July 17, 2010
Spark by Charles Bukowski

When faced with a tremendous list of Bukowski work, many moons ago, I selected the poem written in the year of my birth (1983) and read it on that connection. I was astounded at how deeply I could be affected by something I picked for an arbitrary reason. This poem still, after many readings, gives me just a little bit of hope.



I always resented all the years, the hours, the

minutes I gave them as a working stiff, it

actually hurt my head, my insides, it made me

dizzy and a bit crazy — I couldn’t understand the

murdering of my years

yet my fellow workers gave no signs of

agony, many of them even seemed satisfied, and

seeing them that way drove me almost as crazy as

the dull and senseless work.


the workers submitted.

the work pounded them to nothingness, they were

scooped-out and thrown away.


I resented each minute, every minute as it was


and nothing relieved the monotonous ever-



I considered suicide.

I drank away my few leisure hours.


I worked for decades.


I lived with the worst of women, they killed what

the job failed to kill.


I knew that I was dying.

something in me said, go ahead, die, sleep, become

them, accept.


then something else in me said, no, save the tiniest


it needn’t be much, just a spark.

a spark can set a whole forest on


just a spark.

save it.


I think I did.

I’m glad I did.

what a lucky god damned



    Charles Bukowski

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