Love, according to Bukowski, is a dog from hell. I’m inclined to agree with him, in spite of this, as soon as I picked up Bukowskis’ tome of ‘love’ poetry and read a couple of verses I felt like pushing it through the nearest book return I could find. However, as soon as you slam the book shut a morbid, human, and voyeuristic curiosity floods upon you and you have little choice but to open it and peak through your finger covered eyes and absorb the next poem.
One can’t escape Bukowski, trying not to pay too much attention, or to only read half a poem – bailing out as soon as it gets too rough is not an option. Each poem demands attention. Bukowski writes how he sees it, he’s raw, he’s nasty and he doesn’t give a fuck if you like it or not. This is very prominent when pushing your way through, poem by poem.
Featuring poems written between 1974 and 1977, the book is divided so that the mood of the book and thus the reader change as you progress. And although the mood does shift, the general ‘love’ theme stays on focus by continuously utilising Bukowskis’ main interests: Beer, sex, drugs, music and books, and by not straying far from the backs of a cars, hotel rooms, Bukowskis’ apartment, or some woman’s bed.
Although rough, nasty and simple, Bukowski does make for a pretty good read and once you get used to him his style is rather addictive. I found sharing Bukowski with friends more enjoyable than reading alone, as it is quick, simple and delivers.