Jimmy Dean Black ~ Poetics ~ dVersePoets

There ain’t much more to be said when you land in church on Sunday morning,
reeking of wine…you know…that kind that comes in a box.
Pastor Charles has done about had his fill of me, I could see that.
BUT…if y’all believe what the good book tells ya, this here is where I’m gonna get some saving!

I can feel their eyes on me. I know what they’re thinking. 
They’d ignore most folks coming in late to the sermon, but not JD Black.
They say the fruit don’t fall far from the tree, and I guess in my case
I’ve been fighting the bad name of my Daddy since birth.

Pastor Charles flips through the dainty little pages of his good book, ignoring me
Best he can, anyway.
Up in the clink I was told I would always be welcome in the House of the Lord,
But they never said nothin’ bout the house of Pastor Charles.

I take off my cap and throw it on the bench beside me
all the while ignoring the daggers Dottie White is throwing at me with her do-gooder eyes.
The way I see it, if you’s really a do-gooder
You needn’t be taking up space in a holy house. That space should be for folks like me!

They’ve all heard the story a thousand times over, but there ain’t been one time
when one of these holy rollers stepped to my face to ask me about the truth!
They’re rising to sing, and I rise right along with ’em, ready to shout it to the world.
Old bird Dottie’s still just a glaring, so I kindly show her my remaining middle finger,
I’m sure the Lord will understand.

You see, the day they found that little girl, drowned in the pond in my pasture
Well, that day was about the drunkest I’d ever been
And while I don’t remember much
I sure as hell know it wasn’t me that put her there.

I know I got my bad ways about me, but I swear, I ain’t ever been the type to look at a kid
the way someone looked at that little girl that day.
And when they drug her out, and brought her to lay at the foot of my front porch
her little panties, decorated with baby bunnies, wrapped tight round her throat

Let’s just say it wasn’t the whiskey that had me puking. 
Not that Sheriff Russell would believe that. It was too easy. After all, wasn’t my daddy the same?
One thing they’ve yet to tell me, since I was in such a drunken state
Is how I got that l’il girl, cross three states in just as many hours?

12 people up and said they saw me at Dugger’s not two hours before.
But they tell me Pastor Charles and the Sheriff conferred with the Lord
and the Lord said, you are right boys
this man must suffer the punishment of the law!

Well, you see the law didn’t have much, and I lawyered up, just like they do in the movies
and because of that big city lawyer, I got to do five years and the town got to solve the crime.
Never mind that for those five years, an innocent man was getting schooled in things no man should,
and that nervous look in the Pastor’s eyes, tells me he knows it.

Yup, he knows it all to well.  I can even hear his voice shaking as he sings,
trying not to look at me…you see, I wasn’t supposed to come home.
Seems, I ain’t that hard on the eyes, and when you’re locked up, money loses its power
and you learn how to barter with different things.

The man whose shank was supposed to be buried in my head, turned into a close connection
And didn’t mind sharing with me, after I shared with him, who it was that wanted me taken down
he also didn’t mind sharing with me how he came to know this man
And how this man had promised him salvation in return.

Wonder if Pastor Charles had salvation on his mind
the day he picked up little Anna Powers from the bus station, just before her Daddy got there
I wonder if he was singing to the lord when he wrapped his dainty little fingers round her throat
Forgive me Father for I have sinned.

There all sitting back down now, the singing stopped, but Pastor Charles remains standin
that’s his job after all, and it makes him a perfect target.
It’s only the Pastor that notices I’m still standing too
and his eyes meet mine.

The sound wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be,
I think the screaming of the women was the worst, and the blood
I never did take well to blood.
But I swear, in the stench and chaos that followed

I know God spoke to me, and I know, that even though it may be a sin
He will forgive me.  I’ve already paid my dues in hell to Pastor Charles.
Two bullets…it was all I needed, so it was all I took.
And I had a hell of a headache anyway.

Not sure if this was what he had bargained for when Mark Kerstetter prompted us to get into the head of a character with Poetics today at the pub…but this is what came out.  I apologize for it’s length, you won’t get many this long from me! But I do appreciate you reading…if you made it this far! So now it’s your turn…join us at dVersePoets and lend your own voice, your own character, to this awesome prompt.


36 thoughts on “Jimmy Dean Black ~ Poetics ~ dVersePoets

  1. holy crap tash…wow…this was some fine story telling and i kept slipping down the rabbit hole a little farther…ugh….yeah he might have commited an act of God that day…and earned his pay…i am sure charles is paying his now…whew….

  2. Hi Tash – i admire your exploration and willingness to put something out there thats got some volume and breadth – makes a change from bitesize – i got into this and enjoyed your immersion in the character and the journey.loving the finale and the stench of choas is my kinda odour lol – cheers Tash

  3. You got into that voice, that mindset, and I could actually see this young man there in church, and the whole time I'm wondering why–till those last lines. Way to rock the prompt, Natasha. (The holy crowd is not getting an easy time of it today from me either.)Loved it.

  4. Okay… honestly? That was fantastic! Not once did I hear the author's voice, only the character's. Amazing what you can do in a post that was not too long. It was as long as you needed it to be. You owe your readers no damned apologies!

  5. Tough write – true grit here. It's a story old as man, but you handled with style immersing us into the stream of consciousness of a man who paid the price, while the other walked free. You've convinced me to post an old post of mine as the day is going by and I have no other to offer. Thanks.

  6. wow that was quite the write, really delved deep into the night or umm day, of those who pray and think they are well and good, above all else. Just overall fantastic!

  7. Wow, I just didn't want to look at it (but it was for my own good and a testament to your writing skill). This write will haunt me most among the many sad, empathetic, or horrific writes tonight.

  8. Uh, touched a nerve did I?An observation: what you've got here isn't a poem so much as a dramatic monologue. But call it whatever you want, it's a kick-ass piece of writing. Once I got about 3/4ths of the way through I knew you had to go all the way to make it work, and you didn't disappoint. With that buildup, something big had to happen. And you wrote this spontaneously, just today? Girl's got some chops up in here!P.S. Don't worry about losing a twitter follower. They come and they go.

  9. Then again, of course, things are so subjective when it comes to defining forms of artistic expression…One meaning for "poem" is "a literary composition written with an intensity or beauty of language more characteristic of poetry than of prose." Hell, by that token this could almost be a poem, haha!

  10. Holy cow, Natasha! You stepped into his skin, and sang his song perfectly. In the small town I used to live, a father was falsely convicted of this crime to his daughter. The town turned on him, but it finally came out he was innocent. Not the same, but I wonder how many obvious people are wrongly accused when the real perpetrators look normal and walk in plain clothes. I must say you knocked this one out of the park, girl. Good for you πŸ™‚

  11. the first thing that came to mind is that this is written by Pastor Charles, so I'm wondering, are you writing this from Pastor Charles' point of view. complex…

  12. Damn this one was out of the park! You hit it all the way. Nice carry through, characterized finely all the way to the end. Beautifully written, difficult to pull off, flavored with perfection.

  13. Wow! aren't you creative! that was a great job, if impromptu. good story, in a persona poem (don't think you've ever extinguished a pastor, right?)I like the plays on words like the names black/white representing opposites.religion being a social affair & secular…not metaphysical. thank you.

  14. Wow what a fabulous story teller ….really enjoyed every bit of this had me gripped …read it on a Sunday too ( some how added to it's overall feel ) loved it thank you x

  15. This is simply brilliant, Tash! Captivating and… Well, there was no way to see where you were going in the beginning, though you unravelled the mystery by the end. So dark and deep, so filled with emotions, so… So wrong in so many ways, but still so right! Fantastic! I LOVED this one!

  16. Wow. Seems its always the guilty who speak loudest to defer the blame to someone else. And those who are in positions like priests and pastors that can so easily take advantage of the innocent and trusting. Great story-telling, Tash.

  17. Great story-telling Natasha! It had been a difficult thing to narrate when relationships were involved here. You've shown great composure and that was noble of you!Hank

  18. Phew… Not all men of God are men of God at all.This is so authentic, raw, savage and yet, it makes me feel that justice was served.What a tale, sad, and full of real people who do sit in judgment of others. Wow… a wonderful write.

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