on DVD, at least. While looking at a friend’s videos on YouTube I saw a video for a DVD about Gypsy Lou Webb, who partnered with her husband, Jon, to publish a poetry mag called THE OUTSIDER in the ’60s while living in New Orleans’ French Quarter and, later, they put out a couple of books of poetry by Bukowski. Well, as I dug more into the info on this DVD I ended up discovering two new DVDs with Bukowski in them. Both are of readings he performed in front of wild, drunk audiences — one in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the other in Redondo Beach, California.
I ordered both DVDs ($45 bucks total, including shipping) and got them in the mail within five days.
“I’ve come here from San Pedro to put Redondo Beach on the map,” Buk joked before starting his reading there.
In THE LAST STRAW, Bukowski’s last poetry reading, he drinks red wine, chain smokes tiny cigarettes from India called beedis, banters constantly with the audience, reads some really great poems, laughs about how he got in free while everyone else had to pay a $6 cover charge, claimed poetry readings weren’t much different than factory work, asked for some real hatred from the crowd, finally getting it when some guy yelled out “FUCK YOU!” and Buk responding with, “Now that’s more like it,” introduced his soon-to-be-wife Linda after reading the poem “Competition”, offered to sell a snot rag he’d just blown his nose into for $21.76, saying, “But I’m not gonna autograph it,” drank more red wine, fumbled around with his poems, all typed up on sheets of white paper, got annoyed with one guy and asked him to come up to the stage and duke it out and was plastered drunk by the end of it all, and finished with the poem, “Giving A Poetry Reading,” which was hilarious and a fitting end to his public performances.
If you’re a Bukhead like me then you’ve got to get your hands on these two DVDs. These films had been “lost” for a quarter century and now they’re here for us to enjoy, placing us right there when Buk read his shit and gave his audience of fans and detractors pure hell.