the day the epileptic spoke

the other day
I’m out at the track
betting Early Bird
(that’s when you bet at the
track before it opens)
I am sitting there having
a coffee and going over
the Form
and this guy slides toward
me–
his body is twisted
his head shakes
his eyes are out of
focus
there is spittle upon his
lips

he manages to get close to
me and asks,
“pardon me, sir, but could you
tell me the number of
Lady of Dawn in the
first race?”

“it’s the 7 horse,”
I tell him.

“thank you, sir,”
he says.

that night
or the next morning
really:
12:04 a.m.
Los Alamitos Quarter Horse
Results on radio
KLAC
the man told me
Lady of Dawn
won the first at
$79.80

that was two weeks
ago
and I’ve been there
every racing day since
and I haven’t seen that
poor epileptic
fellow
again.

the gods have ways of
telling you things
when you think you know
a lot

or worse–

when you think
you know
just a
little. 

Like this website? Support it.
I want to bring all of Bukowski's poems online and make then freely available. This means hundreds of hours of work to retype over 1,000 of his poems from the original manuscripts. Your donations will help support this work.