Page 102. " I kept striving and banging but I'd had too much to drink "

Its been well known since medieval times that too much alcohol causes impotence.


Page 106. " Most of these men's lives were so tortured that I enjoyed reading about them, thinking, well, I am in hell too and I can't even write music. "

Bukowski was a massive fan of classical music, listening to classical music often provided a backdrop to his poems. Among others Handel's Concerti Grossi was among his favourites.


Page 108. " I had drawn the nut each time. They liked me. "

Bukowski was always complaining about the odd people he attracted, ever since school he attracted the social outcasts. Ham on Rye provides an excellent account of his youger years.


Bukowski was often asked how to write by wannabe writers, this is an extract from his poetic reply. I thought it apt as the above quote was taken from a conversation between Chinaski and a wanna be writer, a fellow Post Office worker. 

 Extract from 'So you want to be a writer'

"if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all,you're not ready.don't be like so many writers, don't be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don't be dull and boring and pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love"

He inspired countless artists and even a few songs. Such as 'Bukowski' by Modest Mouse

artistic selfishness
Creative Commons Attributionartistic selfishness - Credit: Hryck.'s


Page 114. " I had come a long way from a guy who had worked in slaughterhouses, who had crossed the country with a railroad track gang "

Bukowski has often been charged with exaggerating, click for a comprehensive list of this spoil sports research

"Charles Bukowski claimed a great affinity with the hobos who rode the rails during the ’30s and ’40s, but he never rode a boxcar nor hitchhiked in his life"

Page 117. " Hector dropped to his knees, crying, holding his mouth with both hands. i saw the stiletto "

The name Stiletto originated from the Latin Stilus. It became the name for a flick knife or butterfly knife, synonamous with american crime.

To paraphrase from Chris Hughes

"The first legislation passed banning the knife was in 1958 (The US Switchblade Act of 1958), during a time of moral panic caused by Rock n’ Roll and movies like The Wild One (1954), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), High School Confidential (1955), and West Side Story (1957). These films showcased class conflict and rebel counter culture with unforgettable scenes of troubled youths brandishing their Italian Stilettos"

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alikespyderfly1 - Credit: aleahey


Page 118. " Fay had grey hair and always dressed in black. She said she was protesting the war. "

Fay's character was based on Frances Smith whom Bukowski had his only child with, he refered to her as Old Snaggle Tooth. She was also a sucessful poet.

An extract from one for old snaggle tooth...

"she has created a better world

she has won.

Frances, this poem is for


Page 123. " Fay was pregnant. Buy it didn't change her and it didn't change the post office either "

Bukowski had a daughter Marina, the first word she leared was 'liquor'