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From: “Drinking Wine In The Slaughterhouse With Septuagenarian Stew.” Read the entire essay at dorenrobbins.com. Click under ESSAYS.
Bukowski’s poems are capable of unpretentiously relating insight with unglamorous epiphanies about the involuntary effects of difficult, unavoidable circumstances that happen in life; some celebrating the experience with humility. Humility that enhances literary style is rare; few writers contain the talent. To survive without adding to the horror is sometimes the best we can do; it is at least an effort that makes sense as a starting point. There is courage, discipline, and cunning in the effort. Finally, what remains after a poet’s survival, which is not an inconsequential matter in our culture—is the art. In the art of Bukowski the most central theme, both comically and tragically, is simply the passion to exist, to take it as it comes and recount what it was all about, and, paradoxically, the butchery done to that passion, and the butchery endured, by humans.