Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Be Kind

we are always asked
to understand the other person's
no matter how
foolish or

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
especially if they are

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
because they have
out of focus,
they have refused to

not their fault?

whose fault?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately

among so many


Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Monday, July 04, 2005

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Comments about this poem (Be Kind by Charles Bukowski )

  • Rookie Dan Lee (11/2/2014 1:36:00 AM)

    How true that we are ironically asked to be kind while people are living lives that are unexamined and dictated by herds that lead to nothingness. Bukowski cuts through things with honesty and without pretense. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rebecca Lytle (5/1/2014 6:27:00 PM)

    Thadious Worthington: You have lived your life out of focus and are foolish. You are also yucky. Please go away and take your teeny-bopper like angst with you, you are neither amusing nor thought-provoking. In fact, I am sure that reading your comment has actually sucked some of the thoughts out of my brain. Thank God they weren't very good ones. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Thadious Worthington (12/2/2013 8:37:00 PM)

    This is the judgmental nonsense that I have heard from alcoholics. They are all fearful of being judged but never pass up a chance to do the judging themselves. Who is anyone to determine that you lived out of focus or are foolish. Yuck. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sherry Campeau (8/1/2013 7:30:00 PM)

    I love this man...wish he was still writing (Report) Reply

  • Rookie like flying (10/24/2009 3:02:00 AM)

    everything he writes is just so simply true. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Roger Cornish (10/4/2008 8:44:00 AM)

    Bukowski.....The most under rated poet of the 20th Century.....
    Only the level of alianation he experienced can produce that kind of spirit. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie George Makris (10/2/2008 9:30:00 AM)

    AGE wasted life... age is a cool dry beast inside us all
    it crushes dreams and stops the mind
    and rules the (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Alex Klein (1/28/2008 12:11:00 AM)

    Aw crap, here I go again!

    There's a lot of people I've met in libraries who take there presence there in itself as meaning something. Full-fledged snoberry. There's the 'actual' quite person in that very library who might actually be way beyond that snobery for sure. But, more often than not; they're few. Or so it would seem. I don't frequent libraries that often. But it seems that every time I do, I'm teetering on the edge of that kind of reaction. People wrapped up in the classics looking over their shoulders at anyone that might make a noise; like some punk or something. I was dressed up in my usual clothes; sort of half skater, half stoner (I don't like those black and white terms, but I'll go with them for the purpose of description) , and I went up to the lady working the computer...I asked for Huxley's 'The Doors of Perception'. The girl started looking to see if the book was available. I was then somewhat 'attacked' by this women to my right. I say attacked, but I actually thouroughly enjoyed her fight. She looked me up and down while saying that I was just looking for books about drugs by drug addicts that are taken far too seriously. I said that a drug does'nt have an opinion. And I think I smiled at her like a lunatic after that, but felt so embarassed and idiotic. Inside I wanted to add a lot more to my deffence, but I'm not good with aggresive moments. The girl working there told me they did'nt have the book and I noticed the girl who I'd argued with smiling in the corner of my eye. I had quite a bit of time on my hands that day, and the only thing I regret is not having invited that bitter girl for a seat or two and a good argument beyond that awkward space in front of the nervous girl who was trying not to laugh and smile. I cycled home on my bike imagining all the things I could have said in my deffence. The usual.

    It reminds me of scenes where a father, or mother or any family member can't take the mad lifestyle of their loved-ones but then retires to bed beneath a copy of a Van Gaugh painting and reads a writer who eventually killed themselves. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Alex Klein (1/27/2008 11:45:00 PM)

    Michael Speakman: Maybe they're not THAT bad. Maybe I am'nt understanding you though. But if you really feel 'they' are., should'nt you wonder about your kindness that ou speak of? Judges and all that...Maybe I did'nt spot you're sarchasm though. Were you? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Alex Klein (1/11/2008 4:38:00 AM)

    If you vomited and called that art, someone for sure would want to kill you. After all, time is short, right? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Speakman (9/21/2007 8:59:00 AM)

    Buck I am kind
    But others are not
    Mile out of their way to
    Too many to
    But oh
    Lord..they are good!
    Yes...they are good (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cecilia Nicoletti (5/29/2007 9:49:00 AM)

    He is a pop poet.I think.
    He is a roamer and decadent street philosophe´r.
    I dont really like his work that much.I have seen people getting corrupted by his works.
    This is a free world anyway(........) and I like this Kind.
    Do you know the lost of Kindness is unrestorable? as happiness. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Entity3sf Sam (5/26/2007 9:30:00 PM)

    No one 'Deliberately' wastes their lives. Bukowski was a miserable sob and a half-ass writer. To the person claiming him to be the best of the late 20th century - you need to get to the library more often. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie ***** ********* (5/20/2006 6:59:00 PM)

    And here is the answer to my question? Wow poem and amazing coincidence! lol Thanks Charles, I love you and you made my day. kinda smiling Tai (Report) Reply

Read all 14 comments »

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