apart. I was losing the battle to God. “Fucking is not that important,” she told me.


The clerks didn’t lay any shit on me, so they were allowed to live another day….


The universities were frightened; among other things, they were frightened of low-life poets, but on the other hand they were too curious to pass one up. There was a long wait at the border, with a


The universities were frightened; among other things, they were frightened of low-life poets, but on the other hand they were too curious to pass one up.


I figured if I got him outside I could leave him when we were finished eating. Not that he was a bad sort, but most people just didn’t interest me.


only got one bottle of wine for after dinner. We drank it slowly, sitting up in her bed watching her giant t.v. The first program was lousy. The second was better. It was about a sex pervert and a subnormal farmboy.


I was wondering about Thanksgiving, how I was going to tell her that I couldn’t be there. It bothered me. I got up and walked the floors. I took a bath. Nothing helped. Maybe Iris would change her mind, maybe her plane would crash.


There was something wrong with me: I did think of sex a great deal. Each woman I looked at I imagined being in bed with. It was an interesting way to pass airport waiting time.


They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding—whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.


totally and enchantingly female.


“How many women have you met at airports?” Iris asked. “It’s not as bad as you think.” “Have you lost count? Like your books?” “Math is one of my weaker points.”


Iris was in for another old-fashioned horse fuck. Love was for guitar players, Catholics and chess freaks.


A good writer knew when not to write.


Anybody could type. Not that I was a good typist; also I couldn’t spell and I didn’t know grammar.


I had an old friend who occasionally wrote me letters, Jimmy Shannon. He wrote 6 novels a year, all on incest. It was no wonder he was starving.


I think the fact that I quit writing for ten years was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to me. (I suppose that some critics would say that it was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to the reader, too.)


I liked to show off my legs when I drank.


I saw Sara every three or four days, at her place or at mine. We slept together but there was no sex. We came close but we never quite got to it. Drayer Baba’s precepts held strong.


She was good with a hammer. She only weighed 105 pounds but she could drive a nail. It was going to be a fine bed. It didn’t take Sara long. Then we tested it—non-sexually—as Drayer Baba smiled over us.


“Hello,” I said. “Who’s this?” “You son-of-a-bitch. Don’t you know?” “No, not really.” It was a drunken female. “Guess.” “Wait. I know! It’s Iris!” “Yes, Iris. And I’m pregnant!” “Do you know who the father is?” “What difference does it make?” “I guess you’re right. How are things in Vancouver?” “All right. Goodbye.” “Goodbye.” I walked back into the kitchen again. “It was the Canadian belly dancer,” I told Sara. “How’s she doing?” “She’s just full of Christmas cheer.”


It made me feel low that I couldn’t praise him without reservation. But then if you lied to a man about his talent just because he was sitting across from you, that was the most unforgivable lie of them all, because that was telling him to go on, to continue which was the worst way for a man without real talent to waste his life, finally.


Wriggle, little snake child!