Hard Uncles

By Brown, F. Douglas | The Virginia Quarterly Review, Fall 2014 | Go to article overview

Hard Uncles


Brown, F. Douglas, The Virginia Quarterly Review


Leroy, wisdom in a chuckle,

Gold chains drape around his neck-

High yellow on high yellow-

He broadcasts, I've been young, but you've never

Been old. "Mid City," like his claims,

Stitched bold across his cap.

Hard Uncles-cool cats who can Billy Preston

In patent leather. Nothing from nothing

Is their way, something they've taught their

Manicured hands-how to be quick-witted and quick to grab.

Ron's, Tennessee Totty, all ass and no body.

Bones on a table, fast as a fish fry, fast

As gambling two weeks of wages away.

Mike on the phone from Vegas and Gary

I n the back-Roll another one, Freddie B.

Smoke and booze hold hands,

Swing from the ceiling and

Into everyone's eyes.

If you ain't ready to lose, don't bring

Your cissy butt down here,

Tee "The Shoe Doctor" blurts out,

A notice for all pacemakers

And the faint of funds.

How the heart stops

When money is lost in a heap.

How the heads of proud men swell

Or retract, puff or crumble. …

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