40,000

at the track today,
Father's Day,
each paid admission was
entitled to a wallet
and each contained a
little surprise.
most of the men seemed
between 30 and 55,
going to fat,
many of them in walking
shorts,
they had gone stale in
life,
flattened out....
in fact, damn it, they
aren't even worth writing
about!
why am I doing
this?
these don't even
deserve a death bed,
these little walking
whales,
only there are so
many of
them,
in the urinals,
in the food lines,
they have managed to
survive
in a most limited
sense
but when you see
so many of them
like that,
there and not there,
breathing, farting,
commenting,
waiting for a thunder
that will not arrive,
waiting for the charging
white horse of
Glory,
waiting for the lovely
female that is not
there,
waiting to WIN,
waiting for the great
dream to
engulf them
but they do nothing,
they clomp in their
sandals,
gnaw at hot dogs
dog style,
gulping at the
meat,
they complain about
losing,
blame the jocks,
drink green
beer,
the parking lot is
jammed with their
unpaid for
cars,
the jocks mount
again for another
race,
the men press
toward the betting
windows
mesmerized,
fathers and non-fathers
Monday is waiting
for them,
this is the last
big lark.
and the horses are
totally
beautiful.
it is shocking how
beautiful they
are
at that time,
at that place,
their life shines
through;
miracles happen,
even in
hell.
I decide to stay for
one more
race.

by Charles Bukowski

Comments (9)

.......wow 40.000 was a lot of people at the track....sounds like a lot of fun :)
Nothing will overcome the perfection of the horse Spinoza..* *
I think that it is incomplete and still interesting.
Full poem: at the track today, Father's Day, each paid admission was entitled to a wallet and each contained a little surprise. most of the men seemed between 30 and 55, going to fat, many of them in walking shorts, they had gone stale in life, flattened out.... in fact, damn it, they aren't even worth writing about! why am I doing this? these don't even deserve a death bed, these little walking whales, only there are so many of them, in the urinals, in the food lines, they have managed to survive in a most limited sense but when you see so many of them like that, there and not there, breathing, farting, commenting, waiting for a thunder that will not arrive, waiting for the charging white horse of Glory, waiting for the lovely female that is not there, waiting to WIN, waiting for the great dream to engulf them but they do nothing, they clomp in their sandals, gnaw at hot dogs dog style, gulping at the meat, they complain about losing, blame the jocks, drink green beer, the parking lot is jammed with their unpaid for cars, the jocks mount again for another race, the men press toward the betting windows mesmerized, fathers and non-fathers Monday is waiting for them, this is the last big lark. and the horses are totally beautiful. it is shocking how beautiful they are at that time, at that place, their life shines through; miracles happen, even in hell. I decide to stay for one more race.
I don't believe this is the full poem.
See More