Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

Hostage (1980)

  1. "I Come from San Pedro" 1:17
  2. Jam 1:14
  3. Cutulus 1:49
  4. Indian Cigarettes, Pussy and Lepers 1:56
  5. Trouble 1:19
  6. Competition 2:09
  7. The Secret of My Endurance 2:24
  8. On the Hustle 3:29
  9. "I'll be drinking when I bury you..." 0:51
  10. I Am a Reasonable Man 3:28
  11. Eating the Father 1:51
  12. Intermission: Foop the Whales 0:50
  13. Burning Time and Making Money 3:51
  14. I Believe in Evil 0:57
  15. "Let's go to work.." 1:23
  16. The Nine Horse 4:24
  17. Respect 2:18
  18. I Don't Need a Cleopatra 1:51
  19. Hemingway 1:31
  20. "Try some shit, do some anger..." 1:40
  21. Fan Letter 2:14
  22. "Tweak-fucked by the surfboarders of hell..." 1:06
  23. The Drunk With Little Legs 2:36
  24. "The good old days..." 1:20
  25. Tour 1:42
  26. Losing My Mind 1:05
  27. The Recess Bells of School 3:07
  28. "I am Humphrey Bogart..." 3:01
  29. Giving a Poetry Reading 5:14

Tonight will be a very dignified reading," intones Charles Bukowski at the outset of this public performance. "I will read dignified poetry in a dignified manner." Of course, this sends the audience into stitches, knowing that Bukowski will soon plunge into his poems, which seem more like anecdotes of gleeful depravity, packed full of prostitutes, horse racing, and displays of drunken candor. One piece finds Bukowski a guest speaker at a pristine private college, feeling under the weather after a night of fierce drinking. ("I think I was in the state of Nebraska or Illinois or Ohio.") In his nausea, he sits mutely before the class of wide-eyed students. When asked questions about his craft, he responds tersely, answering such innocent queries as "What do you think of Norman Mailer?" with "I don't think of Norman Mailer" (or "Who are your three favorite writers?" with "Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski, and Charles Bukowski"). While the poet is typically crude throughout the performance -- even in his interaction with the audience -- a couple of surprising things come to light when one hears Bukowski in a live setting: 1) how sweet and reasonable he can sound, and 2) how dead-on his comic timing is. Hostage is essential listening for anyone interested in the mythic Charles Bukowski. This is a highly entertaining recording.

Charles Bukowski in UbuWeb Film & Video