Sickening and quiet, these folk must’ve spent their last days toiling away in the yards and the factories and the machine rooms with their drink and their spirit and god knows, their jesus, because when you were there, with them, in the refineries they spat as the crisis boiled and everything went away, over and away and they laughed because they knew, they knew that their pride could not bend in any considerable breeze. No wind could sweep their love for their craft, and god bless them, for they are men.
Highway to Nowhere
A fork in the road and you can see which one you’re supposed to take. They tell you to take the one that leads to something. Something beyond where you are now. Growth, humility and abandonment of the past. But all roads lead to a disconnect. All paths lead to a glory of sorts. A glory in the inevitable death of your flesh and then what? The fact that you kept going. So they did not have to weep. Fuck your flesh and fuck your obsession with the status quo. I’ll take the other road. The one they forgot about. The unsealed track to unity. It’s there. So I’m going to take it. And let me be. Let me be free on this highway to nowhere.
I was up in Harlem. Deeper than 125th, somewhere beyond there in the thick of it. I’d been living around that neighborhood with a guy named Akeen. Akeen and I were staying in this little crib behind a subway entrance. He was a crackhead. Used to smoke it up next to me. I’d take a lil hit every now and then, just to keep my face flushed. But he took to it like a pro. One day, Akeen showed up with his face all bloody, his arm busted up bad. I said, ‘wassup Akeen,’ he told me to shove it. Cook him up some, he couldn’t move his hands properly. So a blazed up a pipe and got him goin. He spilled the beans, said this dealer, T-mac, was workin 125th and caught him selling his own rocks down there. T-mac didn’t like that. Him and his boys that drove a 90’s lincoln kept drivin drivin drivin until Akeen had to stand to em and say ‘what’ and I guess they fucking told him because he wasn’t right after that. From there on in, me and Akeen decided it was time to move. We hopped it to an actual subway, where the Amtrak ran, they sometimes had guards come through there but for the most part it was just us two. That’s when I developed a liking for cocaine and baking soda. Cook it yourself and you got something. Make more than your cheeks red. Damn. Me and Akeen lived down there like that, pan-handlin and sometimes, cause it was before Gulianni, robbin, we’d get a mint, take it back down and smoke it up. Thanks to Akeen, I became a master. Started selling the stuff myself, but I’d go up to Washington Heights. Akeen kept gettin his ass busted around 125th by the boys in the lincoln. That was his dept. Let him rot, I say, let him.
I got rich, moved out, lived in a brownstone for 25 years and died of a heart attack.
AHHHHHHH in the subway.
Lines Drawn at Nine
Epileptic and mad with the world And you’re just holding on They give you the strength In lines drawn at nine When we walk there in numbers In droves We got towels on our shoulders And guns on our side But all we been fighting is Our crazed, mad shadows Give me a name A number to call I’ll work for free if you need By the end of the night I’ll listen to you But I’ll have only heard One sound And that’s my name So give it to me The death of a child To move me and make me a man The death of a child And we’ll hang there together Once again, once again -uph