Last night I gulped down cheap red wine and watched Barfly, a film about Charles Bukowski’s drunken escapades as a young man. I hadn’t seen it before and it struck me as grittier, but less entertaining, than Factotum. Both are inferior to the somnambulistic Tales of Ordinary Madness, anchored by a grizzled Ben Gazarra.
The news tells me of an upcoming production directed by James Franco named simply, “Bukowski.” This literary borracho has become a darling of his hometown Hollywood. But almost twenty years after his death, he remains more myth-like than man. He is most certainly the hero I would never want to meet.
in which wallpaper limp room
did you find your courage,
sweat greased-back mane stubbled lion?
which liquor bottle
did instill in your breast
that taste for stupid-eager alleyway brawls
with solemn wisdom’s iron stamped upon
your split knuckles?
which cleave of your heart
did sever your toes from dirt-brown earth
and cast you cosmic
eternally no one everyone
as a dark sun unseen beyond earth?