Title: The Last Night of the Earth Poems
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 405
This collection of Bukowski’s poetry is a must-read for lover’s of his work – there are a lot of fantastic insights in to the poet’s life and lifestyle, like his rare depiction of a writer that he actually admired: ‘A. Huxley died at 69, much too early for such a fierce talent, and I read all his works but actually Point Counter Point did help a bit in carrying me through the factories and the drunk tanks and the unsavory ladies.’
At other times, he laments how ‘we are always asked to understand the other person’s viewpoint no matter how out-dated, foolish or obnoxious.’ This is Bukowski at his best, with wit and cynicism in abundance – you’ll like him. Let’s have a look at some of the crazy things that passed through his alcoholic brain and in to the keys of a typewriter.
Let’s take this interesting glance at one of the worries that plagued Bukowski as a writer: ‘Of course, I may die in the next ten minutes and I’m ready for that, but what I’m really worried about is that my editor-publisher might retire even though he is ten years younger than I.’
I could just keep quoting lines – the work speaks for itself, and if you read enough of it, you’ll be hooked. Here’s another fine example: ‘You know: I’m drunk once again here listening to Tchaikovsky on the radio. Jesus, I heard him 47 years ago when I was a starving writer and here he is again, and now I am a minor success as a writer and death is walking up and down this room smoking my cigars, taking hits of my wine, as Tchaik is working away at the Pathétique, it’s been some journey and any luck I’ve had was because I rolled the dice right.’
Hopefully that’s done enough to pique your curiosity – as always, it’s well worth a read whether you’re new to Bukowski or an old fan just discovering another of his works. His poetry has always been better than his prose, and this is an excellent collection of some of his finest poetry. It comes much recommended from me, anyhow – I’m a big Bukowski fan, which I’ve mentioned before, and it’s one of the best books that I’ve read.