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Doing a Few Lines

A term I heard and made into a poem and now this short tale

When I first started using the forums I'd been on another site and someone used a term that's in this piece. When I first wrote it, I did it in Hallmarked poetry. But the words came thick and fast and soon I had too much. So I made it bigger. And bigger. Till eventually you have the story you see here. I've based it on a reporter telling the newbies what it was like "In de old days." It uses the vernacular of every black n white movie from America I've ever seen. I liked it and hope you do too. There's a kicker at the end, that I hope you get, some of you will and some of you won't. Hopefully you'll be engaged enough to ask. Resp, Bri.

Doing a Few Lines


So there we wuz, just me and a couple of the guys,

standing on the corner, yakkin, you know how t'is?

Talkin bout maybe goin somewhere and doin a few

lines.

I didn't wanna, cos I'd ran outta papers, and none of the
 
guys would give me any, so I had to wait till my nex
 
paycheck see? But hey, its what we did back in dose
 
days and troot be told, it got me ready for workin at the
 
Globe, so I ain't complainin to yuh.

Lemme see? It was a . . .

Nice clear day - late in the early afternoon - golden

amber light's streamin tween the blocks - the bit
 
between the morning events, and the night time
 
happenings, whatever!

We're all laughin at someones new joke, we're
 
smirking as we share one anothers thoughts, trying to
 
remember them so we could mebbee use them later on.

I remember dose guys the most, cos we were kinda

brothers, know what I mean? We wuz tight .

So anyway . . .

It happens. Right outta the blue. The day suddenly
 
stops . . . and goes all quiet.

What gives? What is it? Whats happenin?

I'm kinda scaird, cos I wuz real young then and I hadn't

ever seen that sorta thing before. The air was standing so still . . . and quiet. If someone had a pin and was careless enough to drop it, we'd all hear it . . . easy, know whut I mean? All this in the space of like . . . a minute. Hard to believe ain't it?

Yuh see . . . A car had stopped just by us, and two
 
hoods got out. Someone shouted, "geddown!"

We all dropped, covering our heads.

We're all caught. We knew it. We had to ride it out.

There's no other way, it's was just another day where
 
we lived.

Ever'thins still quiet. I can hear the other guys breathin

hard . . . like fish outta water, almost gaspin, as if there
 
aint enough air. They're all just as nervous as me.

It doesn't help, but it's a relief to know I'm not the only
 
one.

Footsteps slow . . . Deliberate . . .

foot . . . up . . . an eternity,

foot . . . down . . .

Real slow. Like they wuz followin some floor-plan,
 
like you used to send away for, to learn how tuh dance,
 
yuh probly too young to remember dose.

Like I said, there's two of em. But one stays by the car,
 
not sayin anything, jus lookin, kinda keepin watch.

The other's movin like a snake towards us, sinewy, and

slippin, bein real careful, glancing left and right,

checkin the coast's clear kinda thing?

I can hear their Breathin now, calm . . . easy . . . not a
 
care in the world. Cold, metodical.

Who are dese Guys
? I remember thinking.

Maybe it's because I'm dumb, or quite new to the gang,

or jus plain ole stoopid? But I had to see, just a quick

peep. Who'd know? I lifted my head up . . . and looked

straight into the bluest, most piercing eyes I'd ever seen
 
in my life. I mean those eyes were bluer than the
 
Pacific. They were that blue. Yuh's get the picture?

So I'm still on my gut, but my heads up, lookin at this

guys eyes. Of course He's lookin at me now. Straight
 
into my soul, like he was readin something in there?
 
Something about me, that I didn't know myself?

I gotta tell yuse, I felt kinda lost. My confidence wuz

leakin outta me, like a leaky-faucet drippin in the
 
kitchen sink. Drip . . . drip . . . drip.

Cold sweat's soaking my shirt. He bends down closer

to me and ses, in a quiet . . . direct . . . kinda voice.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud."

I couldn't believe what I was hearin? The noive of this

Guy! Who did he think he was? On my street? On my
 
block. In my Neighbourhood? The sheer-goddamned-

Noive! So I think,

ok dude, bring it on. Lets see whatcha got?

I slowly get up, but sit on my heels, takin things . . .

real easy . . . and I'm even more scaird now cos I didn't

know if dese guys had shooters or not? The other guys
 
on the floor start to get up as well, I think they're
 
lookin for like, an in, ya dig? Am lookin at this guy.
 
He's lookin at me, kinda waitin for something?

What gives?
I thought.

That's when the hood stands back up, almost with a

disappointed look on his face, which, I gotta tell ya,

made me feel a bit strange,

The hood's not gettin away with this , I thought,

no by God!


I took a deep breath . . . thought of what I was gonna

say, kinda hit him right where it hurts! But he got the
 
drop on me, and got in there first. The sunuvabitch,
 
because as he was gettin back in the car with

his buddy, quick-as-a-dart-and over his shoulder,
 
almost as if I wuz nuthin, he ses.

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."

Well guys, I gotta confess. This floored me. I didn't

know where to look after that. He'd hit me, right where
 
it hurts. I never stood a goddamned-chance.

The car wuz off, tearin up the road, with a screech of

tyres. We could see the black marks on the road for
 
ages after that, yuh know, off've the treads.We
 
gathered round and started talkin all at once.

In fact, we've been talkin bout it ever since, me n duh
 
guys what wuz there.

Dose udder Guys never came back, no-one knew who
 
they wuz, or even where dey came from?

But the words they said are still passed around today.

We still talks bout it, and I suppose over the years, duh

story got bigger, and the hoods got larger, and they said
 
a lot more than they actually did, yuse know how it is,

yeah? Almost like a legend, or one of dose myths. You
 
know?

But I wuz there, I seen it all. Exactly like I'm tellin

you's.

And . . .

In a way I suppose I was lucky and didn't even know
 
it?

I'd just managed to survive, my first “Drive-by-Poet.”

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