Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Running of the Bulls Festival

Pamplona, Spain— Two bulls broke from the pack
and gored a man and a woman on the second day
of the annual running of the bulls festival… —from a news story

There must have been a moment

just before the bulls began their turbo-charging,

and right after Urban Troll and Anne Ruan


were tossed in the air—their bodies

bursting like piñatas—when they thought

about the hugeness of their mistake,

about the bulls’ blind desire to run

and maim anything that got in their way –

their horns hooking into flesh and bone,


leaving eight-inch gashes for exits,

while the sangria-soaked crowd

danced and sang in the streets


among the red bandanas, fireworks

and papier-mâché. It must have been a time

when they felt like deer


running ahead of Weimaraners,

when the four-leaf clover also lost its luck,

and the rabbit gave up another foot.

"The Running of the Bulls Festival" was originally published with a different title in American Goat, 1992.


  1. Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalized on first day of festival, July 6th:

    “Three men have been gored and 10 more people have been taken to the hospital with injuries sustained in the infamous Running of the Bulls festival held in Pamplona, Spain.

    “Officials have said that one of the men gored is a 30-year-old Briton, and the other two men are both American, aged 27 and 38… The men were injured in a run that lasted just two minutes and 23 seconds, in which hundreds of men wearing white clothes and red scarves were chased by six bulls through the narrow streets of the northern Spanish city.

    “One man was gored in the chest and is said to be in a stable condition. The Spanish Red Cross confirmed two other men were gored in the run, one in the back, while another was said to have been gored in the armpit.

    “Tuesday morning’s run, the first of the week-long San Fermin festival, included six bulls from the Jandilla ranch in the rural western Spanish region of Extremadura, reportedly known for the ferocity of the bulls.

    “The run sees people running with the bulls from a holding pen along an 850-metre route to the city’s bull ring. While the festival is just one of many Spanish events that involve bulls, San Fermin – which has eight bull runs in total - attracts hundreds of revellers each year, many from abroad…”

  2. “Three Americans and one Canadian were among those gored in the San Fermin festival's running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, on Friday. According to NBC News, a total of seven men were gored by bulls and at least eight others were injured on the second day of the festival.

    “Officials from Spain's Navarra regional government said a 23-year-old Californian and a 55-year-old whose home state was not identified suffered minor injuries under their left leg and left arm, respectively. A 46-year-old man from Pensacola, Florida, was in ‘mild’ condition after being gored in the groin. The Canadian, a 48-year-old man, was in serious condition after receiving a four-inch wound that injured his scrotum and rectum.

    “According to the Associated Press, chaos ensued after a few of the six running bulls became separated from the pack and started charging everything and everyone in sight. The six bulls weighed between 1,170 and 1,430 pounds.

    “Four Americans were among the 10 people gored in last year's San Fermin festival, the AP reports. Since record-keeping began in 1924, the festival's bulls have been responsible for the deaths of 15 people.”

  3. 5 Gored During First 2 Days of Spain's Running of the Bulls, Associated Press, July 9, 2017:

    (PAMPLONA, Spain) — "After five gorings on the first two days of this year's San Fermin festival, officials in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona said Sunday's third running of the bulls was quick and resulted in only minor injuries.

    "The regional government of Navarra said that four men, three Spaniards and one Frenchman, needed to be treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries caused by knocks and falls.

    "'It was a tranquil bull run,' hospital spokesman Tomas Belzunegui said..."

  4. PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — "A man who was gored and three others who were trampled in the first running of the bulls of this year’s San Fermin festival were hospitalized Saturday, officials in the Spanish city of Pamplona said.

    "Among those receiving medical treatment is a 20-year-old Canadian man with mild traumatic injuries, the officials from the Navarra regional government said in a statement.

    "The other men are of Spanish nationality and include a 38-year-old who was gored and a 40-year-old who sustained serious traumatic injuries.

    "Overnight rain had made the route’s already-narrow cobbled streets more slippery than usual, adding to the danger in the traditional race.

    "Many runners were trampled early on, and others were also injured as the 12 animals entered Pamplona’s bullring, but no information was available about the extent of their injuries.

    "The runners completed the 850-meter (930-yard) course with bulls weighing 550-630 kilos each (1,100 to 1,400 pounds) in two minutes and 37 seconds..."

  5. PAMPLONA, Spain — "Spanish officials say the opening bull run of this year’s San Fermin festival in the northern city of Pamplona has left at least five people injured, including two who were gored by bulls.

    "Red Cross spokesman José Aldaba says the most seriously injured were treated Sunday at the main regional hospital following the race, which lasted 2 minutes and 41 seconds.

    "The six bulls, accompanied by tame bullocks, ran together in a pack for most of the 930-yard course to the city’s bullring. One of them stumbled toward the end, causing panic and at least one goring when it charged at some racers.

    "The nine-day San Fermin fiesta, where the bulls are run every morning and killed in afternoon bullfights, draws around one million visitors annually" (New York Post).