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PEARLS OF EARL

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a warm greeting…our first meeting

the pearl bore witnessa man polished & stoned

sautéed & seasoned…no longer free

bereft of all reason…locked on tier three

in the jackson cage

gallery three

flopping like a fish…on a dry river bank

a desperate wish…earl took pity

a place so oppressive…mayor of jack-town city

unlikely neighbors…earl “the pearl” cross

dug this sailor…the cross a rock-boss

no, more like a tailor…sewing up failures

in a small, safe ‘hood…where no one dared

to cross Cross…or mess with hurls

earl looked out…when good lookin’ was needed

down twenty-five to life…after reluctantly pleading

called out for his wife…coming home early

it was way too much…drove pearl squirrely

some punk biblically knowing…everything showing

the bride of his youth…in their wedding bed

earl whipped out a heater….shot him in his ass

he didn’t beat her…gave her a pass

rage exploding…wrong or right

snuffed out a life…leaving behind

two wounded sons…and a horny wife

the hurls could relate

we had that in common…surviving as clowns

for a life mostly down…devoid of dignity

no freedom or semblance…of any respect

a fight for survival…he knew the drill

taught by earl with style…put the “ch” in chill

i was pearl’s nigga’…his words not mines

so try to relax…with your PC crimes

that never can see…past the nose of your face

or a condescending finger…that has no place

devoid of grace…in the jackson cage

Praying Knees

under his wing…with much love & respect

ain’t no thang…but a chicken wang

black & white no barrier…what a team we made

we banged hard…confounding the guards

earl would smile and say

fuck those bitches today”

riffing off…my twelve steppin’ ways

earl got high…it made no sense

iron sharpening iron…cutting down a fence

that otherwise kept…two men from knowing

how precious it is…when brethren dwell together

in unity

meetings a source of force…earl had no time for

as a matter of course…would gladly trade

a carton of squares….for a tab of morphine

offering pills of nirvana

In the jackson cage

laughing so hard…gosh was he funny

earl schemed hard….playing a card

a 40 gallon rubber can…gettin’ over on the man

cooking in his cell…belching putrid smells

defiant when busted…sent to the hole

for a 90 day season…released but not trusted

for very good reason

pruno1

did it again…second time’s a charm

mason jars filled with scars

souls laid bare…8 ounce drinks

for a pack of squares…to stop the thinks

and ease the pain…that living brings

while grace was present…for hurls to refrain

saving the brain…it sure was tempting

every cell screaming…for chemical salvation

saturday night dreamin’…cell-block one north

on gallery three…in the jackson cage

earl ran numbers…the hurls would type

way before learning…rejecting all hype

big-time burning…by a major ticket

had to quit it

resignation tendered…for services rendered

pearl just smiled…in a place so vile

invoking yellow bile…toxic shame and remorse

stacked in piles…against cold tiles

where all we could do…at the end of a day

finding solace in the word…on knees we prayed

tough guys calling…that’s how we rolled

God funneled grace…to the face of our souls

on cold cement bawling…we cried for a touch

from the king of kings…in that jackson cage

Prisoner_Praying_shadows

heard earl scream once…a letter from home

hit like a punch…a black face drenched

tears of remorse…for sons never seen

dad’s tortured soul…contenders now pretenders

on the brink of abyss…smelling like piss

this ain’t no way to live! your boys need you! get out and stay out!”

more to give…word on that one

took up earl…a cage is no fun

grabbing bars

a promise kept…fifteen years

then sobriety lost priority

tsunamis of addiction…building off coast

smashing the shores…the weight of sin

on those who love most…did it again

during the hit…of a second bit

earl wouldn’t be pleased…thought of him often

he once was my POTUS…found out through OTIS

life came to an end…in the jackson cage

a crushed heart in pieces…hep c releases

to life eternal…no burning infernal

he was my brother…with more faith, balls & class

than most guys I’ve known…in any church service or mass

a visual remains…a big drum of spud

like a bear with her cubs…protecting the suds

from scandalous buds…gurgling crud

to break chains and annihilate brains

with societal misdeeds…in spite of the losses

earl lived by a creed…old-school to most

with a faith so deep…it could keep

spirits revived…souls psychedelisized

pearl oft would say…as a greeting of sorts

Youse a crazy muthafucka hurls

well, for my two cents…earl was a saint

most wouldn’t dissent…meeting this guy

the epitome’ of sorry…on a god awful safari

earl’s pot calling

this white boy black

once prostrated on altars

of smack, jack & crack

stopped from free-falling

sprung from unholy hells

it hardly seems true

these skies of blue

but I’ll take it

 any day

 over being locked up

in rooms with chipped paint

staying busy with brooms

we made it through

human auctions of flesh

redeemed from death

turning back no option

by God’s love & grace

takes every breath

to avoid anything like

the jackson cage

rip my brother

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