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
year.
will see the doctor,
Monday.
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
hurts."
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
vitamins?"
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
clerk.
"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
again
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
notebook.
something is
walking across the
floor
toward
me.
oh, it's just
my cat
this
time.


Comments about Are You Drinking? by Charles Bukowski

  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (12/28/2019 8:26:00 AM)

    Bukowski was no genius. He just told it as he saw it, and it usually worked well as poetry. I really like this one, especially the ending.(Report)Reply

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  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (8/10/2019 8:06:00 PM)

    I used to be drinking often, but not now. Bukowski uses lower case letters, little punctuation, and he is usually successful with it. His liking of horse racing is again mentioned here. A poem which I like.(Report)Reply

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  • majhi (5/22/2019 8:59:00 PM)

    events consistency.the genius mind.(Report)Reply

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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (5/19/2019 8:08:00 AM)

    the same stale yet
    fluctuating
    factors.
    even at the track
    I watch the horses run by
    and it seems
    meaningless. thinking, life's situations. a very good poem. tony(Report)Reply

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  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (8/10/2018 12:51:00 AM)

    greatly written-

    just an old guy
    just an old writer
    with a yellow
    notebook.
    something is
    walking across the
    floor
    toward
    me.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Haidee Majola (7/23/2018 8:09:00 PM)

    Do you drink? The doc will ask you for confirmation not for information. Here's a poet who was not at a loss for a muse anytime anywhere. I admire the acceptance he sounds of his advanced age and state of being. For what indeed does it help a man to age grumpily. Love this piece...(Report)Reply

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  • Lily IvesLily Ives (7/4/2018 10:41:00 PM)

    I think that I am just ill with life, the same stale yet fluctuating factors. I wonder how many people take alcohol because they are depressed with the mundane state of affairs that is life? Is the opposite of alcohol addiction, or any addiction, connection? He truly was a lonely man, and a powerful writer. I am enjoy his pessimistic view of the world - it's at times refreshing!(Report)Reply

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  • Fer OntiFer Onti (5/21/2017 10:06:00 PM)

    The end is touching I can relate a hundred percent, sometimes when you are really drunk the alcohol makes you see thing that aren't there, sometimes those things scare the shit out of you. I don't know if the end reflects relief when he realizes that the thing coming towards him is his cat, or disappointment because he is so donde with life that he rather see monsters than real things.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Unknown SpiritUnknown Spirit (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.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Bharati NayakBharati 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

    3 person liked.
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  • Thomas CaseThomas Case (4/3/2016 5:55:00 AM)

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

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  • Mark ArvizuMark 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

    6 person liked.
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  • Shane Pantone (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 MondalSouren Mondal(1/26/2016 2:50:00 AM)

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

    10 person liked.
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  • Allan james SaywellAllan 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

    5 person liked.
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  • Thomas CaseThomas 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

    14 person liked.
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  • Madathil Rajendran NairMadathil Rajendran Nair (3/12/2015 9:40:00 AM)

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

    3 person liked.
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  • Mazhari David (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

    14 person liked.
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  • * Sunprincess * (3/15/2014 7:14:00 AM)

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

    13 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Fiona SchwartzinoffFiona 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

    9 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Smoky HossSmoky Hoss (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

    17 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: cat, horse, running



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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