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What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

Charles Bukowski's gamble in art was as prolific as it was audacious. The second in Black Sparrow's series of posthumous volumes of Bukowski's poetry takes us deeper into the raw, wild vein that extends from the early 1970s to the 1990s. As in Bone Palace Ballet (1997), Buk here observes the world with an "unadorned self-awareness" (Publishers Weekly) that makes each poem "a little nugget of roughneck-intellectual autobiography or attitude" (Booklist). The courage, candor, humor and human understanding of Bukowski's poetry commingle to create a kind of intuitive contact and gut wisdom not found in Western verse since Francois Villon.

it's a farce, the great actors, the great poets, the great

statesmen, the great painters, the great composers, the

great loves,

it's a farce, a farce, a farce,

history and the recording of it,

forget it, forget it.

you must begin all over again.

throw all that out.

all of them out

you are alone with now.

look at your fingernails.

touch your nose.


the day flings itself upon


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About the Author

Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

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