the 9 horse

I was at the race track one day
and I had drank much beer the night before
and I was late for the first race
but I parked, hustled in, and I could
feel this beershit really coming on,
you know, not only coming on
but I had to hold the cheeks of my ass
together while walking real fast from
the parking lot and through admissions
and toward and into the crapper.
luckily, there was a stall and I got
my pants and shorts down real fast
and then it came:   hot, glorious and
when I got up and wiped I looked down
and there was my wallet afloat
in all of it.
I dipped in, got it, flushed, got out
of the stall, washed up, walked out,
then stood in a corner and pulled
the bills out of my wallet:    they
were wet and they stank.
I heard the announcer say, “it is
now one minute to post time.”
I wanted the 9 horse, I had this
very strong feeling for the 9 horse.
I put the bills back in my wallet.
I didn’t know what to do.
then the announcer said:
“they’re at the gate!”
I ran around the corner
found a betting window
pulled one of the bills out
of my wallet and hollered:
“ten win on the 9 horse!”
the seller picked up the bill
and looked at it.
“come on!   come on!” I said,
“it’s good, just a little wet,
what the shit!”
the seller looked at me,
hit the button and I had
the ticket.

then I went out and watched the
race and the 9 horse ran

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: