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Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Wanda: I can't stand people, I hate them. Henry: Oh yeah? Wanda: Do you hate them? Henry: No, but I seem to feel better when they're not around.
Henry: Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Tully: You can really write. Why do you live like a bum? Henry: I am a bum. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to write about the sufferings of the upper classes? Tully: This may be news to you but they suffer too. Henry: Hey baby, nobody suffers like the poor.
Henry: This is a world where everybody's gotta do something. Y'know, somebody laid down this rule that everybody's gotta do something, they gotta be something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that. [sighs] Henry: Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don't wanna do. All the things that I don't wanna be. Places I don't wanna go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned. Save the whale, all that, I don't understand that. Jim: You're not supposed to think about it. I think the whole trick is, not to think about it.
Tully: Why did you send your stuff to us? Henry: Well, I liked the title of the mag. It boggled my scrotum. Tully: Why don't you stop drinking? Anybody can be a drunk. Henry: Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.
Eddie: I'd hate to be you if I were me.
Henry: It's hatred. It's the only thing that lasts.
Henry: That's it. Wanda: That's what? Henry: I'm broke. Can't buy another drink. Wanda: You mean you don't have any money? Henry: No money, no job, no rent. Hey, I'm back to normal.
Henry: Why did it have to be Eddie? He symbolizes everything that disgusts me. Obviousness. Unoriginal macho energy. Ladies man... Wanda: You're right. He's not much
Henry: [to Eddie] Your mother's cunt stinks like carpet cleaner.
Wanda: I hate the police, don't you? Henry: I don't know, but I seem to feel better when they're not around.
Henry: [Voice over] And as my hands drop the last desperate pen, in some cheap room, they will find me there and never know my name, my meaning, nor the treasure of my escape.
Tully: I take it you don't care for my world. Henry: [scoffs] Well, baby, look around. It's a, it's a cage with golden bars.
Old Fart: Now look. Twenty bucks for that kind of head is outrageous. Grandma Moses: I did ya good, old fart. I did ya good. I oughta bit your champagne cork off. Old Fart: I'm givin' ya fifteen bucks. Grandma Moses: Twenty bucks. Nobody in this neighborhood can swallow paste like I can.
Henry: Drinks for all my friends!
Wanda: Listen, I drink. And when I drink, I move in the wrong direction...
Wanda: [talking about the rumour that her neighbor killed people] Maybe he had a reason to kill those people. Henry: Yeah well most people think they do.
Henry: I remember ordering a draught, barkeep. What, are you out of brew, or has that lobotomy finally taken hold?
Henry: You know, in the guest house, you could write in peace. Tully: Hey, Tully baby, nobody who could write worth a damn could ever write in peace, Jesus.
Tully: Do you need a drink? Henry: Yeah, like a spider needs a fly.
Henry: So you hired a dick to find an asshole?
Henry: Some guys really know how to get the women. Jim: Now, you don't know how? Henry: Hey, I can get one for ten minutes. That's my limit.
Henry: [to his own bloody face as reflected in the bathroom mirror] Nothing but the dripping sink. Empty bottle. Euphoria. Youth fenced in, stabbed and shaved. Taut words propped up to die
Eddie: All you gotta do is beg for a little mercy. Henry: Quittin' to you would be like swallowin' piss for eternity.
Henry: Baby, What we had was just green corn.
Henry: Nobody who ever wrote anything worth a damn could ever write in peace... Jesus.
Harry: Don't be sorry, just put on some new underwear.
Henry: Grow's for plants. I hate roots.
Lenny: Well, Wanda's just drunk and besides that, she's too fat.