Watch Harry Dean Stanton reads poems by Charles Bukowski
(Credit: Magnolia)

Watch Harry Dean Stanton read poems by Charles Bukowski

American actor, singer and musician, Harry Dean Stanton, is best known for his standout roles in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, Alex Cox’s 1984 science-fiction comedy, Repo Man and the last film in his 60-year career, John Carroll Lynch’s 2017 drama Lucky.

With 116 film roles, parts in 77 TV series, multiple music videos and even a voice role in a video game, Stanton’s extensive body of work is testament to his extremely successful career.

Stanton was incredibly fond of America-German poet Charles Bukowski who is (in)famous for his works such as 1971 effort Post Office, 1975’s Factotum and Women which was released three years later in 1978. According to actor and producer Logan Sparks, who worked with Stanton on his last feature film, “Harry used to quote Charles Bukowski all the time about how your family can be shit but you can choose your friends.”

Stanton even paid a tribute to the late writer on June 30, 2012, while appearing at the Grand Performances Outdoor Stage in downtown L.A. For the 2003 documentary, Bukowski: Born Into This. Stanton recorded readings of two of Bukowski’s poems, Bluebird and Torched Out.

Check them out, below.

Charles Bukowski: ‘Bluebird’

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.

then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

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