Kathy Drasky CC
The Perfect Plan Finds its Own Way
Doc Pomus plows his wheelchair through the bootleggers’
sidewalk stacks of dubbed cassettes, analogue cheats
of Little Richard gospel and Magic Sam’s howl. Doc,
with two shoulder holsters under his jacket because
reloading takes time, curses the thieves stealing from
the dead, curses the cheat of time’s function and factor.
On his way to meet Simone Weil, healthy and full
now, a streak of gray curling at her temple to
show she has been in the world for a while. Forty
years of marriage, their hands still play as they laugh
at the thought of a bullet ricocheting for
twenty years in a breezeblock stairwell in Queens.
An eight hour conversation spiraling through
the deep twist of Bee-Line paperbacks and the
prison system’s refusal of the Church of
the New Savior’s t-bone and brandy sacrament.
This adoption teaches the morality of
some crime and the pride in specific unemployments,
the difference between inmates and convicts,
self-affirmation in the latter’s refusal
to acquiesce. In the dark, I drive back to my room
with a bag of shoes and a pocketful of cake
like a loved homeless man, bonds past blood filling
my chest and closing my throat so I cannot speak.
Ghazals for Cook County Jail
The Tennessean with chains tattooed around each wrist,
bicep inked with the limestone brick of Joliet
where bats halo the tower, reads James Patterson
with A Million Little Pieces waiting between
his commissary flip flops. When told the trauma
memoir was fiction, the author busted in Oprah’s
pastel courtroom, he said, “Good for him. Hope he
made some money off it. Shit’s all the same, anyway.”
Both writers marketed themselves well enough to
make TV and the Cook County Jail book cart
simultaneously where the ink of
paperbacks and tattoos mark time.
That was the year of 11,000 inmates and
five escape attempts, one made as a guard claimed
soapy water was thrown in his face, rendering him
helpless as a five-year old in the bath.
The Tennessean’s case waited patiently,
the liquid cough in his chest minding time.
“Fucking Oprah.” Four syllables said with the
belligerence of a defaulted hometown
that lies about its work history, bragging of
men’s jobs that don’t exist. Two words said with the scorn
of the last first-shift taverns -- a sneer that paints a
lawn jockey in blackface to challenge the neighbors.
That house sank like a barge, those man-and-wife
months a dream interrupting a line of shared bunks,
barracks, and flophouse rooms. Lock-ups and landlords.
Power respects nothing but its own ideal self.
At the Starr Hotel, Tennessee woke for a shape up
and just missed Speck getting caught for those nurses,
then met again in Statesville where Speck enjoyed his
celebrity, transitioning topless with breasts
and a blonde bowl cut, camcorders, coke, and black boys
everywhere. “It’s all show business,” -- that’s what the
Marine Corps MP said about Vietnam when
he hauled Tennessee stateside in well-oiled cuffs.
Zak Mucha, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice and an analytic candidate at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. He spent seven years working as the supervisor of an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program, providing 24/7 services to persons suffering from severe psychosis, substance abuse issues, and homelessness. He is the author of Emotional Abuse: A manual for self-defense and the recent poetry collection, Shadow Box.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.