When I saw and heard Bukowski read, late 1970s, I recognized him as a shy, frightened man similar to red-faced drunks I'd seen in bars, High Sierra. Life kicks the shit out of people, some of whom re-emerge in bars, mostly to drink quietly but occasionally to boast and insult; to observe astutely; and even to prophesy. Thus Bukowski.
If such men and women should bark or snap sometimes, or if a mist of rage should cloud their eyes momentarily, there's nothing to fear in most cases. It's only (only?) the result of pain.
Bukowski came close to draining a six-pack of bottled beer as he read for an hour or so. He tipped both the bottles and his head back, as if blowing a horn. His face was craggy, pocked, flushed, and interesting. It was Bukowski's face. It belonged to Bukowski. We liked what he read.