Sunday, February 15, 2009

Did I's Do It For The Perp Walk?

Billy the Vagrant shot a man one day in a seething fit of rage. He'd hoped to begin his life by ending it. He sits in his cell a convicted man.

sitting' in this here iron hell gets me to thinkin'. all them suits does is keep askin', "why you do it? why you shoot that nigger down?" each of them's eyes is diff'rent. one set hates ya, another looks curious-like, like you's an animal or sumpthin' - i most never see none that looks human tho. them suits got mean eyes. and they just keeps gettin' meaner as they's houndin' me for answers when i ain't got none to give 'em.

but now when i's alone - when i ain't got all them looks and stares and notebooks and recordin's - it sets me thinking back to that day. i know at the time, i shor felt i had to do it. felt like me whole life was on the line! and that nigra, just standing in front of me like he owned the world, like he got rights an' i don't! just balled up all in me, it did. and if i's just stood there and done nothin' - the whole world was gonna fall on me fer shor!

one thing i learnt in all me years, the world it's a mighty hard place. punks n' cops 'n' hard-heartin' women 'n' the money man what got no soul 'n' folks just mostly lookin' out for their selves - well, that don't leave room for much. no sir, it don't. ya git shoved aroun' an' pissed on an' put out to die and doan nobody think twice about it. i sees them fine-haired folks on tv talkin' fancy, makin' like this worl' is some sorta paradise when really it's jus' ev'ry man for hisself!

so it just didn' seem so wrong to my mind. killin' folks is just the course of doin' bus'ness i say. they puts some heavy loads on me in my time an' i never got nothin' in return. but the man in the big house got plenty from them loads i carried. so that's the way it is, i say, but the one time i takes sumpthin' they makes me out like i's the evilist man alive! what 'bout all them years i held back and just took it ev'ry day when you beats me like a dog? don't that count for nothin'? an' i only kilt me one when i saw's we's killin' a whole country to git us what we wants.

damn, you folks is hard!

but i think i knows now what i wanted that mornin' lookin' at the tv filled with smoke 'n' bombs 'n' blood, how them pictures just reached in my soul. t'weren't no one gonna pay 'ttention to me if i's just kept on takin' it. nope, never gonna win if i doan do what the big shots do. so i shots me a nigger - an' i was right! next thing ya know them cameras and lights is on me! people is wantin' to know what i's thinkin' an' what i's got to say. that never happened afore then! finally, i gits what i wanted.

the high-n-mightys tells me i gotta repent when i'd just as soon resent. don't see them repentin' none at all! not a one of em'! a scornful dead is what they is an' they won't lissen to nothin' but what they wants to anyways. i gives them diff'rent story ev'ry day. makes me smile seein' them scribblin' and talkin' 'mong theirselves, actin' like they's doin' sumpthin' real just so's they can go on drivin' them fancy cars and fakin' like thay's important.

funny tho. i tries tellin' truth to 'em one time. feelin' them pangs in my belly stirrin' like a witches brew. so i tells them flat out i's sorry. but with all the killin' goin' on aroun' me - most a-which most folks doan even admit - well, it just seems like the thing to do, ya know? i tol' them i got cloudy in me head, got all tight in me heart, wantin' to live good like ever'one else does. but when i's done talkin' - thinkin' he'd like me not puttin' no varnish on it this time - the suit just looks at me dead on an' says, "No, that can't be it."


1 comment:

Mama Lou said...

Reminds me of Faulkner. Harry needs to write a novel. Seriously. Or publish the one he already wrote. And he needs to make Mama Lou her bird T-Shirt, already!!!!