Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Are You Drinking? - Poem by Charles Bukowski

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
will see the doctor,
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
something is
walking across the
oh, it's just
my cat

Comments about Are You Drinking? by Charles Bukowski

  • Mohammad Maleki (8/29/2016 12:44:00 AM)

    Depiction of life in a sort of devoid of meaning to be deserved of living. We are trapped in it like some be fooled
    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Bharati Nayak (5/12/2016 1:23:00 PM)

    Old yellow notebook- - He was writing from his bed- - - -Perhaps he was disillusioned with life, Perhaps feeling unwanted.Writing was the only escape route, He was drunk in poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Case (4/3/2016 5:55:00 AM)

    Great poem...I love it. (Report) Reply

  • Mark Arvizu (9/2/2015 9:22:00 AM)

    I've spent some time at Santa Anita Park. Watched my niece's graduation ceremony there. Placed a few bets. I hate horse races. Drive past it everyday for work and going to the mall. It's a beautiful place with a beautiful view of Mt. Wilson. (Report) Reply

  • (7/8/2015 8:12:00 PM)

    Anyone else think he thought death was coming for him and got excited only to be dissapointed it was his cat? (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal Souren Mondal (1/26/2016 2:50:00 AM)

    Well said Shane.. I guess we can think that way.. Thank you :)

  • Allan james Saywell (5/29/2015 11:17:00 PM)

    I f we stood side by side- -in a picture you would swear
    They are brothers

    Allan James Saywell

    Warm regards AJS
    (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Case (3/28/2015 9:01:00 PM)

    He makes the mundane and boring dark and beautiful, like the flight pattern of a wasp. My favorite poet for many years. RIP Buk. (Report) Reply

  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (3/12/2015 9:40:00 AM)

    Oh man, you have me described! (Report) Reply

  • (5/21/2014 4:16:00 AM)

    last nite, i've been drinking too, seating lonely in my two-room apartment in downtown Nantes, France, until something walked across my floor... it was no cat for I don't want to look like a secluded old chap, I dont want to be weakened by such warm entity, i'd rather to to hell with sheer madness in my soul and mind... anyway, something came across my floor... and it was a spider... this I can deal with, I said to myself.* * (Report) Reply

  • (3/15/2014 7:14:00 AM)

    something is
    walking across the
    oh, it's just
    my cat
    time. the ending it gave me a laugh...
    I didn't expect that....excellent write
    .......and an awesome poem! ! !
    (Report) Reply

  • Fiona Schwartzinoff (12/21/2013 10:17:00 PM)

    Not his best... Rather dull and border-line shallow. I prefer other works of his. (Report) Reply

  • (12/10/2013 12:27:00 PM)

    Bukowski knew and expressed the heavy part of life as well as anyone could. This poem is a picture, some will see its meaning, and some will not. Either way it goes to a deeper place, and speaks honestly. (Report) Reply

  • Reyvrex Questor Reyes (10/7/2012 4:00:00 AM)

    Yes I am drinking: Check this out:

    Drunken Sonnet

    When in my lowest stock of wine and praise
    I just content myself with this cheap beer
    And wish in some hotel I with my raise
    In yuletide, enjoying a good cheer;
    But most I get from work that I contend,
    Is reprimand from bossy chief and staff,
    And scorn from lady love whom I pretend,
    To have, when all I get from her is chaff;
    And thinking of this love, this love of fools,
    That no angel finds worthy of a cent,
    Spit out, might I, in any of my drools,
    And wonder how my glossy life have went;
    .... Seeing your face, and hearing your tirade,
    .... I might with bandits give my life to trade.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kasia Fedyk (5/17/2012 6:39:00 PM)

    Wow, he is just incredible, such simplicity comes through him when he expresses his emotion, simplicity and play with the words, his whole state of being, yet the heaviness he carries with him you can feel to the bone. He is brilliant. I love his work. Rest in peace Charles Burkowski. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and your life.. [3 (Report) Reply

  • (7/7/2011 2:25:00 PM)

    Sure he was. Later him life he boasted about switching to 'natural' wine, as opposed to the skid-row stuff, like Midnight Train, et al that he was used to, and died in Tucson (I think) of cirrhossis anyway. (Report) Reply

  • (5/23/2010 8:17:00 PM)

    Love it and know these feelings far too well... I guess they're what I live for, though. (Report) Reply

  • (3/16/2009 4:08:00 PM)

    A laconic poem, I feel like i've been there, felt that same world weariness. I wonder who/what he saw the last time someone walked across the floor (Report) Reply

  • (6/11/2008 6:48:00 PM)

    We'll have enough time to rest when we die. (Report) Reply

  • (4/30/2008 7:01:00 PM)

    the beauty of Bukowski is that he is a master of crafting words that Everyman can relate to. That heavy side of life that you'd find talking to any person suffering through life is so present in this poem. You don't have to have watched a person suffer through the ravages of Cancer to comprehend this. Fighting is tiresome, even if the demons are self inflicted. This is just great writing. Its not covered in perfume, or redundant cerebral metaphors. it simply is what it is! (Report) Reply

  • (3/16/2008 4:57:00 PM)

    I was really sick recently, and I felt the same way. After a while you just get tired of everything. Beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: cat, horse, running

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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