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
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.
I think I did.
I’m glad I did.
what a lucky god damned
— Charles Bukowski
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