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Bukowski Flash Mob Breaks Out at Barney's Beanery

People started reciting poetry in the middle of Barney's Beanery last night
People started reciting poetry in the middle of Barney's Beanery last night

It's not every day that a random old guy announces to a group of strangers that he likes tight pussy.

Actually, that happens all the time in Los Angeles. But this was different, because it wasn't an offer, but a performance. The man, actor Richard Large, was reciting poetry from the late Charles Bukowski: "What counts now is one more tight pussy before the light tilts out," goes the line from the famous Bukowski poem, "Crazy as I ever was."

Bukowski, who died in 1994, published thousands of poems and other creative works throughout his life. He is beloved by many for his focus on sex, alcohol and grimy Los Angeles life.

Legend is that Bukowski used to hang around Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood, getting wasted and writing his poetry on napkins. In keeping with that tradition, Barney's Beanery hosted a secret Charles Bukowski flash mob Thursday night.

"The Charles Bukowski flash mob will not be announced to the public in advance," the press release very clearly said, in bold. However, this did not stop LAist from announcing the flash mob two days ago. Whoops.

The spontaneous poetry reading was meant to promote Pacific Standard Time's West Hollywood-focused exhibit, "It All Started Here."

Six actors wearing clear microphones went undercover as busboys, bartenders, diners and pool players. A little after 9 p.m., they surprised guests with a loud drum beat and then the reading. Other performers played harmonica and bass.

The show was produced by Unbound Productions, a theater company whose past venues include a cemetery, a hotel and a mansion. The company is best known for its successful Wicked Lit series, in which actors re-enact horror literature.

Paul Millet (left) and Richard Large relaxing in Barney's Beanery after the show.
Paul Millet (left) and Richard Large relaxing in Barney's Beanery after the show.
Max Josephson

"[The idea] came about through sitting down in my living room in January in 2008, with the idea of creating a festival of theater to celebrate Halloween," said Paul Millet, the company's co-artistic director.

To pay the bills, Millet edits the television show House Hunters. But his goal for Unbound is to make it profitable enough that it can become a full-time job. "We're not there yet," Millet said. "We're working toward that."

Here's video from the performance:

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