Bono Reads Two Poems by Charles Bukowski, “Laureate of American Lowlife”

Eons ago, we brought you Tom Waits reading Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Laughing Heart” in his ever so distinctive gravelly voice. Today, we’re heading to the other end of the rock audio spectrum. We’re bringing you Bono — short, of course, for the Latin “Bonovox,” or “Good Voice” — reading two poems by Bukowski, the poet once called the “laureate of American lowlife” by Pico Iyer. That’s because Bukowski made the ordinary lives of poor Americans and their many travails the subject of his poetry.

First up comes “Roll the Dice,” a poem from the collection, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire (1999). Next, “The Crunch,” published in Love is a Dog From Hell (1977). Both Bono readings originally appeared in the 2003 Bukowski documentary Born Into This. You can find the film listed in our collection of Free Movies Online (in the Documentary section), and also more Bukowski readings in our big list of Free Audio Books.

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