Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #218

Winter Hawk Jack
by Robert Crisman


Jack was a winter hawk out in the mix who pretended he swooped like a man.

Some hardshell lowroller had told him, fly in the sky and get hard or you die…

Jack played the game according to corporate dictate, with a steel-plate facade and the sewer-rat ethics big business demands. Success in the mix, i.e., manhood, is measured in dollars, as it is at all levels here in this bankers’ wet dream of a country.

Jack was a businessman, dig it? An MBA right out of Fool School….

He was hawk-nosed, hawk-eyed. He wore hawk’s plumage.

Jack, man in black, sporting manicured talons, his smile a hot-buttered knife…

A winter hawk, baby! He swooped from the sky! He showed no fear! Too many hostile takeover artists, waiting to bust through his armor.

Jack murdered his tears and hid behind dope. And as the years passed, the dope stripped him. And he’d pray to God in cold, lonely rooms at four in the morning, when all the note-taking snitches had clocked out for home and no one came by to watch him shiver and shake. Except for maybe his very last ghosts, who could no longer bother to care.

Jack fell from the sky, hawk no more. He snatched and ate dead things in gutters.

Jack, carrion crow.

Above, buzzards circled.


(Robert Crisman found out early on that all Jacks wind up in the gutter.)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strong characterization here. I wish there were a smidge of interaction between Jack and a coworker; his personality would grow exponentially. --JR

Laurel said...

I'm having a Wall Street/Brett Easton Ellis flashback.

Lonely and depressing.

Michael Solender said...

Jack be nimble ..good bite here..

McKoala said...

Great tone.

Bernita said...

Clever piece.

Jean Ann Williams said...

You got my attention. So true about dope!

Jean Ann

laughingwolf said...

robert rocks!

Vonnie said...

..." And as the years passed, the dope stripped him. And he’d pray to God in cold, lonely rooms at four in the morning, when all the note-taking snitches had clocked out for home and no one came by to watch him shiver and shake. Except for maybe his very last ghosts, who could no longer bother to care..."

Excellent imagery of addiction.

Aniket said...

LOL @ Michael.

Most clever.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The rhythm - did anyone else want to start rapping? I wanted this to be in lyric form so my husband (the musician) could put a beat under it - and the images conveyed that sense, too, stark, quick, fast-lived life and death

Something I Might Tweak

Define it as poetry or prose and format accordingly

Preeti said...

Aah..
Desolation. loneliness.
A very lovely character sketch. Dark. the slow decomposition of a soul has been brought out very very brilliantly by you.

Beautiful.

Deb Smythe said...

Nice job of holding to the metaphor throughout.

Kartik said...

Very cool take on the theme!

JaneyV said...

I enjoyed the style, pace and rhythm of this. A fine cautionary tale.

Craig said...

Great choice of words, they fit Jack like a glove.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Good take on the prompt!

Tara said...

Very well written!

pjd said...

While I generally like the beatnik voice, it feels a little too preachy to me. I love a lot of the word choice like note-taking snitches clocked out. But its heavy-handedness makes me just as annoyed with the speaker as I am with Jack.

Robert187 said...

pjd,
I'm guessing that what you found preachy and heavy-handed about this piece was the paragraph that begins "Jack played the game according to corporate dictate..."
Actually, I thought it presented the facts of street life in fairly breezy street--not beatnik--language.
If that's preachy, let's have the choir in for a hallelujah or two.

catvibe said...

Robert, I think the reason 'beat' might be thought of is your use of the words 'dig it', which feels very early 60s San Francisco to me, aka Beat. But I gotta say I liked the tone you used here, and like Aerin said, a poetic format could be very useful in this piece.

I was wondering when someone was going to use the word 'hawk' in this contest to describe a political 'war hawk'. This is as close as I've seen to that, a warrior of the business set. But the part that was so great was the telling of how his addiction stripped him of his vitality. Praying to God in the middle of the night in empty rooms...just haunting. Love this.