Question about 'the gods' in Buk Poem 'Laughing Hearts' (1 Viewer)

Hey guys, I'm trying to write a piece about the philosophy in Charles Bukowski's work, and am currently discussing 'The Laughing Heart'.

I'm kinda perplexed, I've always understood Bukowski as an atheist, yet in this poem, he refers twice to 'the gods'. Do you think he is being literal here (in that he has some sort of theism)? or do you think it is purely metaphorical? also, find it interesting how he uses a lowercase 'g' when referring to 'the gods'.
Anway, I thought this could be an interesting discussion to throw out there and i am interested to know what y'all think.


P.s here's to poem:

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
I interpret the gods as more like the powers that be, which could be anything from fate to a more theological representation. But I don't think that he is saying that he is choosing one interpretation over another; rather, he's saying that one does have a certain amount of say in what happens in one's life, but ultimately, the universe or fate or whatever power you choose to believe is holding the strings.

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