the golden god

he was six feet two with golden ringlets
with a perfect body
he was quiet and drove a yellow sports car
to school
he didn’t smoke he didn’t go with girls
he didn’t go with boys
I’d pull up on my bicycle
put my foot on the running board of his
car:   “hey, Dale, why don’t you go out for
football?   with that body you’d average
eight yards a carry.”
he’d tell me or anybody else:
“nonsense, I could possibly get injured
in a meaningless game.”

they never got to him in one way or
the other.
they got to our principal just before we
graduated, they got him for embezzling

in the year book of 1938, graduating class,
Winter, Dale Thorpe’s photo was in there
and he looked different than the others.

under each photo there was something about
each student:
“Likes ping pong and running in

“Engaged to a law student in U.S.C.”

“Ann-Jean says she just wants to be a
housewife and mother…”

“Seeks the Voice of the Turtle.   An excellent
mechanical draftsman…”

under Dale Thorpe’s photo it said:
“Going to Paris to study art…”

Dale Thorpe of L.A. High
class of Winter 1938
he might have changed his name
he looked so ultimate
with his golden ringlets
he was born under the sign of
Taurus the Bull
driving his yellow
sports car.

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