Women, Charles Bukowski

“Well, I think it’s a damned shame that a man who writes as well as you do just doesn’t know anything about women.”

loc. 146. Kindle Edition

“You’re right. Cunts are indestructible.”

loc. 504. Kindle Edition

“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.”

loc. 639. Kindle Edition

Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you’ve suddenly become an idiot. There’s no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help.

loc. 904. Kindle Edition

The worst thing for a writer is to know another writer, and worse than that, to know a number of other writers.

loc. 911. Kindle Edition

“Why can’t you be decent to people?” she asked.
“Fear,” I said.

loc. 928. Kindle Edition

I decided to live to be 80. Think of being 80 and fucking an 18 year old girl. If there was any way to cheat the game of death, that was it.

loc. 937. Kindle Edition

I was glad I wasn’t in love, that I wasn’t happy with the world. I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers.

loc. 1024. Kindle Edition

“Did you write today?” “A little.” “Was it good?” “You never know until 18 days later.”

loc. 1035. Kindle Edition


I felt foolish paying money to go into a movie theatre and sit with other people to share their emotions.

loc. 1257. Kindle Edition

I was old and I was ugly. Maybe that’s why it felt so good to stick it into young girls. I was King Kong and they were lithe and tender. Was I trying to screw my way past death? By being with young girls did I hope I wouldn’t grow old, feel old? I just didn’t want to age badly, simply quit, be dead before death itself arrived.

loc. 1299. Kindle Edition

I had my own ideas about sex. I was constantly horny and masturbated continually. I’d make love to Lydia and then come back to my place and masturbate in the morning. The thought of sex as something forbidden excited me beyond all reason. It was like one animal knifing another into submission.

loc. 1342. Kindle Edition

And yet women—good women—frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep. Basically I craved prostitutes, base women, because they were deadly and hard and made no personal demands. Nothing was lost when they left. Yet at the same time I yearned for a gentle, good woman, despite the overwhelming price. Either way I was lost. A strong man would give up both. I wasn’t strong. So I continued to struggle with women, with the idea of women.

loc. 1346. Kindle Edition

I liked to fuck too, but it wasn’t my religion.

loc. 1443. Kindle Edition

“What’s your name?” I asked. “Laura” she said. “Well, look, Laura, I’m going to call you Katherine.”

loc. 1562. Kindle Edition

Few beautiful women were willing to indicate in public that they belonged to someone. I had known enough women to realize this.

loc. 1692. Kindle Edition

“There’s no way I can stop writing, it’s a form of insanity.”

loc. 1716. Kindle Edition

It was easy to write about whores, but to write about a good woman was much more difficult.

loc. 1764. Kindle Edition

I had a saying, “Take my woman, but leave my car alone.” I would never kill a man who took my woman; I might kill a man who took my car.

loc. 1782. Kindle Edition

“I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive on its own terms.”

loc. 2963. Kindle Edition

It was best to stay away from other writers and just do your work, or just not do your work.

loc. 2968. Kindle Edition

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.

loc. 3046. Kindle Edition

“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.”

loc. 3142. Kindle Edition

“Love is a form of prejudice. I have too many other prejudices.”

loc. 3144. Kindle Edition

People had to find things to do while waiting to die.

loc. 3151. Kindle Edition

“You mean you live in order to write?” “No, I just exist. Then later I try to remember and write some of it down.”

loc. 3457. Kindle Edition

“What’s fiction?” “Fiction is an improvement on life.”

loc. 3511. Kindle Edition

“Just living until you die is hard work,”

loc. 3661. Kindle Edition

“No. I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon.”

loc. 3979. Kindle Edition

Women: I liked the colors of their clothing; the way they walked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized.

loc. 4323. Kindle Edition

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.

loc. 4325. Kindle Edition

A good writer knew when not to write.

loc. 4459. Kindle Edition

“Drink, drink, drink! Is that all you can think of?” “No, but it’s a good way to get through spaces, like this one.” “Can’t you face things straight?” “I can but I’d rather not.” “That’s escapism.” “Everything is: playing golf, sleeping, eating, walking, arguing, jogging, breathing, fucking….” “Fucking?”

loc. 4481. Kindle Edition

“You been married?” Valencia asked. “Once.” “What went wrong?” “We began to hate each other.”

loc. 4623. Kindle Edition

“it ain’t been a bad year. Nobody murdered me.”

loc. 4888. Kindle Edition

The only time a man needed a lot of women was when none of them were any good. A man could lose his identity fucking around too much.

loc. 5222. Kindle Edition


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