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You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense Paperback – May 31, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"You're a bum , he told me/ and you'll always be a bum . . . and it's too bad he's been dead/ so long/ for now he can't see/ how beautifully I've succeeded/ at/ that." True to his words, this prolific poet loves to play the oversexed bum, continually lashing out at other writers, the rich, and anyone who fails to appreciate his brilliance. This collection takes a new turn, though, as Bukowskinow in his sixtieslooks back on some tender memories of youth. Other redeeming features include a self-mocking humor and a love for cats. For larger collections, and those whose readers are not easily offended by four-letter words. Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

16-bit Intel 8088 Chip
1813-1883
3 A.m. Games
About The Pen Conference
Another Casualty
Bad Times At The 3rd And Vermont Hotel
Beasts Bounding Through Time
The Beautiful Lady Editor
The Blade
The Boil
Bumming With Jane
A Cat Is A Cat Is A Cat Is A Cat
The Chemistry Of Things
Close To Greatness
Coffee
Concrete
Cornered
The Crazy Truth
Darkness
The Death Of A Splendid Neighborhood
Death Sat On My Knee And Cracked With Laughter
Downtown L.a.
Drive Through Hell
Driving Test
Education
Emily Bukowski
Escape
Everybody Talks Too Much
Final Story
The Finest Of The Breed
A Following
For My Ivy League Friends
For The Concerned
Forget It
Fractional Note
The Freeway Life
Friends Within The Darkness
From An Old Dog In His Cups
A Funny Guy
Garbage
Gay Paree
Glenn Miller
Gone
A Good Gang, After All
A Good Time
Hard Times
Help Wanted
Helping The Old
Hot
How Is Your Heart
Huh
I Meet The Famous Poet
I Thought The Stuff Tasted Worse Than Usual
I'll Take It
I'm Not A Misogynist
Invasion
It's Funny, Isn't It? #1
It's Funny, Isn't It? #2
It's Ours
January
Jon Edgar Webb
The Lady In The Castle
The Last Shot
Late Late Late Poem
Let 'em Go
Let's Make A Deal
Longshot
The Lost Generation
Love Poem To A Stripper
The Magic Curse
Magic Machine
A Magician, Gone
The Man In The Brown Suit
Marching Through Georgia
The Master Plan
Me And My Buddy
Miracle
Murder
My Buddy (1)
My First Affair With That Older Woman
My Friend, The Parking Lot Attendant
My Non-ambitious Ambition
My Vanishing Act
Nervous People
No Help For That
No Nonsense
A Non-urgent Poem
Not Listed
O Tempora! O Mores!
Oh Yes
An Ordinary Poem
Our Laughter Is Muted By Their Agony
Over Done
P.o. Box 11946, Fresno, Calif. 93776
Party's Over
The Passing Of A Great One
The Player
Poor Al
Practice
Putrefaction
Quiet
Red Mercedes
Relentless As The Tarantula
Retired
Rift
Seize The Day
Shoes
The Shrinking Island
Some Suggestions
Someday I'm Going To Write A Primer For Crippled Saints ...
Song
Starting Fast
Sticks And Stones ...
The Still Trapeze
The Stride
Sunny Side Down
Supposedly Famous
Termites Of The Page
Thank You
That's Why Funerals Are So Sad
Their Night
This
Those Girls We Followed Home
Together
A Tragic Meeting
Trashcan Lives
True
Trying To Make It
Wearing The Collar
Well, That's The Way It Is
What Am I Doing
Whorehouse
The Wine Of Forever
Working
Working It Out
Working Out
You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense
Zero
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder® --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Press (May 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876856830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876856833
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A collection of poems by Charles Bukowski is always a great joy. I followed his career since I was in high school back in the early 80s. He wrote a series of short stories for High Times magazine which I eagerly devoured. Then I moved on to his poetry. This collection: You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense is from 1986 when Buk was already a bit older and more reflective. This is around the time that his work began to reveal a degree of tenderness to go with his raw tough edged muse. Many say he lost it at this point. I disagree with that assessment. True it does not display the intense passion of Love Is A Dog From Hell but it is a great work on its own merit. Open it to any page and start reading. This is still vintage Hank. Aging Buk still has more blood and guts than most poets achieve ever. Anyone can just scream and curse. Bukowski obviously achieved something greater than that. And given how some other postal workers turned out, we should be grateful that Buk took to firing poems instead of bullets. Two thumbs up!
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Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most influential books of poetry in my life. Growing up in Los Angeles I can relate to Bukowski. Bukowski is similar to John Steinbeck in that to truly appreciate his work you have to visit what they wrote about. To truly appreciate Steinbeck you have to visit Salinas or drive up the California coast. Similarly, to truly appreciate Bukowski you have to visit Los Angeles. You have to drive the freeways, go to the race tracks, and experience the city. The real city, not Hollywood, Disneyland, or Malibu. Although Los Angeles is glamorized in the media as a magical place where movie stars roam exotic beaches, Bukowski writes of Los Angeles as an ordinary, lonesome, city and he writes of it from the view of an ordinary, lonesome man. Its the fact that Bukowski writes in such a way to portray life and especially "magical" Los Angeles in such a real setting that draws you to this book. He writes about his alcoholism, wasting money at the race tracks, prostitutes, and homelessness, things that you ordinarily relate to New York or Chicago, but not Los Angeles. What makes this book so great is that Bukowski proves you can make ordinary people interesting and even if you take all the glimmer away from Los Angeles it's still very interesting. The subtle themes that run through Bukowski's poetry are exactly what I have stated, that ordinary people are interesting. Also another subtle theme, I would like to add, is that no indiviual is the center of the universe. No matter what you are doing, and how important you think what you are doing is, life still goes on around you. Life exists outside of your sphere. Someone somewhere is doing something more important than you.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to know if you will like Bukowski without committing to a novel, this is the ticket for you. I read a bout half of them and decided that while I think he is an amazing writer, guttural, honest, in your face and darkly familiar; I just couldn't finish it. His style is very dark and he writes so well that he can easily affect the mood of his reader. I needed something lighter after reading these stories. But if that style is for you, you can't do much better than Bukowski. It's just not for me.
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Format: Paperback
Reading Charles Bukowski is like being drunk. Without taking a drink. That is what it feels like to me. I'll have to consider whether any of my other favorite poets alter my consciousness that way, but at first consideration, I can't think of one who does. This is a good thing, a good drunk, a "speak the truth" type of drunk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Bukowski's fiction, its straightforward, unadorned, yet precise diction, and its degraded, yet implacable hero(es?).

Poetry, to me, has always seemed a florid waste of time, and a lazy man's game. It seems like shorthand at its best moments.

But I can't get over the fact that this guy, while making fun of the form, is able to nail his little portraits with alarming consistency.

Some of these, like "My Ivy League Friends," are narrative, mean and straight.

Others, still eschewing metaphor, are humming, man-shaped bells, like "No Help For That."

There are some duds, and I won't bother pointing to them because they'll be obvious when you come to them.

But, I like this guy a lot. He's real, even when he does his best to avoid it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
True
one of Lorea's best lines is,
"agony, always...
agony"
think of this when you
kill a cockroach or
pick up a razor to shave
or awaken in the morning to
face the sun
------
"sometimes all we need to be able to continue
are the dead
rattling the walls
that close us in."
-------
"it felt like screaming in a madhouse
the madhouse of my world"
------
A Cat is a Cat is a Cat
"he [Beethoven] did fine
for what he was
but I wouldn't want
him
on my rug
with one leg
over his head while
he was licking his balls."
-----

If you can only buy one of his books I highly recommend this one. It has poetry about his cats, his wife Linda, politics, religion, opinions on cops, lots of softer sides of him but still with the rough edges, a poem about his grandmother, poems mentioning those he respects and admires, a few poems that seem to point to his struggle with being bipolar (I am as well) with my fav being "Let's Make a Deal".

In short: buy it.
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