“I like your books”

by Charles Bukowski

In the betting line the other day

man behind me asked,

“are you Henry Chinaski?”

“uh huh,” I answered.

“I like your books,” he went on.

“thanks,” I answered.

“who do you like in this race?” he asked.

“uh uh,” I answered.

“I like the 4 horse,”

he told me.

I made my bet and went back

to my seat….

the next race I am standing in line

and here is this same man

standing behind me again.

there are at least 50 lines at

the windows but he has to find

mine again.

“I think this race favors the

closers,” he said to the back of

my neck.

“the track looks heavy.”

“listen,” I said,

not looking around,

“it’s the kiss of death to talk about horses

at the track…”

“what kind of rule is that?”

he asked. “God doesn’t make


I turned around and looked at him:

“maybe not, but I do.”

after the next race

I got in line, glanced behind me:

he was not there:

lost another reader.

I lose 2 or 3 each week.


let ’em go back to Kafka.

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