I liked what I knew of Bukowski in high school, granted at the time I had no exposure to feminism and no inkling as to what slut-shaming was (I was too busy calling all of the mean girls -who dated the guys who were emotionally and mentally abusing me instead of dating me- whores to realize that it was a gross habit caused by misplaced rage and internalized misogyny).
I decided to give this book another shot,due mainly to my interest in poetry (obviously). Three poems in I’ve got Bukowski describing bar fights in front of whores, and I’m not sure if I’m down with this book. I picked it up in high school and never got around to reading it, though I frequently stumbled upon Bukowski poems randomly dispersed around the Internet and occasionally liked them.
I do enjoy his tendency to write poetry on ugly subjects; bullying, violence, other elements of humanity that aren’t often the subject of poetic writings. However, as a goodreads reviewer so adequately put it, Bukowski was “assholish as always,” and it didn’t sit well with me.
I have to admit, I really didn’t enjoy this book at all. I rarely dread poetry (through reading this book, I can definitely see why some people do). It’s not Bukowski’s best, and I’m not his biggest fan even then.
I give it a 4/10.