Bukowski’s Depression Cure


Charles Bukowski is probably the writer I’m most inspired by. He was mean. He was funny. And he knew how to grind through a life of poverty and drudgery. He’s the reason why I got into Classical music, The Classics, and learned how to fight.

I’ve always found that the toughest, most fun women love his books and the weakest, worst men hate them. I’m always heartened when I see his work on someone’s book shelf.

At the height of his fame his poetry readings were like rock concerts. Women came to fuck him and men came to challenge him. He took his share of the former and didn’t take any shit over the latter.


I’ve had one stone cold motherfucker of an irritating week; the kind of seven day bullshit that just makes you want to pull down the shades and pray the world explodes. This is just the regular ass depression that comes from working under fluorescent lights, I guess. No amount of positive affirmation bullshit helps. It’s just a storm and it always passes.

A few years back I read a piece about how Bukowski dealt with depression. Here it is in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link.

I have periods where, you know, when I feel a little weak or depressed. Fuck it! The Wheaties aren’t going down right. I just go to bed for three days and four nights, pull down all the shades and just go to bed. Get up. Shit. Piss. Drink a beer down and go back to bed. I come out of that completely re-enlightened for 2 or 3 months. I get power from that.

I think someday…they’ll say this psychotic guy knew something that…you know in days ahead and medicine, and how they figure these things out. Everybody should go to bed now and then, when they’re down low and give it up for three or four days. Then they’ll come back good for a while.

But we’re so obsessed with, we have to get up and do it and go back to sleep. In fact there’s a woman I’m living with now, get’s around 12:30, 1pm, I say: “I’m sleepy. I want to go to sleep.” She says: “What? You want to go to sleep, it’s only 1pm!” We’re not even drinking, you know. Hell, there’s nothing else to do but sleep.

People are nailed to the processes. Up. Down. Do something. Get up, do something, go to sleep. Get up. They can’t get out of that circle. You’ll see, someday they’ll say: “Bukowski knew.” Lay down for 3 or 4 days till you get your juices back, then get up, look around and do it. But who the hell can do it cause you need a dollar. That’s all. That’s a long speech, isn’t it? But it means something.

Ain’t that something? I don’t know about you, but I’d love to sleep for three days right now. I have a full schedule of weightlifting and firearms shooting tomorrow, so no rest for me.

bukowski 3


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