Friday, May 2, 2008

Artificial Man

I first learned about hell
On a trip to the big city
I'd just arrived
When my daddy pointed an said
“You see them manhole covers in the middle of the street?”
Beneath em run rivers en rivers of all kinds of things
Garbage and cigarettes
Big rats and who knows, thirteen foot crocs!
A giant cistern of material posesions'
Done left behind by people
Not like you or I
Cause we don’t live her son,
We’re on vacation.

See them people
On that side of the street?
There, sitting, about to git
heself a shoe shine
From that malt-colored nigger.
And that group of women there,
Laughing as they sip their expensive
coffees? All them people shoppin,
lookin for sumptin well,
it’s all their problem!

You see boy, Hell
Is made up of these streams
Much like the ones flowing
Beneath our feet.
They consume everybody’s sin
Till they aint nothing left of em
And if you’re not careful
You can get swept right in
An never come back
I know some ah them even forget
About their own children
An go father others....
No, hordes of kids,
With illegitimate women!"

For weeks his description
Haunted me
And then years went by,
Well beyond my first communion.
An I’d tell them other acolytes
What I’d heard that one time
I’d left town. Realizing
The city sat on top a world o’ sin.
"If we wasn’t careful,"
I’d say
"We’d get swept right in."

We made a pact back then.
We aint ever leave our parents
Nor the farms and small towns
We was growing up in.
We’d promised our parents
We’d never led em to decay
Like them city folk
On top of their rivers
Of diablerie.

An I’d never seen my parents so grateful
As when I told them I’d stay close
An I still remember my father shush me,
Telling, "A life without sin
Is one the good lord intended."

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