Don’t Bogart That Joint

little feat/fat man in the bathtub
Put my money in your meter baby so it won’t run down But you caught me in the squeeze play on the cheesy side of town

First and foremost, no I was not, am not, a true participant of the 70’s!  Perhaps, the late 70’s…but certainly not Watergate and Deep Throat.  I did however, grow up with older half siblings that felt the need to engage me in all the Polka Dot, macrame rage!

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How well does anyone really know the history of slang?  Our vernaculars, 2019…deeply set in the language of Soul Train and American Bandstand!

Are you going bootin’?

I went bootin’!  I went bootin’ at ‘Funspot’ roller rink!  Boogying down to Donna Summer’s ‘Love to Love You Baby!’

Course, I had been spazzing out to the strobe lights that were dancing off the disco ball.  The ‘Man’ had been keeping my catholic school ass since 1972!  And, fool that I was…I had disappointingly been looking for jive ass religion at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.

Just another Generation X queer looking to Lay Down Sally or Judy in Disguise!

I don’t want to boast but I had been ‘wicked’ cool in my cut off Toughskins and Halter Top!  Riding ’round the all-white city of Concord in my ten speed from Sears.  Avoiding Smokey with some bitchin’ studded tires!

At the end of the era I had learned two significant things!

Never Bogart a joint!

AND

Never get busted with burnouts who are trippin’ for the Bay City Rollers!

70's Slang

 

Me, Myself, I

Had I been bits and pieces.lucille-ball-quote

Strays from lint left on a sweater.

Dirt accumulated in the floor of a car.

Fragments of time would unleash the authentic me…

an unnamed dog from a 70’s Monopoly board

a collection of GI’s made of plastic

music from the 80’s…only the prolific and absurd

Lucy would have my love.

All current illness would seem…cured.

 

living is easy

no red wall.

no red button free-fall.

lives mattered without malice

without protocol

all lived by what appeared to be simple means

ranches, capes, basic joists

dreaming the American dream

nothing trite about what we understood

we had more than most

most did not give would they could

saving the earth by way of the dime bag

no pale ale

just bong hits and bonfires

redemption found when a dollar had been given

on Sundays as a basket passed

too young to understand Nixon

old enough to mourn John

we were discovering Lady Chatterlay’s Lover

our bodies were ourselves

living among bathtub Mary’s and American flags on the front lawn

set in stones that were thrown

‘you were right…or, you were wrong’

i can remember hearing of Elvis

where he was

how he had been found

to my young mind i pondered…

‘how quickly life can be upstaged without a sound’

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Return of the Hurricane

prison
Confucius says, real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance

Being a child of the 70’s…my dreams were held captive through sit-in’s, the proclamations of rights due to every color, creed, sex, orientation and religious belief.

In technicolor, sitting too close to the enormous 12 inch television…I believed and held true what Mr. Cronkite told me.

It is in irony, that I honestly, believed the story of the Hurricane…would right itself.

So much for the innocence of youth…

So much to be said,

about our not learning from the mistakes of our past…

 

Rubin, the Hurricane, Carter…

 

Pistols shots ring out in the barroom night.
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall…
she sees the bartender in a pool of blood.
Cries out,
“My God they killed them all”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane.
The man the authorities came to blame
for something that he never done.
Put him in a prison cell,
but one time he could-a been…
the champion of the world.

Three bodies lying there.  

What does Patty see?
…another man named Bello moving around mysteriously.
“I didn’t do it” he says and he throws up his hands!
“I was only robbing the register I hope you understand
I saw them leaving” he says and he stops.
“One of us had better call up the cops”
And, so Patty calls the cops.
And, they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing
in the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town,
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are driving around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown!
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down!
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road…
just like the time before and the time before that…
in Patterson that’s just the way things go.

If you’re black you might as well not shown up on the street
‘Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowling around.

He said “I saw two men running out.  They looked like middleweights.
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates.”
And, Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.
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Cop said “Wait a minute boys this one’s not dead!”
So they took him to the infirmary.
And, though this man could hardly see…
they told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the morning and they haul Rubin in.
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dying eye…

Says “Wha’d you bring him in here for ? He ain’t the guy !”
Yes, here comes the story of the Hurricane.
The man the authorities came to blame.
For something that he never done.
Put in a prison cell but one time he could-a been…
the champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame.
Rubin’s in South America fighting for his name!
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game!
And, the cops are putting the screws to him looking for somebody to blame!

“Remember that murder that happened in a bar ?”
“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”
“You think you’d like to play ball with the law ?”
“Think it might-a been that fighter you saw running that night ?”
“Don’t forget that you are white.”.

Arthur Dexter Bradley said “I’m really not sure.”

Cops said, “A boy like you could use a break.
We got you for the motel job and we’re talking to your friend Bello…
Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail be a nice fellow?
You’ll be doing society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and getting braver.
We want to put his ass in stir.
We want to pin this triple murder on him.
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim”.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch!
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
‘It’s my work,’ he’d say, and, ‘I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way…’

“Up to some paradise…
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice.
And, ride a horse along a trail.”
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance.
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance!
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums.
To the white folks who watched, he was a revolutionary bum.
And, to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger!

No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And, though they could not produce the gun…
the DA said,
he was the one who did the deed!
And, the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder ‘one’ guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied…
And, the newspapers they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man…
be in the palm of some fool’s hand ?
To see him obviously framed?
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed…

to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties,
are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise.
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell.
An innocent man in a living hell!
That’s the story of the Hurricane.
But it won’t be over till they clear his name.
And, give him back the time he’s done.
Put him in a prison cell…

but one time he could-a been
the champion of the world!
Rubin, the Hurricane, sat in that jail…zen-like, reading poetry, prose and determined to not succumb to the hate…we all feel for injustices perpetrated.  Released in 1985, after nearly 20 years of incarceration, Rubin continued to live his life striving for equality for all…until his death in 2014.
There is a Hurricane a comin’, again, and, still we sit obtuse, as if there had been no storm at all!
the hurricane

Eclipse

All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet (everyone you meet)
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that’s to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

Pink Floyd – Eclipse Lyrics | MetroLyrics