97+ Best Charles Bukowski Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer noted for his use of violent images and graphic language in poetry and fiction that depict survival in a corrupt, blighted society. Profoundly inspirational Charles Bukowski quotes will challenge the way you think, and help guide you through any life experience.

If you’re searching for meaningful quotes by authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Charles Dickens, best Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quotes and greatest Christopher Hitchens quotes.

Famous Charles Bukowski Quotes

Find what you love and let it kill you. Charles Bukowski

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. Charles Bukowski

If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose. Charles Bukowski

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. Charles Bukowski

It’s better to do a dull thing with style than a dangerous thing without it. Charles Bukowski

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside remembering all the times you’ve felt that way. Charles Bukowski

If you have the ability to love, love yourself first. Charles Bukowski

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. Charles Bukowski

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire. Charles Bukowski

You have to die a few times before you can really live. Charles Bukowski

Life’s as kind as you let it be. Charles Bukowski

My ambition is handicapped by laziness. Charles Bukowski

Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside remembering all the times you’ve felt that way. Charles Bukowski

Somebody once asked me what my theory of life was, and I said, Don’t try. That fits the writing, too. I don’t try; I just type. Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence. Charles Bukowski

We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us. Charles Bukowski

That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen. Charles Bukowski

If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence. Charles Bukowski

I wanted the whole world or nothing. Charles Bukowski

Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live. Charles Bukowski

Find what you love and let it kill you. Charles Bukowski

People are strange they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice. Charles Bukowski

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski

Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do, but most people simply don’t give a damn. Charles Bukowski

If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose. Charles bukowski

There are only two things wrong with money too much or too little. Charles Bukowski

Some lose all mind and become soul,insane. some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual. some lose both and become accepted. Charles Bukowski

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot. Charles Bukowski

I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of. Charles Bukowski

You have to die a few times before you can really live. Charles Bukowski

I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often. Charles Bukowski

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski

Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them. Charles Bukowski

Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone. Charles Bukowski

A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover. Charles Bukowski

There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken. Charles Bukowski

There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out

but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you. Charles Bukowski

A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover. Charles Bukowski

Poetry is what happens when nothing else can. Charles Bukowski

I often carry things to read so that I will not have to look at the people. Charles Bukowski

Of course it’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well. Charles Bukowski

I don’t like the clean shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways. They interest me. They are full of surprises and explosions. Charles Bukowski

It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so? Charles Bukowski

I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them. Charles Bukowski

Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now. Charles Bukowski

Bad taste creates many more millionaires than good taste. Charles Bukowski

I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love. Charles Bukowski

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski

People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love. Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts. While the stupid ones are full of confidence. Charles Bukowski

I stopped looking for a Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasn’t a nightmare. Charles Bukowski

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live. Charles Bukowski

There’s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can’t hear it. Most people’s deaths are a sham. There’s nothing left to die. Charles Bukowski

Find what you love and let it kill you. Charles Bukowski

Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink. Charles Bukowski

I wasn’t much for a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing. Charles Bukowski

Baby, I said, I’m a genius but nobody knows it but me. Charles Bukowski

You’ve to die a few times before you actually live. Charles Bukowski

We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain. Charles Bukowski

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski

You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics. Charles Bukowski

Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone. Charles Bukowski

What a weary time those years were to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability. Charles Bukowski

The less I needed, the better I felt. Charles Bukowski

We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting. Charles Bukowski

You have to die a few times before you can really live. Charles Bukowski

Life’s as kind as you let it be. Charles Bukowski

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. Charles Bukowski

I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again. Charles Bukowski

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them. Charles Bukowski

The nine to five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you. Charles Bukowski

The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable. Charles Bukowski

We must We must bring our own light to the darkness. Charles Bukowski

I often carry things to read so that I will not have to look at the people. Charles Bukowski

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski

Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who what we are. Charles Bukowski

A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover. Charles Bukowski

Without literature, life is hell. Charles Bukowski

Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else. Charles Bukowski

It wasn’t my day. My week. My month. My year. My life. God damn it. Charles Bukowski

People are strange They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice. Charles Bukowski

I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me. Charles Bukowski

The trouble with a mask is it never changes. Charles Bukowski

This is very important to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful. Charles Bukowski

Our disappointment sits between us. Charles Bukowski

And yet women good women frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep. Charles Bukowski

We’re all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing. Charles Bukowski

She was desperate and she was choosey at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn’t have quite enough going for her to become what she imagined herself to be. Charles Bukowski

If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose. Charles Bukowski

She’s mad, but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire. Charles Bukowski

If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence. Charles Bukowski

There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you. Charles Bukowski

I can relax with bums because I am a bum. I don’t like laws, morals, religions, rules. I don’t like to be shaped by society. Charles Bukowski

I never met another man I’d rather be. And even if that’s a delusion, it’s a lucky one. Charles Bukowski

Do you agree with these quotes from Charles Bukowski? I would love to know. Please let me know your favorite Charles Bukowski quotes in the comment section below.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap