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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

A petty thief, whistleblower, and tabloid photographer takes on his most dangerous subject.

Photo (c) Pexels

Jo-Flower, packing his weapons like a gunslinger,

a camera in one hand and a bullet like a stinger.

A down-right rotten to the core and chilled like ice,

hiding in the shadows waiting for the rolling dice.

One flash of his camera, one bark from his steel

took down a senator or two, 'an left a spinning wheel.

Back pockets jammed with cigarettes and a smoking gun

to wile-a-way the many nights, Jo-Flower spent on the run.

A part-time petty thief by trade, a blackmailer to boot

had the politicians a-wishin' they could shoot that dirty hoot.

He took some grisly photos to hear tell and then some others too

a bone-shaking was going down all along the Washington blue.

He rolled hisself a cigarette and waited for the Big Man to arrive

he'd catch him in the act  'an slice him down a couple a size.

He was a fetching senator, at least that's what he was a-thinking

Jo-Flower didn't think at all, to him he was some garbage stinking.

Big Man was just another rounder, a dishonest john, a crooked screw,

a shake-down everywhere he walked, an illegal job or two.

A lying politician, a corrupt and harried Who, who took his cash

on the hard way: bending arms, back-stabbing hacks, digging up other's trash.

Jo-Flower could've been a handsome flirt, 'cept he didn't flirt at all

but he could pour on the honey, pretend to be sweet n' sunny like a doll.

He didn't have the time for romance, didn't have the time for fame,

he had to get that walking-dagger, that was the name of this game.

In the shadows set that blue-boy, back down in some old alley-lane

waiting with his camera loaded, shaking with adrenaline, ready for the rain

to fall down on this washed-up crook, the hunt was half the pain.

Two footsteps to the right he heard the senator arrive

in his armored casket with a body, a deal had gone awry.

He told the driver where to dump the body of his former friend

who happened to know to much now, there could be no loose ends.

The game was getting really hot, Jo-Flower lig a cigarette,

his dirty threats and hired pluggers, that was a debt he'd have to sweat.

He caught the Big Man in the act, he took a bullet-shot or two,

but this was with a blazing lens from the camera-man's view.

He blew a ring of rolling smoke, he puffed it like a scorching coal

then snickered sweet at the treat he saw smiling back in the camera roll.

"Ya dirty side-winding snake. This'll make you check over your back

everytime you set your feet out to make some more hack and wrack."

By evening the press was hot like a rod, smokin' with the tabloid news,

the Big Man was a murderer, a euology too fitten' for a hangman's noose

but Jo-Flower knew the awful truth, all his life he sang the blues,

and sneaking men like the Big Man brought down was his choice amuse.

But not to be made a fool of, even though his days were numbered,

he asked for yet one more favor: one cameraman and one dumpster.

"This ship is sinking fast my friend," said the bullet to the gun,

"I don't care, but that slithering hare, and I ain't gonna be outdone!"

I heard that night, a little after twelve it seemed, they found the body of a man

strewn out prettily like, with a rose in one hand, dumped behind some garbage can.

With his shades still on his face and a droll smile in-place like a clown on a stage,

and a camera in one hand, still smokin' like a loaded gun, strangled out of rage-

the last in a long line of vengence killings by a madman spinning a game of chance,

who did his dance, his deadly dance, with twenty guns and a silver lance,

and a poisioned pill and a weedy glance, and a kettle-drum beating a warring tune

but Jo-Flower, that sunny boy born in Hollywood Hills, was just a haunt on a distant moon.

And they laid him out like Arthur in Camlann, with a blush painting his bloodless face,

and a thousand and one wingbeats away, like a ghost, the Big Man he still did chase

as the bell tolled the sound of doom, the senator was led before a jurors case,

and the gavel slamming like a hammer screaming: "guilty in the first degree!"

But Jo-Flower he was sleeping sweet, on a cloud of dust, on a distant sea.

Submitted: June 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 L.E. Belle. All rights reserved.

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