if you don’t know where it’s at, stay where you are

the racetrack can kill like the factory.
I come home in the evenings
pull my shoes from aching feet.
my body is as worn as if I had worked an
assembly line.
the 3 horse broke down on the curve for
home;
I had it twenty win and fourty place.
handicaping and betting a 9 race card
can kill you like the assembly line.

too tired for sex with your woman.
a hot bath and a drink might partly re-
vitalize one?

the phone rings.
I leap when the phone rings.
I hate phones, I hate to talk to people,
I am not interested in what they say,
I don't want to see them.
why are the people so lonely?
don't they know that being alone is the
miracle?

I walk into the bathroom, look into the
mirror:   I look one hundred and ten years
old.
I run the water.
after my bath I will sleep for 14 hours.
my woman calls up the stairway.
she answered the phone.
"Donnie and Lorraine want to know if we
would like to go to the opera with them?"
"GOD DAMN IT, SHIT, AND GOD DAMN IT!"
I scream down the stairway.

I step into the tub and burn my feet,
step out, let the cold water run.
these people always want to huddle
together.
I get into the tub and slide down into
the warm water

it runs up to my neck, I relax in the
warmth.

it's war, it's always war, don't they
understand?
people who don't go to the racetrack
don't know anything.
Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1980