OPINION: Charles Bukowski revolutionizes modern poetry

By Giselle Palomera

Henry Charles Bukowski was a German poet who revolutionized poetry in Los Angeles.

Bukowski developed a way of using simplicity to paint a vivid image for readers and his critics.

Now, many authors like Rapi Kaur, Christopher Poindexter and Lang Leav use similar forms of simplicity and realism to arrange their words into poems.

Many of these authors write about the same gutters and buildings that Bukowski once wrote about when he lived in Los Angeles.

Authors now sit at bars and see what poor damned souls inspired them to write about their own lives the same way Bukowski did.

Bukowski opened the door for authors to use common LA destinations and problems to create the illusion of a struggling writer.

He was known as Heinrich Karl Bukowski but changed to Henry Charles Bukowski when he came to LA to write about his daily struggles with alcoholism, women, minimum-wage-paying jobs and friends who only seemed to drag him down further into the depths of depression.

These experiences taught him what he needed to know to survive his life in Los Angeles as a struggling writer.

Alcoholism turned his attention from traditional, institutional learning to reading classic books and focusing his attention on dealing with the realities of his damned life as a writer and a madman.

He read and learned from, the works of the greats like Ernest Hemingway,  F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain.

Bukowski realized that his teachers and professors just offered him their opinions and perceptions of the world rather than making him critically think about his own.

The revolution in his writing began with how he experienced a situation or how he dealt with the pain of what he was left with.

Authors and poets like Jose Chavez and Christopher Poindexter copy the same style Bukowski pioneered.

They use the old-fashioned typewriter and write about realism and do so in a very simple form just like Bukoswki.

“Income tax, sickness, servility, broken arms, broken heads- all the stuffing come like an old pillow, we have everything and we have nothing. Some do it well enough for a while and then give it away.

Fame gets to them or disgust or age or lack of proper diet or ink across the eyes or children in college or new cars or broken backs while skiing in Switzerland or new politics or new wives or just natural change and decay,”

Bukowski used examples of what he saw in his life, like a day working for Macy’s as a stockroom boy to say that sickness will strike no matter what and people will still suffer.

Many poets and writers now use their domestic lives and experiences to paint a picture of their struggles.

The life of Bukowski is now an aesthetic to poets and writers in LA. Readers and poets want to be wise and streetsmart like Bukowski.

Los Angeles became the canvas of Bukowski’s life and he often wrote about the people he passed on the street and the problems he encountered with other writers and madmen.

Just as Bukowski became successful through experience and the pain of living in the city, most people who struggle must realize that pain can be used to push through struggles.

Bukowski revolutionized the way common objects or situations are  thrown together in a poem.

His books, publications, short stories and poems can be found surrounded by similar books by similar authors in Los Angeles bookstores and around the world.

The way Bukowski wrote about his pain is how many authors choose to write about their own lives and struggles.

Bukowski opened the door to the simplicity of poetry in common pitfalls and problems.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Copying is exactly right.The hacks and Instagram hipsters are digging in that old man’s cold butt for every nickel they can get.Custom poetry and photo shoots and pretending to like jazz or play guitar.They forget that Bukowski hated hippies and self love and would have hated them and their watered down tripe.Formulaic and safe.No risk at all.

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