Follow some extract teasers for this narrative comic poem, a satire in couplets in the East Texas vernacular of my youth. For the poem itself, click on the link above or here.
…. The way that amputees
Do, he took my right hand in his left,
Shook me warm greetings with a manly heft.
“Got the samples?” he asked.
But in front of these Christian fam’lies?”
Worry,” he replied. “Rednecks can’t tell the diff’rence
‘Tween one smell and the next. They got no sense
Outa his pouch the Chief pulled a bone
Pipe which dangled feathers: same colors as Bea’s own
Beads and the head-dresses too. He thumbed
A pinch of the shit into the bowl, then hummed
A blessing (I figured, don’t know their lingo).
Holding over the bowl what looked like a Zippo
He lit up, took a toke, held it in for
A good long while and exhaled before
Passing the apparatus on around
The circle. Everyone including Bea found
Some deep thought to reflect on….
Nowadays Noosetown was no longer the zoo
It was. It’d become a fine place to raise
Big families. How come Swamp Carnival stays
So long and comes twice t’a year. Young’uns
Got nothing else to do. Sure, it’s tons
of sport to frolic in the bayous with gators,
Snapping turtles, whatever the Creator’s
Put swimmin’ in there — cottonmouth water
Moccasins! — things you don’t want your daughter
Or son to play with. But Swamp Carnival
Was good, clean family fun. Nothing carnal.
No kootch shows. Though I’d bet on this:
A road show that don’t smell of puke and piss
Ain’t much fun either.
…. Usta could fall in love, took the tumble
Many times, saw so many dreams crumble
That I get nervous going up where I might slip.
Who am I to say? Someone wants to skinny-dip
With alligators, that’s their personal choice,
Jess them listening to their inner voice….
Homer, his name,
Didn’t think much of folks. Most folks thought the same
Of him. S’why he lived way out here, his best
Friends, pythons, kept in barrels, not in jest
He claimed. Them and the cat he’d let out to play
At night. “She keeps the pole cats away.
Personally, I sorta like their smell. She dudn’t.
She’s pretty picky, she don’t like the scent
Of nobody but me.”
Homer liked his meat, though he cared which kind.
He preferred his squirrel to birds, didn’t mind
Armadillo or things fishy. I learned
That like me when a boy, he yearned
For crawdad gumbo, victuals we caught
By knowing how to tease them out
Of the ditches from their holes behind
Mud clump mounds with bacon bits on twine.
Bat was Homer’s meat of choice. “Can’t stand
To shoot them, and they’re hard to catch by hand.
I make do with nutria, a tasty swamp
Delight.” It was pretty good the stew he whomped
Up with those water rats, not as good as cow.
Between the two of Bea and ‘im, we had good chow.
Homer is a recluse who lives alone in the Piney Woods with a bunch of pythons and a wildcat. On the run, Johnny (the narrator), Virg(il) and Bea(trice) have holed up in his retreat after contretemps which will be sooner or later revealed.