Charles Bukowski is known nearly as much for being a legendary drunk as he is for his prolific literary output. Bukowski, who is often called the “poet laureate of Skid Row” loved alcohol, refusing to reform even late in life.
He wrote about alcohol and drinking with humor, love and frustration, just like he wrote about all his other great passions with that mix of emotion, and always with that striking beat-down-but-singing voice. Here are some of the best Bukowski quotes on drinking and alcohol.
Best Bukowski Alcohol and Drinking Quotes
“Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”
~ Charles Bukowski
“Alcohol is probably one of the greatest things to arrive upon the earth — alongside of me.”
~ Charles Bukowski, “Tough Guys Write Poetry” Interview
“When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.” ~ Charles Bukowski, Factotum
“Drinking is another way of thinking, another way of living. It gives you two lives instead of one.” ~ Charles Bukowski, Reach for the Sun, Volume 3: Selected Letters 1978-1994
“Long before I became ‘rich and famous’ I just sat round drinking wine and staring at the walls.” ~ Charles Bukowski, Reach for the Sun, Volume 3: Selected Letters 1978-1994
“I think a man can keep on drinking for centuries, he’ll never die; especially wine or beer…I like drunkards, man, because drunkards, they come out of it, and they’re sick and they spring back, they spring back and forth…If I hadn’t been a drunkard, I probably would have committed suicide long ago.” ~ Charles Bukowski, The Charles Bukowski Tapes
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