Archives for posts with tag: racetrack

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I LIKE YOUR BOOKS
by Charles Bukowski

In the betting line the other

day

man behind me asked,

“are you Henry 
Chinaski?”

 
“uh huh,” I answered.


 
“I like your books,” he went

on.


 
“thanks,” I answered.


 
“who do you like in this

race?” he asked.


 
“uh uh,” I answered.


“I like the 4 horse,” he

told me.


 
I made my bet and went back

to my seat….


 
the next race I am standing in

line and here is this same man

standing behind me

again.

there are at least 50 lines at

the windows but

he has to find mine

again.


 
“I think this race favors the

closers,” he said to the back of

my neck. “the track looks

heavy.”


 
“listen,” I said, not looking

around, “it’s the kiss of death to

talk about horses at the

track…”


 
“what kind of rule is that?”

he asked. “God doesn’t make

rules…”


 
I turned around and looked at him:

“maybe not, but I

do.”


 
after the next race

I got in line, glanced behind

me:

he was not there:


 
lost another reader.


 
I lose 2 or 3 each

week.


 
fine.


 
let ’em go back to

Kafka.

Photo: Charles Bukowski picking his horses at the race track.

Image
I LIKE YOUR BOOKS
by Charles Bukowski

In the betting line the other

day

man behind me asked,

“are you Henry 
Chinaski?”

 
“uh huh,” I answered.


 
“I like your books,” he went

on.


 
“thanks,” I answered.


 
“who do you like in this

race?” he asked.


 
“uh uh,” I answered.


“I like the 4 horse,” he

told me.


 
I made my bet and went back

to my seat….


 
the next race I am standing in

line and here is this same man

standing behind me

again.

there are at least 50 lines at

the windows but

he has to find mine

again.


 
“I think this race favors the

closers,” he said to the back of

my neck. “the track looks

heavy.”


 
“listen,” I said, not looking

around, “it’s the kiss of death to

talk about horses at the

track…”


 
“what kind of rule is that?”

he asked. “God doesn’t make

rules…”


 
I turned around and looked at him:

“maybe not, but I

do.”


 
after the next race

I got in line, glanced behind

me:

he was not there:


 
lost another reader.


 
I lose 2 or 3 each

week.


 
fine.


 
let ’em go back to

Kafka.

Photo: Charles Bukowski picking his horses at the race track.

buk_cover_erickson

We are excited about the upcoming Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology — a collection of poetry, fiction, memoirs, and essays about Charles Bukowski from authors in the U.S., U.K., and Europe — and are planning for an August 16, 2013 release to celebrate Buk’s 93rd birthday. (Cover art by Mark Erickson and Birgit Zartl.)

To give you a preview, a poem from the collection is featured below.

THE ART OF VICTORY
by Mark Terrill

A hot, smoggy day in LA.
Bukowski wheels out of the lot
at the Hollywood Park racetrack,
past rows of cars shimmering
in the brassy California sun.
 
Bukowski is ninety bucks ahead today.
He roars out onto the freeway,
slips over into the fast lane,
turns up the Mahler symphony,
lights a big black cigar.
 
For the time being, he is
beyond poetry, beyond women,
beyond the post office, back-rent,
and that long war of attrition
we all know as Existence.
 
He grins sublimely, focused on the
hard, glittering diamond of Fortune,
like a Zen monk tuning in
to the true meaning of life,
which is essentially the same thing.

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SWEET — Poem by Charles Bukowski

I have been going to the track for so
long that
all the employees know
me,
and now with winter here
it’s dark before the last
race.
as I walk to the parking lot
the valet recognizes my
slouching gait
and before I reach him
my car is waiting for me,
lights on, engine warm.
the other patrons
(still waiting)
ask,
“who the hell is that
guy?”

I slip the valet a
tip, the size depending upon the
luck of the
day (and my luck has been amazingly
good lately)
and I then am in the machine and out on
the street
as the horses break
from the gate.

I drive east down Century Blvd.
turning on the radio to get the result of that
last race.

at first the announcer is concerned only with
bad weather and poor freeway
conditions.
we are old friends: I have listened to his
voice for decades but,
of course, the time will finally come
when neither one of us will need to
clip our toenails or
heed the complaints of our
women any longer.

meanwhile, there is a certain rhythm
to the essentials that now need
attending to.
I light my cigarette
check the dashboard
adjust the seat and
weave between a Volks and a Fiat.
as flecks of rain spatter the
windshield
I decide not to die just
yet:
this good life just smells too
sweet.