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

  • (5/22/2019 8:59:00 PM)

    events consistency.the genius mind. (Report)Reply

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  • Drtony 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 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.
  • (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 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 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 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 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 Case (4/3/2016 5:55:00 AM)

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

    1 person liked.
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  • 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

    6 person liked.
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  • (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(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 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.
    4 person did not like.
  • 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

    14 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (3/12/2015 9:40:00 AM)

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

    3 person liked.
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  • (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.
    10 person did not like.
  • (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 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 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.
    4 person did not like.
  • 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

    12 person liked.
    28 person did not like.
  • 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

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



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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