Inspirational quotes to feed your soul and brighten your day.

469 Inspiring Quotes by Charles Bukowski

  • Last updated Jun 28 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Charles Bukowski.

Wikipedia Summary for Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski ( boo-KOW-skee; born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈkaʁl buˈkɔfski]; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German–American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor

Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man in the LA underground newspaper Open City.

Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. As noted by one reviewer, "Bukowski continued to be, thanks to his antics and deliberate clownish performances, the king of the underground and the epitome of the littles in the ensuing decades, stressing his loyalty to those small press editors who had first championed his work and consolidating his presence in new ventures such as the New York Quarterly, Chiron Review, or Slipstream." Some of these works include his Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, published by his friend and fellow poet Charles Potts, and better known works such as Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame. These poems and stories were later republished by John Martin's Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/Ecco Press) as collected volumes of his work.

In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski's appeal ... [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero."Since his death in 1994, Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings, despite his work having received relatively little attention from academic critics in the United States during his lifetime. In contrast, Bukowski enjoyed extraordinary fame in Europe, especially in Germany, the place of his birth.

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it -- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care.


--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist. There are women who can make you feel more with their bodies and their souls but these are the exact women who will turn the knife into you right in front of the crowd.



--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski



--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

There's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I pour whiskey on him and inhale

cigarette smoke

and the whores and the bartenders

and the grocery clerks

never know that

he's

in there.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you'll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter. Most people make too much of it. On these grounds a good fuck is not to be entirely scorned. But that's the result of a chance meeting too. You're damned right. Drink up. We'll have another.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn't understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

As a child
i suppose
i was not quite
normal.
my happiest times were
when
i was left alone in
the house on a
saturday.


--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

So, that's what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That's what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here.


--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you're allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It's like killing yourself, and then you're reborn. I guess I've lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

Longer Version:

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them; I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence.


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

--Charles Bukowski


--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski
--Charles Bukowski

We welcome your feedback, error reports, feature requests, constructive criticism, and quote submissions here: Contact Us.

We wish you a perfect day!