Tj Struska

Late Scratch

It was a late scratch for Kennedy

Running in the 2nd.

Getting embarrassed by the 1/4 horse

Turning mud and thunder,

More glorious then Empires,

Slinging mud for the losers in the stands.

The Kennedy horse,

Long on show, nothing on go,

Drags in the last 1/3rd,

Along with the other nags

And glue factory contenders,

While Pinky Puddin\' opens 8 to 1.

And your lay-about ways

Make it easy to end up at the track.


My car backfires as I belch into traffic,

Knowing I\'m running late for the harness.

I pass some punks smoking weed,

With young faces as blank as flowers,

Trying to play catch up with the Brothers,

With head nods and epileptic hand gestures,

Their rap rattles like my muffler.

I put on Coltrane,

Jazz is the perfect breath 

Between two notes,

Hoping my hangover loosens by the 2nd race.

And the horses red flanks move

Like Heaven on Sunday.

All I gotta do is look at Pinky Puddin\'

With his mane shining,

And my headache easing,

And the blonde\'s long legs swinging

And I know it\'s an Elegant Design.

And I fill my life with words,

And the words soothe the numbness,

As the Earth wobbles

Like a top set in motion,


Idiot circles,

Tight in its motion,

Until one day it stops,

And I stop with it,


But for now it keeps spinning,

And I move with it,

As cars belch up the street,

And the youth gang 

Breaks bottle on the curb,

And where\'s Superman

When you need him anyway?

As some jackass tears up the street

With flared mufflers.


And you begin writing,

As words fall

Like pears in October.

As blue jays and cardinals weep your victory.

As sun glazed roads waver

In a simmering city of delusion.

The pen and paper whisk

A sound of satin,

As the fan turns,

And virgins throw roses 

In the mouths of lions,

As daffodils merge with twilight,

The pink clouds dismiss their sorrow.

And I raise my bottle like a sentry,

And Pinky Puddin\' takes third,

And your an even show.

And the words are like diamonds

In the mouth of frogs.

And you come to the page

With blood on your hands,

Or you don\'t come at all.

  (For Charles Bukowski)