Why I Gamble

The poet plays roulette under the Devil's watchful pitchfork

The reason why I gamble,
I ought to tell the truth.
Those squalid tales I spun beforeā€¦
Well, don't go seeking proof.

The one about the heart op
And my desperate plight for cash -
Well that was crap, I'm fit and well
(Except a little rash).

And then there was the other one
About my mental health
And descent into depression
And the quest for joy through wealth.

And when you saw me on the street
In front of the casino,
I wept and cried 'I have no friends,
So where else can I go.
I haven't tasted human warmth
For such a countless while,
At least when dealing out the cards
The croupier gives a smile.'

And when you looked concerned
I said 'Don't fret, it's human weakness.
But I've joined a local church
And hope to find a cure through Jesus.'

Then soon as you were out of sight
I dodged into the bookies
And put a tenner on a nag
(You'll think The Devil took me).

And when this news got back to you
You started that campaign
To 'Save Our Al' from brimstone wrath
And flaming pitchfork pain.

And when the cash came rolling in
You gave it to my Mum,
And told her it was for
The welfare of her troubled son.

Now she was pretty mystified
And thought you were deranged.
She used the cash to buy a car
And just gave me the change.

But with all your selfless efforts,
I feel a little mean.
It's time to set the record straight.
I'm ready to come clean.

You see.

The reason that I gamble,
There's no tragic tale of sin.
The reason that I gamble:
It's because I always win.

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Poem Study Notes:

This poet likes gambling in meadows and in casinos and is usually a fan of a quick flutter, probably inspired in youth by his horse-racing Grandad and his poker-playing Uncle.

Possibly the trouble with gambling is that whether or not it is dangerous depends on your state of mind. When you enter a casino, perhaps it would be good if there were some kind of airport-security-check-portal to analyze your psychological status (and bank balance!). If you were gambling in order to change your life (eg rebound from losing job or girlfriend), then entry would be refused. But if you were just hoping to briefly distract yourself from the meaningless vacuum of existence (or just looking for somewhere that serves drinks at 2am) then in you go...

I guess you could argue that the best thing about gambling is that it has inspired some great art, eg Dostoevsky's 'The Gambler.'

The retort might be .... 'Yes, and this poem ... [groan ...]'

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