B U K O W S K I

I’ve been around the racetracks for so long, decades and decades, that I’ve
even become known by the pros who work around them and the other night
there were two jockies agents and a trainer over here and I got out the
wine and we started talking:   blinkers off, blinkers on, black dot workouts,
track variants, the condition book, various jocks, betting systems, great
races we had seen and so forth.
my wife sat with us awhile, then went upstairs, poor thing: it was another
language to her.
we drank on and on, exchanging minor insights on the game but meanwhile
each of us
harboring our own special secrets
which   we felt gave us an edge in a four-footed process which was
just as exact and complicated, say, as
chess.
we drank away the night and parted on fair
terms.

it was some days later that I learned that trainer had named a horse
after me:    “Bukowski”.

then he was entered in a race but got hurt in training and never got
in, too bad, I would have LOADED on that one!

meanwhile, there’s a full card to bet each day while Bukowski stands in
the barn
mending.

it’s all right, they say those slow starters are hell once they get
going, it’s like they’ve been resting up for the big
finish and

even if he never runs
I am honored
anyhow.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1986
Source
Original manuscript