Sep 06, 2008, 06:59AM

Eponomously prolific

Since his death in 1994, LA's Charles Bukowski—a poet and author known and revered for his grotesque, autobiographical style—has seen truck loads of his work published, usually in the form of poetry collections. Here, LA Weekly excerpts "Bukowski's L.A. Scene," which can be read in full in the upcoming title Wine-Stained Notebook: Uncollected Stories and Essays, 1944-1990, set to be published later this month by City Lights Books.

I thought it would be nice if all artists had a right to survival, but my thoughts were that everybody had, and if the artist didn't make it monetarily, he was in the same shape as anybody else who didn't. But I didn't argue with M. He was no longer young, but he was still a powerful poet. But somehow in the poetic circles he had become locked out. There were politics in art as well as anywhere else. It was sad. But M. had gone to too many literary parties, he had fallen for too many suck plays, he had crept around too many Names simply because they were Names; he'd made too many demands at the wrong time and in the wrong way. As we drove along, he pulled out a little red notebook of "taps." All those names were good for a tap.

We made Venice and I got out with M. and we went up to a two-story house. M. knocked. A kid came out.

"Jimmy, I need a 20."

Jimmy left, came back with the 20, closed the door. We got back in the car, drove back, drank all afternoon and night as M. talked the poetic scene. He had forgotten he was on the wagon. The next morning it was beer for breakfast and out to the Hollywood Hills. Another two-story house. M. had to beat on the windows. A house full of cats and kittens, the smell of cat shit dominated. M. got another 20 and we drove back. And drank a bit more.


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