I hadn't visited my cousin,
Seymour Weinstein,
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama for awhile.
So, I decided to go Down South
And spend some time with him.
While he was out Grocery Shopping,
I decided to take a nap,
When,
Suddenly,
Someone threw a big rock through the window,
And ran off.
Well,
I saw  a Police Station down the street,
And decided to walk down there to File a Report.
When I entered the station,
I was immediately questioned,
"Boy, are you a Jew?"
I responded, "But, yeah...."
"But nothing!" came the response from the Officer.
"We don't take Police Reports from Jews."
I felt a bit dazed,
"But isn't that unconstitutional?" I politely asked the officer,
But the response wasn't so polite.
"Get your kikeass out of her, Jewboy,"
"Or I'm gonna' have to handcuff you and lock you up!"
Well,
I didn't see any point in arguing with a Police Officer.
I guess Law Enforcement in this part of the United States
Doesn't serve Jews.
So,
I just said,
"Yes, sir,"
And I walked back to Cousin Seymour's house.
When I started walking back,
I could see that my cousin's house was on fire.
I had my cash and credit card with me.
So, I just boarded the Greyhound Bus,
And started heading back to Denver.
So much for the Deep South!

William Schenck Mar 18

I buzz down Bourbon St.,
bar-hopping to and fro in pursuit of some
sought-after nerve.

I’ll pass street entertainers performing
various tricks and trades
and I’ll envy not their boater hats
filled with cash, but rather the
attention they command from mothers
and fathers alike, on-looking and inebriated.
                              Maybe father would’ve looked at me
                              with the same awe, had I donned
                              a pair of stilts or covered my body in
                              tinman silver, for his
                              failure to pay me mind
                              certainly wasn’t a result of
                              under-intoxication.

I digress. The thirteen blocks that stretch between
Canal & Esplanade Avenue host
a distinct pattern of storefronts:
                    Bar, strip club, bar, gift shop,
                    bar, strip club, bar, gift shop,

and so on.
I’ll stop in nearly every other one,
and the taste in my mouth
will start to remind me of the street’s namesake.

With a scant blouse on and
a batting of my bedroom eyes,
a man will inevitably strike up a
“conversation” with me.
While I unconsciously engage
in repartee, I’ll wonder to myself
what must be wrong with him
that he would hone in on some
despondent fool like me.

He’ll continue to ply me with drinks
until a taxi cab takes me away,
and through a backseat window
cracked open, I’ll hear
New Orleans sing
while I sigh.


W.M.S.
2017

James Mar 9

The rain on the roof, it’s hypnotic;
taking me back home
The tin roof on an old screened-in porch
summer nights we slept there,
escaping the southern heat,
feeling the cool breeze after a thunderstorm --
I smell the moisture in the air
fresh rain on the grass outside
Steam rising from the paved road.
The rhythmic sound sends me to sleep
I see my mother and my grandmother
shucking corn and shelling beans.
I catch nightcrawlers with my grandfather.
Tomorrow we’re going fishing.

James Feb 23

Growing up Southern;
kind not seen on TV,
the old tin trailer,
window unit air conditioner,
always facing the road.

School pictures every year,
fresh hair cut and thrift store suit.
Hold that smile, no retakes,
the proofs going in the album --
"boy ain't you grow'n up"

Hee Haw reruns keep grandpa happy,
reminding him of a time that never was.
That's alright, though,
we like to hear about it anyway --
Bedtime stories before he leaves,
Got to clean the tanks at the paint factory.

Work in the garden all summer long
fighting weeds while momma cleans houses.
Daddy left to look for work about four years ago.
He ain't found it yet, but we still see him.
He lives with his girlfriend just down the road.

Coke bottles are worth a nickel,
"so pick 'em up."

Where the cold wind blows and the tree tops sigh
Crows upon a bough loose their cry
And he can't hear nothing --
Nothin' at all.

When prayers of the pastor are the only sound
A cradle of blood will fall to the ground
They won't see nothing --
Nothing at all.

A single black crow flies overhead
Eyes stare out of branches
And he nods a sleepy head
We cry and you cry, repent too late . . .

But the screams they start in the hollow of our lungs
And something wicked this way comes
And you can't see a thing for all the faces
And blackness fills the skies.

He tries to run away but they make a screeching sound
Louder than a train wreck leaving blood upon the ground
Thousands of crows swarm --
Slowly, pecking out his eyes.

//

But the screams they start in the hollow of our lungs
And something wicked this way comes
And you can't see a thing for all the faces
And blackness fills the skies.

You try to run away but we make a screeching sound
Louder than a train wreck leaving blood upon the ground
Thousands of crows swarm --
Slowly, we peck out your eyes.

A single black crow flies overhead
Eyes stare out of branches
And you nod a sleepy head
We cry and you cry, repent too late . . .

Joshua Haines Jan 22

FADE IN.

Mama, come try to deliver me;
I've been a rubber baby
since nineteen-ninety-three.
Father, come try to educate me;
I've been your no-good
since I turned thirteen.

Please, Lord, find the redemption in me --
I've grown weary of the way worry
boils, brews, and eats me slow.
See, friend, I can feel, too;
I used to let you down because
that's all I thought I knew
what to do.

Dah-Dah-Dah-Dah-dadada
Dah-Dah-Dah-Dah-dadada

Sister, angel, become bloodshot
at the way I hang; swaying
from the bedroom tree.
Sometimes I mistake my
bad brains for rotting fruit;
mushy peaches, doused in
fishbowl alcohol and
worries I can't shoo.

Good God, Lord,
what am I to do?
Good Lover,
what am I to say?
Good Brother,
I've failed you so.
Good Father,
I'm sorry I'm made this way.

I'm just a young boy unaware
of the stretcher
I think is a bed;
Bad brains make the
star-kid in my head.

Dah-Dah-Dah-Dah-dadada
Dah-Dah-Dah-Dah-dadada

FADE OUT.

A B Perales Jan 17

They kept the inner city high
and the suburbs well
protected.

The cops all called  the
kids by their street name.
The kids called all the
cops Officer Bacon.


Runaways gravitate toward
the center of the city.
It was passing through the outskirts that
often got them killed.

James Jan 6

"Y'all ready to order?"  She said with a little sideways grin
and a little sass.
She looked down at me with her notepad and pen at the ready.
"Just the country breakfast," an easy enough order.
"How you want your eggs?"
"Over easy."
"That's runny yoke,"
"Yes, mam."
"You want grits and toast?"
"That'd be great."
"Have it out in a minute, what about you?' she said to my friend without looking at him.  
He wasn't from around here,
everybody knew it. The New York Yankees hat gave him away.
"I'll um...I'll...hmm...I'll have the same thing."
She glanced at him with a condescending smile,
"with grits and toast?"
'Sure, that...sounds good."
She gave a chuckle as she wrote down his order.
"Back in a minute with some fresh coffee."

She was a little bit older than the other girls
and her shorts weren't quite as short,
but she'd learned to get tips with attitude
and country boys love sassy waitresses,
and she knew it.
She refilled our coffee then stood back
with one hand on her hip, coffee pot in the other.
All her weight was on one foot
making her hip jut out just enough
"Anything else I can get you boys?"
"No thank you, were good," I said,
and she moved around through her other tables,
filling coffee and laughing at a stupid joke from a truck driver
and another from Judge Taylor,
he comes every Saturday Morning.
She can't stand him, but he tips well, so she laughs even better.

A minute later she was back with our breakfast.
I watched Kyle, my friend stare at his grits then look at mine.
She saw him too.
"Something wrong honey?"
"Oh, no. Everything is fine. Do you have any sugar
or maybe some honey?"
You could feel the room get quiet.
"You mean for your coffee?"
"No for my grits."
Up to now everything had been okay.
Aside from the Brooklyn accent
and the Yankees hat he was an alright guy,
but any cred he had gained with good manners was now gone.
"You sure about that honey, Sugar?" She said with a laugh.
I looked at my friend and gave him a side-to-side head shake.
He just looked at me blankly.
"I'll get it for you but if you put sugar on them grits,
I'm going to pour 'em in your lap."
"They're fine just like they are," he said.
"Glad to hear it Honey.  Holler if you need anything."
It was a statement, not a question
and she went back to here rounds.

I mixed my eggs in my grits and ate
and Kyle did the same.
We talked about religion, football and the election,
had our coffee refilled one more time,
then we paid.
At the counter, the waitress asked if our meal was good.
"Everything was great." I lied,
the grits were a little runny.

I wrote this back in August after eating breakfast in a little greasy spoon diner with a friend from New York.  It played out pretty much like it is written.

Will the new world
grieve
for ole New Orleans?
No, they went under
guns ablaze, blood on hand
and the lust
in their minds
by rage
in their hearts.
Did anyone even witness
the last Orleanian
turn off the lights
on the way out?
Some say
he disappeared
somewhere on I-10
heading toward perdition,
still spilling beads and wine,
after piercing the side
of the dying Carnival King.


© Derek Devereaux Smith 2015, 2016

Brent Kincaid Oct 2016

See the Nigra boy statue
On a White front lawn
It is all that is left now
The Old South is gone.
It’s beloved in those towns
With proper church steeples
From the good old days
When people owned people.

It is a symbol of when
Blacks stayed in at night
And all public offices
Were held by the Whites.
When all human rights
Applied to only Caucasians,
And not to Blacks, Hispanics,
American Indians or Asians.

Those were the days when
It was easy to quickly see
Which were the good people
And which ones were guilty.
In those much better times
We didn’t stoop to harrangue them.
If they shot off their mouths
We would  simply hang them.

Two hundred years of tradition
Was rudely taken away
No matter how we fought it
No matter what we had to say.
Those were the best times
And we liked it that way.
And our friendly Congressmen
Should make that way today.

The little Lawn Jockey remains
Almost by himself to carry on
Now that the massas and mistresses
In the Sainted South are gone.
He signifies a better time
Like Stephen Foster songs:
We never found owning darkies
So very evil or all that wrong.

I have known FAR too many people in my life who feel this way, so I decided I needed to share this so you can be on the lookout to avoid such creeps as talk like this.
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