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The Continual Condition: Poems

The Continual Condition: Poems

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The Continual Condition: Poems

3/5 (11 ratings)
143 pages
1 hour
Sep 29, 2009


“The Walt Whitman of Los Angeles.”

—Joyce Carol Oates


“He brought everybody down to earth, even the angels.”

—Leonard Cohen, songwriter


Arguably the most imitated and influential American poet of the previous half-century, Charles Bukowski remains a counter-culture icon more than a decade after his death. The Continual Condition is a collection of never-before-published poems by the inimitable Bukowski—raw, tough, odes to alcohol, women, work, and despair by a rebel author equally adept at poetry and prose. Charles Bukowski lives on in The Continual Condition, a godsend for admirers of his previous collections Slouching Toward Nirvana, The Pleasures of the Damned, and Love is a Dog From Hell, as well as his novels Factotum, Ham on Rye, and Pulp.

Sep 29, 2009

About the author

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) fue el último escritor «maldito» de la literatura norteamericana. En Anagrama se han publicado sus seis novelas, Cartero, Factótum, Mujeres, La senda del perdedor, Hollywood y Pulp; seis libros de relatos, Escritos de un viejo indecente, Erecciones, eyaculaciones, exhibiciones, La máquina de follar, Se busca una mujer, Música de cañerías e Hijo de Satanás; los libros autobiográficos Shakespeare nunca lo hizo y Peleando a la contra; los diarios de El capitán salió a comer y los marineros tomaron el barco; el libro de entrevistas con Fernanda Pivano Lo que más me gusta es rascarme los sobacos; los textos reunidos en Fragmentos de un cuaderno manchado de vino. Relatos y ensayos inéditos (1944-1990) y Ausencia del héroe. Relatos y ensayos inéditos (1946-1992), así como su biografía Hank. La vida de Charles Bukowski, de Neeli Cherkovski. En esta colección se ha publicado también un volumen con sus tres primeros libros de relatos (Escritos de un viejo indecente, La máquina de follar y Erecciones, eyaculaciones, exhibiciones).

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The Continual Condition - Charles Bukowski

died 9 april 1553

in bed with the flu and reading Rabelais

as the cat snores

the bathroom toilet


and my eyes burn.

I put Rabelais down

and blink.

this is what

writers do

to each other.

for him, I


a tab of

vitamin C.

if we could only swallow


like that (I think we can)

or that death would

swallow us

like that (I think it does).

life is not what

we think it

is, it’s only what we

imagine it to


and for us

what we imagine


mostly so.

I imagine myself

rid of this


I see myself parading the

sidewalks again amongst the


of this world…

meanwhile, the cat, like most other

things, pushes too


I move him

gently away, thinking, Rabelais

you were a

mighty mighty interesting


then I stretch out as the ceiling

watches me and


thanks for the luck

at this time

I no longer have to work

the nightclubs, the universities,

the bookstores

I no longer have to tell the freshman English class

at the U. of Nebraska (Omaha)

at 11 a.m. while sitting

at a yellow elevated desk

why I did it

how I did it

and what they might do in order to do

it for


I don’t mind the plane flights back

with the businessmen

all of us drinking doubles

and looking out past the wing

trying to relax

grateful that we were not on skid row

knowing we had certain abilities

(so far)

which have saved us from that.

I may have to do it all again, but

right now I am where I belong:

passing over my own Grand Canyon

on schedule

no seat belt

no stewardess

no lost luggage.

my art form

I watch the jocks come out in the

post parade. one will win the race. the others will

lose. but each jock must win sometime in some race

on some day, and he must do it often enough. or he is

done as a jockey.

it’s like the girls on the street trying to score for

their pimp

or each of us sitting over a typewriter tonight or tomorrow

or next week or next month

and doing it well enough

once in a while

or he is done as a writer,

he’s a whore who can’t score.

I think I would like a little more kindness

in the structure

but the nature of things has a way of not


when I was a boy I used to dream of becoming

the village idiot.

I used to lie in bed and imagine myself the

happy idiot

able to get food easily

and easy sympathy,

a planned confusion of not too much love

or effort.

some would claim that I have succeeded.


it was when I was living down on DeLongpre

and writing dirty stories for the sex mags

I never got a reject

until one day I got one

an irritating one:

"dear Chinaski:

this is well-written but

to infer that an ugly man your age

had sex with four women in one day

is simply infantile


I stood there looking out the window

at the sunny day, the sidewalk, the


come here and give me a little kiss,

said the lady on the couch.

the phone rang.

hello, I answered.

"listen, you bastard, I know you’ve got

somebody there now! I’m psychic!"

she hung up.

"do you like me

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What people think about The Continual Condition

11 ratings / 3 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    As an avid reader of Chas. I almost universally want to give his books high marks. This is an exception, but only mildly so. These poems don’t talk to me nearly as much as prior books. This piece of work, fortunately, does not represent him as well as nearly everything else he wrote. There are still several good poems as well as a number of average ones. Don’t take this as representative of the whole, though tis still average at worst which is better than most. Finished in Malta during the plague, 15.04.2020.
  • (1/5)
    As a huge Bukowski fan and a former correspondent with him and as an individual to whom he autographed a number of books and t-shirts, I tend to buy anything Bukowski. I have all of the Black Sparrow, City Lights, Ecco and Harper Collins books, as well as a couple of older ones now hard to find. When this book came out, I was elated, naturally. I rushed to acquire it and read it through with growing unease. I say this, because this is the first time I've ever said what about I'm to write: This Bukowski book is utter crap! Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel! Bukowski would probably be rolling over in his grave right now, and I'm ashamed that Linda and John Martin participated in allowing what is obviously a cheap attempt to cash in on the man's name and legacy. It's my belief this book has tarnished Buk's legacy -- but not by much.Oh yeah, there are perhaps two decent poems in the entire book.... Pity.
  • (3/5)
    For a man who died in 1994 at the age of 73, Bukowski is still a prolific writer. Released in 2009, The Continual Condition is the newest book containing never before published poems.Not being a poet, my gauge of how well I like a poetry book is based on how many pages I dogear to go back to and re-read. While I did really like the majority of poems here, I didn't dogear to many. Although it might just be my mood because I seemingly just picked the darkest poems as my favorites.This Kind of Fire was one of my favorites, along with Perfect Silence, Dear Editor and Moving Towards Age 73.