40,000 Poem by Charles Bukowski

40,000

Rating: 2.8


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Matthew Merlino 10 September 2010

I don't believe this is the full poem.

5 8 Reply
Tom J. Mariani 09 November 2007

One of his short ones. Must have written it on a bar napkin. Maybe he would have finished it if he hadn't ordered another short one.

9 3 Reply
J P Klegg 04 July 2005

Either over my head or a little disappointing for CB.

5 4 Reply
M. Bronson Russell 29 July 2008

Sounds like modest surprise after winning a not-so-modest sum...

5 3 Reply
Tai Chi Italy 13 June 2009

Every Father deserves one. An aptly timed poem. We loved the races. Smiling, ironically Tai

4 4 Reply
Shaun Cronick 05 April 2020

From the great man who wrote Ham on Rye with horrid Henry.

0 0 Reply
Dominic Windram 05 April 2020

Great poem... replete with the kind of acute social observation that only Bukowski can muster.

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 05 April 2020

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, ............../// what an excellent poetic expression/// greatly penned

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 05 April 2020

their life shines through; miracles happen, even in . I decide to stay for one more race. Great poem of Bukowski.. tony

2 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 05 April 2020

their life shines through; miracles happen, even in ....... wonderful imagery. Beautiful poem. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the modern poem of the day for the second time.

0 0 Reply
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