I have recently been exposed to an upsurge of people who have absolutely no idea who Charles Bukowski is. As someone who is constantly devouring Bukowski poetry, these confessions are poison to my ears. Some people call Charles Bukowski abused and misunderstood. Others say he’s a misogynistic, narcissistic, alcoholic asshole. Personally, I like to think of Bukowski as someone who has a little bit of everything bad and everything good about society dumped into the very depths of his soul: mixed in, stirred up, lit on fire and left to explode. His pieces are some of the most honest, tragic and beautiful of all the American writings I’ve ever experienced. A simple Google search will lead to copious amounts of articles listing Bukowski’s best quotes, but here’s a compilation of Bukowski quotes you may have never seen before. (Some of these quotes are excerpted from poems, novels and short stories; don’t hate me from separating them from their original contexts).

1. “The human heart, as of course we all know is essentially good…”

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Not all people in this world are born good. It’s just the circumstances and situations that surrounds them change them and become someone that is not good, and sometimes it’s hard to turn them back again.

2. “Sometimes solitude is one of the most beautiful things on earth”

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Sometimes, being alone is the only thing that we need.

3. “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus!…”

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The thought that we will all die should be an enough reason that we  must live a meaningful life.

4. “There are worse things than being alone…”

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Sometimes, we thought that being alone is the worst thing that would ever happen to someone, however, there are other thing that is worst than being alone.

5. If I had been born a woman I would certainly have been a prostitute…”

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A man wants a good woman but also wants a few characteristics of a prostitute.

6. “Love breaks my bones and I laugh”

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Love will not only break you emotionally, at times it can break you physically (when you get involve in a fight, etc.), and then eventually we can just laugh at it.

7. “The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it…”

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8. “People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things…”

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People sometimes are hard to understand, we get mad at small things but we can’t notice the big things that destroys and wastes our lives.

9. “Drink from the well of your self and begin again”

If ever we feel weak and broken only ourselves can refuel our own strength.

10. “The less I needed, the better I felt”

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It’s a great feeling that you don’t need someone or something that much. Sometimes, only few things can make you truly happy.

11. “Something else is hurting you – that’s why you need a pot or whiskey…”

If we are in pain, sometimes drinking and distracting yourself are ways wherein you can forget your problems. Even just for awhile.

12. “She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire”

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If a girl is mad, she is in her true self. No lies, only true feelings of anger.

13. “Once a woman turns against you, forget it…”


Beware of women, they may seem vulnerable and fragile but once you give them something to turn against you, they can be as bad as hell.

14. “We must.. We must bring our own light to the darkness”


When you are facing a problem, only you can help yourself.

15. “I don’t hate people, I just feel better when they aren’t around”


There are people who just don’t want to be with other people. They just enjoy being alone.

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