Loving and hating Bukowski

With Linda King


How are your eyes?

Very Good. I can see San Francisco like I have never seen it before. I want to run out with my camera and take pictures everywhere.

Painter, sculptor and poet. What inspires a person with a so sensitive mind, to share part of her life with a “dirty old man”? Is it admiration, or just a genuine feeling?

As sharing my life with a “dirty old man,” I felt liberated to write all about my “dirty self,” being with such a man. That was the name of his colmum Notes of a dirty old man, later put together as a book by City Lights.

Loving and hating Bukowski

My book, soon to come out, is “my truth” about our time together, since I thought he did a pretty good job of trashing me in his book Women. This book has been in the frying pan so long that it’s probably way overcooked. Pieces of it have been published in about eight different places. I don’t want to say much about it afraid it might put a kiss of death on it, like a horse player who doesn’t talk about a winning horse before it come out of the gate.

It seems that you were the woman to whom he remained associated with greater affection. He write about you in his novel Women, the muse of The shower, one of his most tender poems. What do you think are the reasons why a man (or woman) be moved remembering his own past relationship?

Yes, I was the first woman in his book Women and the muse of The Shower poem. That was in the beginning of our relationship. As for the second question, I suppose, everyone remembers what they really loved. Bukowski sneeked that shower poem into that movie. The part of that movie I was in, was cut out, probably at the request of Mrs. Bukowski. I saw the original in Germany, that version didn’t come out in America. I think he liked the confusion of two Linda’s.

Perhaps, because of the obsession about the need to appear, our society tends to suspect, day by day, even the true conduct of certain icons of anti-conformism and “immorality”. Here in Italy there’s a band that sings “Bukowski, tell me the truth, about that beer, You don’t have drunk half!”. What’s the real truth about “Chinasky the drunkard”?

The song might be right. It wasn’t him drinking all the beer. When he blacked out, some other drunkard, (as he called himself) jumped in and drank some more, and maybe another after that one. He had been brain damaged and was easy access to those alcoholic ghosts. Read my book.

Is it true that, in spite of what is said about his unreliability, he was a very regular and methodical man?

I wouldn’t use those words to discribe him, but I suppose he was pretty regular about his writing and drinking. It seems he was still writing, right up to the day he died. I like his book Pulp where Lady Death was chasing him around. People who didn’t know he was dieing didn’t get it. Rather than methodical I was say he had a flow and shared his life, all of it, in prose or poetry.

You said he always wanted to tell you all the details about what he did together with other women. Do you think that talking about their own past relationships should be interpreted only as a sign of disrespect, and not rather as an “artistic” way to share each jerk of their own mind?

It wasn’t the past relationships that were the problem, it was the current ones. I think he, halfway, wanted to make me jealous. He said to me once that he could be sure a woman loves him if she was jealous. As for the other half, he wanted to keep what he had and have more women, like millions of other men.
Fame was bring them to his door.

What happened to the bust of him?

I have the original clay bust. I used to have a bronze one, too, but sold it when I was broke. He used to tell me I couldn’t write without him. I keep his head around as my man muse… just in case. I still sell one from time to time.

Some have had to say about the sale of his poems written for you. Do you think that ultimately there is nothing wrong with that?

I put a poem of his for sale on Ebay for $50,000. Because it’s the best love poem written in all of literature. It didn’t sell. It’s call The Cunt Poem, a private poem to Linda King. It’s a great poem and four typewritten pages long. The price goes up, not down, if my book sells. I got one offer for $3000. I think a letter of The Beatles sold for $150,000 just the other day. Nothing can compare to this poem. I might start making money and never sell it, who know?

Love is a dog from hell“?

That book is not about me. It is about all those other Love Dogs he got into after I was gone. Most of the the poems he wrote about me are in Mockingbird wish me luck.

What about your next Mad Ouija?

It’s about a breakdown I had when I was about twenty-one. I was about halfway through writing this book when I met Bukowski. It probably won’t be coming out until summer and then in a exclusive, hardback, handbound edition by Sore Dove Press. It’s been in my drawer for about 40 years.

What is your thought about the hatred and envy that now regulate our social relationships? Do you think that the point of view of Charles on this world can, somehow, help to change something? What’s the heritage he left to us?

Bukowski, I think, didn’t give a rat’s ass about changing the world. He was just recording what he saw, heard and experienced, but his wit and stories are wild, funny and so true and original. Every knew he just barely changed name, on the craziest of stories. He just a great writer. I love the quote of his that said, “I didn’t lie, but I might have improved on the truth.” He was just as witty in person as he was in his writing.
I, however, belong to the Revolutionary Poets Brigade and the World Poetry Movement. Poet Jack Hirschman is San Francisco’s Poets Pied Piper and we are using words not bullets. We aim to shooting poetry to change the world. Jack helped organize The Great Leap Forward on leap year, Feb 29th 2012, with many countries joining in for a day of poetry around the world. I read in two places.



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