Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Come On In! Paperback – March 27, 2007
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Bukowski's unmistakable persona—an ex-down-and-outer who wrote of racetracks, booze and loneliness in ragged, self-confident, free verse—made him one of the country's most popular poets long before he died in 1994; 11 years later, death has not slowed down his production. This ninth posthumous volume of new verse (following Slouching Toward Nirvana closely) gathers everything devotees cherish and expect: horses and bets, lousy SROs, unreliable women, sexual conquests, sexual disgust, barbs at highbrow rivals, advice to so-called losers (as he once was) to have confidence in themselves (as he did) and a befuddled acceptance of late fame. "Welcome to my wormy hell," the first line in the volume reads, and similar notes of not-quite-comic self-pity occur throughout, as when "the x-bum" reminds himself "that there was no bottom to life." These poems differ little from those in his other late volumes and may not win him many new fans: given the size of his existing following, however, this book won't need new ones. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What other contemporary poet has posthumously published as much as Bukowski? This is his eighth postmortem collection. Three of the eight contain poems cherry-picked from his earlier collections by Bukowski. Said to be the fourth of five books of previously unpublished poems, Come on In! is the fifth (of the eight) bearing the subtitle New Poems. Did Buk set up one of the New Poems pre-demise? Whatever. This book includes the wonderful "the 'Beats,'" which Paul Muldoon selected for The Best American Poetry, 2005, and a righteously withering portrait of another, much more socially successful writing contemporary of Buk's in "nothing but a scarf" (could the figure in question be the subject of a brand-new hit movie?). One of the four parts is full of sad, hilarious lamentation and schadenfreude anent the man-woman thing; longest means best here: "the faithful wife," "down and out on the boardwalk," and, especially, "sex sister." As usual, not for the kiddies. But for the adults, god, yes. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 63%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
"Come on In!" is a mixed collection which includes some good poems. Bukowski explores themes that will be familiar to readers: life at the track, boxing, drinking,his experiences with women, loneliness and the desire to be alone, life on the edge, the love of animals, particularly cats, and the writing of poetry. The collection shows Bukowski's sardonic, wry and laconic humor.
The theme of death pervades this collection as Bukowski, old and ill, shows a full awareness of his own mortality. In addition, Bukowski reflects upon his own success as a writer. In his young days, the subject of most of Bukowski's writing, he lived the life of a drunk in the underclass. Beginning in 1971 when he received a stipend from John Martin of Black Sparrow press to devote himself to writing, Bukowski gradually became commercially successful and wealthy. In the poem "you can't tell a turkey by its feathers", which recounts how Bukowski's father thought he wouldn't amount to anything, Bukowski boasts that "Last year I paid/ $59,000 income/tax." Many of the poems involve Bukowski's sucess and recognition, as he compares his late life with his earlier days.
The poems are unrhymed and unmetered and generally written in short stanzas. Most of them are short, but in some instances Bukowski tells stories in his poems, frequently set out as dialogues or conversations. In this book, the poems are arranged in four broad divisions: "I live near the/slaughterhouse/and am ill/ with thriving"; "she looked at me and asked/did you?/did you/did you?"; "it's a lonely world/of frightened people"; "I will never have' a house in the valley/ with little stone men/ on the lawn".
The poems I enjoyed in the collection include Bukowski's reflections on his past relationship with women. In "red hot mail" Bukowski contrasts his state as a successful poet with his younger years when women would not look at him. He writes:
"I only wish now some lass had
chanced upon me then
when I so needed her hair blowing in my
and her eyes smiling into mine,
when I so needed
that wild music
and that wild female willingness
Among the many other poems which show Bukowski in a meditative, thoughtful mood are "alone again", "to the ladies no longer here" and "here we go again." Bukowski's poem "a close call" shows all too clearly the fine line that separated sanity and madness in his life. The poem "the nude dancer" consists of an elderly Bukowski's portrayal of an exotic dancer which complements nicely an earlier poem on this theme describing an encounter in Bukowski's youth, "Love poem to a stripper". One of the acclaimed poems in this collection is "the 'Beats'" in which Bukowski contrasts his own writing to that of the beat writers and concludes:
"my opinion remains the
same: writing is done
at a time
at a time
and all the gatherings
have very little
But I think the best writing in "Come on In!" is in the final section of the book. Bukowski offers meditiations on his own terminal illness and on the meaning of his life which are moving indeed. The poems I enjoyed in this part include "my cats", "two nights before my 72nd birthday", and "closing time" in which Bukowski discusses his love for Beethoven, "this composer/now dead for over 100/years,/ who's younger and wilder/than you are/than I am." Bukowski observes that "the centuries are sprinkled/with rare magic/with divine creatures/who help us get past the common/ and/extraordinary ills/ that beset us."
The final poem in the book "mind and heart" is a valedictory poem as Bukowski faces death. "Unaccountably we are alone/forever alone/ and it was meant to be/that way", he begins. He reflects upon his life and finds that he has developed some had-won serenity of "peace of mind and heart." He advises his readers to "read/what I've written/then/forget it/all." And again:
"drink from the well
of your self
I hear about the movie coming out, and then I see on the new release shelf of the library this new collection, and then later that night I find myself watching a documentary on Showtime about Bukowski that just totally enraptures me.
With his voice in my head, the next day I head back to the library hoping to still find the book on it's display, and since I am in a suburb of Dallas called Plano, I'm not too shocked to see it awaiting my itchy fingers.
NEVER have I read a book of poems from beginning to end, but I did just that over the next few days.
I can't believe I cheated myself out of Bukowski all these years.
I am a writer, but one of no formal education and I imagine I might have unearthed him earlier had I been ambitious enough to go to college. In any case, I'm basically a Billy Collins poetry lover, and I like my own work and that is generally THAT.
Bukowski is now top of my list for books to buy should I ever actually see a royalty check!
The more of Buk's posthumous poetry I read, the more I wonder why anyone buys it. I've long held the hypothesis that he published the best bits while he was still alive (and really, let's face it, Bukowski's pinnacle as a poet came during the sixties and early seventies, after which he spent more time working on, and improving, his prose style), and what was left over was meant solely as a moneymaking scheme; he did, after all, realize that he'd reached that critical mass where the fans would buy anything. He could write something about watching the cat walk across the room, chop it up into one or two-word lines, and people would buy it. Or, for that matter, he could write about writing.
"almost ever since I began writing
I have been dogged by
whisperers and gossips
who have proclaimed
I can't write anymore
("I have continued regardless")
Every artist runs the risk of becoming a self-parody; it seems that the more influential the artist, the greater the risk, or maybe that's just because we have so many examples of bad imitation of that artist. This is a perfect example of a bad Bukowski imitator...except that it's the man himself.
That said, there are still flashes of brilliance every once in a while, and no matter what else you can say about the guy, one thing Bukowski's poems have always had is the kind of readability that few other poets possess; yeah, readability is nothing in and of itself most of the time (I'm resisting the urge here to call Buk the Dan Brown of poetry), but in a genre as legendarily obtuse as poetry, however undeserved the tag may be, one has to grudgingly admit that readability for its own sake must carry at least some cache. If it gets more people reading poetry, it's got to be worthwhile on some level. ***
Most recent customer reviews