>“Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually dirty kitchen, and 5 out of 9 I’ll show you an exceptional man.” – Charles Bukowski, 6-27-67, over his 19th bottle of beer.
“show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 out of 9 I’ll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.” – Charles Bukowski, 6-27-67, over 20th bottle of beer.
Forget E! Entertainment’s experts. I dump on the Queer Eye Men. I scream turrets at morning talk show relationship gurus. I discredit the so-called how-to “experts” on the world wide web. On matters of the heart of the sexes, I prefer to get my information from Charles Bukowski. The late acclaimed writer and poet takes on the mind-set of the male and female species with straight talk and no inflated bullshit puffery of any kind. According to him, “the state of the kitchen is the state of the mind.”
In “Sensitive,” within the pages of Tales of Ordinary Madness, Bukowski deliberates both men and women and their habits all which seem to be dependent on how they keep their kitchens. As he essays forth his wild mind,
“ …confused and unsure men, pliable men are the thinkers. Their kitchens are like their minds, cluttered with garbage, dirty ware, impurity, but they are aware of their mind-state and find some humor in it. At times, with a violent burst of fire they defy the eternal deities and come up with a lot of shining that we sometimes call creation; just as at times they will get half drunk and clean up their kitchens, but soon again falls into disorder and they are in the darkness again, in need of BABO, pills, prayers, sex, luck, and salvation.”
While on the other hand he believes the ever-orderly kitchen is the freak.
“His kitchen-state is his mind state…he has let life condition him quickly to a basened and hardened complex of defensive and soothing thought-order. If you listen to him for ten minutes you will know that anything he says in a lifetime will be essentially meaningless and always dull.”
In just a few short sentences, he puts forth genuine thought about the state of mind in relation to how we keep our kitchens. How we function through life. Society sizes one another up by the simplest forms: how we dress, the types of shoes we wear… how clean or impure our kitchens are. We all know what he is talking about, we have experienced or have even let ourselves go at times, even women.
“some women have theories on how to save the world but can’t wash out a coffee cup.” Bukowski adds.
What makes Bukowski’s advice and knowledge about men and women more applicable than the so-called “experts” with letters after their name is that of his no-nonsense, “I don’t give a damn” attitude and perspective. He does not shy away from controversy or the truth. That is why I am fascinated by him. Plus, to many of whom follow his words, he is the literary-equivalent of Led Zeppelin and classic Guns n’ Roses -just to name a few- whose love for the debauchery and perversions of life nearly equaled their genius.
Categorically documenting the sordid details of life living in Los Angeles, Bukowski chronicled what he knew – that old adage of write what you know – he knew his surroundings and the people living in it. He even surmises, “ perhaps I have wandered from kitchens to vindictiveness. There is a lot of snot in each of our souls, and plenty in mine, and i become mixed-up on kitchens, mixed-up on most.”
Bukowski speaks in words on the sexes and on life openly and with scarred but real authenticity and candor. He opens wide his Muse with topics ranging from drinking, women, sex, fighting, the toils of nine to five, and in this example, kitchens.
In a world full of faux know-it-all’s posers bullshitting about the grit and the grind of life on celebrity television and morning talk shows, Bukowski’s words are a haven. An escape.