Poem by Charles Bukowski

I had a most difficult job

starting my 14 year old car today

in 100 degree heat

I had to take the carburetor off

leap back and forth

adjusting the set-screw,

a 2 by 4 jammed against the gas pedal

to hold it down.

I got it going — after 45 minutes —

I mailed 4 letters

purchased something cool

came back

got into my place

and listened to Ives

had dreams of empire

my great white belly against

the fan. 


“Success” by Charles Bukowski is part of his collection entitled Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Unitl the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit. Find the book at

Photo: Tara Holland, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED