Death on Church Lane
The road runs right up against a field. The truck sputters to a stop, stuck in a rut. Four young white men climb out of the truck, look around, wonder where they hell they are. Looks like something from a picture book, Old South and all that. Fields full of bent over niggers.
What you doin wit those fancy duds, boy?
A black man on a mule looks down at Jim Bob, then over at his three truckmates.
Who you callin Boy, boy? Jim Bob sneers.
What about them other three, they fancy clothes and them fallin down H on they necks?
Aint no H, fool, volunteers one of the other three white men. It’s a double lightning bolt. It means we’re white and you ain’t.
You sure as hell ain’t neither, snarls the man from his mule. I oversees all the niggers on this here plantation and you one of ’em. All four y'all. Why Marster bought four new uppity niggers sure do beat all. Now get your black ass too work, all of you, fore you feel this. From muleback the overseer waves a horsewhip.
The four new slaves look down at themselves. Dungarees and sweatshirts like every male in 1950. Except the iron crosses on the shirts. They'd been were headed for a White Power rally in Churchville, Mississippi. Till the driver, Jimbob, drove through the wrong lane.
I told you it wasn’t no weigh station, Jimbo, mumbles one of the four. It was some kind of portal like you see in movies. We are someplace else than where we come from or where we was goin. Look over there. Nigger with a plow. Plow! Shee-it. Aint nobody used a plow like that in a hunnerd years.
Jimbo looks down at his hands. Spreads them out, turns them over so the mule rider can see the pink palms.
We are white men, you fool nigger! You better watch your black mouth!
The mule rider laughs long and loud and the other black men working the field snicker.
This whip gonna tear your black skin off, snarls the overseer. He's not laughing any more.
The whip comes down. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
What we gonna do with they dead bodies? a field worker asks.
You gonna haul em to that contraption they come in. Stuff em inside.
We oughta go see can we find they horses or they mules, whatever drug that tin wagon.
They long gone, says the man on the mule. You try to take off look for em you gonna die. The mule man rubs his pistol. A handful of the field slaves obey the order to get the bodies gone.
Here in Churchville they say somewhere on Church Lane there’s a broken down, rusted out pickup truck full of dead iron-cross wearing white men going nowhere. Every Halloween local kids dare each other to go look for it. But by now it's probably rotted to the ground, the bloody black-dirt ground.
There seems to be no way to tell you, dear Prose, that I am unable to update my credit card. I keep getting the message that something about my credit card update "doesn't look right."
This is not a poem.
Shikse though i
Distressed in Baltimore
Kilo and the Seven Cardinals
Kilo and the Seven Cardinals
Sloth is my terrier's best sin.
She's jealous when I pet the next-door dog
but I don't think she envies him
his bones. She lusts for his licksome love
but lacks the lady parts to lure him.
She does not wax wroth that Proof
of Spaying is needed for dog adoption.
She's humble as the humblest nun
and bears false witness against no one.
She thinks that gluttony's the same
as greed. For her there are a mere six sins
and she commits only half of them.
Good girl! Your doggie virtue wins
(despite Descartes) a richly earned
sit-stay among the treats of Heaven.