Pilgrims: Brother Fry (Edit)
The bus ain’t no way quiet now,
The boys are cheerin’ her and how,
Course that might not be her simple tale
But how she told it, acted it out,
Half ‘uv it wit’ her titties out.
Brother Fry he gets up,
Puts up a palm, says ‘that’s enough,
We sinners need to be more than saved,
when by a woman’s charms enslaved.
He wipes some drool frum offa his chin,
contemplates some other sin.
Tells us he's got redemption for sale,
For money orders, check or a card
He'llbless us all and pray awful hard.
Brother Fry ‘uz been on TV,
Shoulda stayed there if y’ask me
collectin’ money on channel 13
savin’ souls for a kidney machine.
Hadda leave the Church of Immutable Truth
‘cos some a the wimmin he saved was loose
maybe they wuz, don’t matter now:
got his own Chapel of Dravidian Baptists
and a pocketful of blessed prophylactics
and Brother Fry sez with a twinklin’ eye:
‘This is my story it ain’t a lie,
s’about a lawyer’s office in Chicago town
and “the shit those muthas let go down”.’
Eddie Sumner gets out of his seat
Eyes are rollin’ swaying to the beat
of music nobody else can hear
He’s a process-server and hunts for Bounty
frumma shyster’s office in Canterbury County.
‘Quit it with the man talk.’
Sumner knows Fry from way, way back,
When the choice in the ‘hood was church or crack.
But he hates him for lettin his vocation down,
foolin the church - and ‘cos his skin ain’t brown.
So Brother Fry gives a craven grin,
wipes more spittle from offa his chin.
‘Okay, then, ya asked so nice, I’ll
tell my story like ver-nack-lar truth,
no revival language from the Book Of Ruth.
‘Lawyers, the modern Pharisees
have acolytes, among them these;
Clerks and Bailiffs and those like Sumner
pimps- extortionists- I shouldn’t wonder.
In Chi Town not so long a go
a process-server the name of Joe
was drinking in a crosstown Bar
Friday night after two beers too far.
A working stiff took the next-door stool
obeyed the five o’clock golden rule:
He asked Joe if he’d like a drink,
‘My name is Damon, call me Nick,
The beers lined up on the wet bar top;
Nick asks Joe what he does for a job.
The process server- ashamed of his calling -
couldn't admit to a thing so appaling.
Joe’s eyes looked away, his back went stiff
Untruth came slick, ‘Why, I’m a Bailiff.’
Damon smiles, complicit in the lie;
‘Hey, small world, Joe, cuz so am I.’
After more beers and a whole lotta liquor,
Joe asks Damon if he knows a trick or
two to make a little extra on the side
Old Nick admits there’s nothin he ain’t tried.
‘Knockin on poorer peoples doors,
extortin from addicts and 5 dollar whores,
checking the papers, removing the goods
from houses in track-side neighbourhoods,
stealing by fining illiterate tenants
selling their TVs by way of penance.’
Joe is laughin fit to bust
he nods his head and says I must
admit I do the very same
that’s just the rules of the server’s game.
Nick at Joe cocks a weathered-eye
aware he’s caught him out in a lie
Joe’s cheeks are red from embarrassment
But a process-server suffers such harassment.
Old Nick’s a good sort and helps his shame
‘I ain’t a bailiff, but what’s in a name?’
Joe slurs a little ‘ there’s maybe a lot
specially with a name like what you got.’
‘Imp demon or succubus;
there’s a million names for those like us
I’ll tell you one thing for certain Bud
you could learn a lot from Beelzebub.’
Joe - damn fool enough to give a devil a bet-
just aint prepared to yield anythin yet:
‘C’mon Nick we’ll give it a go
why’nt you show me what you know?’
The guys decide on a little fresh air
they turn down an alley near a dumpster where
an old negro is damnin’ an cursin’ his car
down to hell where the daemons are.
The key is turning with a clickly sound,
There’s no sound of engine or wheels goin round
His damn’ Ford Edsel can corrode in hell,
the Ford Corporation and hisself as well.
And suddenly there’s a spark that fires
the pistons wake and there’s smoke from the tyres.
‘Jesus be praised on the highest high
Hallelujah, you did it by-and-by.’
Joe looks at Nick and asks him to
explain not taking the car as due
not expecting one of his ilk
allowing a cursing Tom to bilk
a devil of what was surely his due.
So Joe learns somethin that must be true:
Nick explains the cursin’ weren’t meant
and so the damnated ain’t Hades sent.
Maybe the drink starts talkin’ now
Joe tells Nick he’ll show him how
this kinda job’s really done.
It needs a woman, a vulnerable one.
Around the corner and two blocks down,
stone turned grey and no longer brown
a seedy, needy slumblock looms
- got no apartments just dozens a rooms -
among the wheelless, rusting cars
and low-rise neon of girly bars.
Takin the stairs two at a time.
Mrs Giacetti she’ll do fine,
an innocent woman in such a place
why Joe thinks that a total disgrace!
But though she’s guilty of nothing at all
Joe won’t let a problem so pathetically small
stop him closing an infernal deal,
signing, delivering and putting a seal
on a wholly dishonest and slick transaction
the right of the matter is mere distraction.
A knock brings an oldish dame right out
that and the bellow, authority’s shout.
Joe waves a paper looks damn official
Nick looks at him like a dear wish’ll
soon be fulfilled in a minute or two.
Joe softens her up and tells her
according to current information
she’s been running a brothel operation
from the confines of her apartment.
There’s a subtle change in her deportment:
Summoning up alla his dutch
Joe asks a bribe, it isn’t much;
‘else the pimping charge’ll come
can’t be stopped for anyone.’
And over her shoulder there’s a plasma screen
The best TV he’s ever seen
Joe is sorely tempted to give his soul
To get that TV is his only goal.
He invents another fictitious crime
threatens the woman with serious time.
And though no such crime exists
he claims he’s paid a fine for it
to help her out you know
mentions a little quid-pro-quo
demands the flat-screen in return
she better give it or she’ll burn
in a female hell justly deserved
in the Woman’s Jail out by Preserve.
And burn she does, with righteous anger.
Damns him to Hades and Gehenna too
‘Hell and Uffern are waiting for you
You’ll scream in fire and purgatory
for telling this evil, untrue story.’
Joe feels just a little chill of fear
The woman sounds a mite too sincere
but he’s stubborn or stupid and doesn’t recant
though even the devil gives a dog a last chance.
There’s a look of abject fear on his face
As Old Nick smiles; ‘Come on, let’s go to my place.’