Charles Bukowski

Death Is Smoking my Cigars

Director: Ivana Djilas

Co-produced by: Mladinsko Theatre and Familija Cultural Society


Premiere: 26 September, 2012


Charles Bukowski (1920–1994) is not only the author of novels such as Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Women, Hollywood, Ham on Rye etc., but also a sensitive poet. Death is Smoking My Cigars is an evening of poetry that will come alive through music. Bukowski's world means sex, whores, uninhibited drinking, horse races, tramps and homeless. He was a stubborn writer, and an artist who lived his writing. In the poetry, translated for our performance by Brane Završan, Bukowski practically lets us into his bed so we could see from the first row the live broadcast of his deterioration, and enjoy, from a safe haven of a theatre seat, the humour and suffering Bukowski intertwines so lightly and easily.

In Charles Bukowski's poetry, there are two versions of a lyrical subject, alone, and alone amongst others. From the enormous silence and loneliness, a need to express through written word is born. Bukowski wrote poetry from his guts and his heart, without calculations; cynical, disappointed, and in bad spirit. His poems are like short stories. In one of them, he shows us an intimate relationship of an aged couple: two strangers sitting across and jamming toast into mouths, a similar story all over America, “stale lives propped against each other and no place to go”. In his poem Death is Smoking my Cigars he claims that he starved for his art, for his 5 god-damned minutes, five hours, five days, and finally realises: “I got my 5 god-damned minutes and much more.”

Special thanks to Linda Bukowski and the Estate of Charles Bukowski.





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