I was in a book store in Orange County (Southern California) with my friend, “Larry”, who’d found out about the book store from a friend of his.
The Bookman, located in Orange is a great stop in the quiet, suburban, and notibly historic city. They carry a very impressive collection of new, used, vintage and out of print books. Speaking of new, I went into the book store looking for a new author to check out (I stick mostly to Ray Bradbury, R.I.P, and Stephen King. I fear change, okay?). I had heard and read some interesting things from Charles Bukowski, but I was pretty aprehensive to buy his works because of one of those “hearings” of him being a major alcoholic and “diver” (he was always in some L.A. Dive Bar), but that has nothing to do with me, who am I to judge?
While in The Bookman, I asked one of the guys (The owner, and suspected Hipster) if they had any Bukowski. He pointed me in the direction of their stock and told me, “These are all new. We can’t keep his stuff on the self.” I was disappointed because for some reason I hoped I could buy a used work and feel a sense of literary-character growth in side of me salvaging some battered and brused book from a supposed amazing poet. Anyway, shuffling through the various copies, I noticed a large new book of Bukowski poetry entitled, What matters most is how well you walk through the fire. First of all, I love the title. Eleven short words graced with a bit of encouagment, and for $19, I hope it would. I have read, so far, three of the poems in the collection including my favorite of his, “Roll the Dice”. The other poetry that I have read is interesting to say the least. From the reads, he may not have been the happiest man on earth, and he was in search of something. I will say, his writings offer me some sort glimpse into some hard truth. He has a way of putting things that jog your thinking to inwardly ask, “Am I happy?” At least, that is what I am grasping so far. As I revist his poetry book, I will post additional blogs with my thoughts on his writings.