JAILBIRD by Jeff Callaway (Texas Outlaw Poet)

like a whore in church
in a jailhouse
in the West Texas desert
i’m like Kurt Vonnegut
i’m a jailbird
and you ask me
what kind of bird doesn’t fly
well, the bird who doesn’t try
is my only reply
and so now i press
my pencil lead to the page
and pour forth my outlaw heart’s
lonely rage
from deep
from within side
its rusty bird cage
full of dusty spider webs
of emotions i must convey
and a million things i’d like to say
to your face
as i sit
in this room of
concrete and steel
and ask myself
how the hell i got

is it because i like to drink a few beers?
is it because i walk through those mushroom fields?
is it because i like to smoke a little weed?
or is it because of this life that i lead?
or for some other forgotten dirty deed?

either way
The Man wants to send me
to the pen for two years
He wants to infect me
with His hate and His fear
or maybe
He can rape away
my love for cold beers
or if nothing else
He’ll just steal
my mother’s tears
or maybe
He’ll just shank me in
the neck with
a pen…

The Man wants me to kill or be killed…

because i have a dream like Martin Luther King
because i have a dream like John F. and Robert Kennedy
because i see a light at the end of the tunnel
but now i realize it’s a train…

with 173rd District Court printed on its side
in red, white, and blue letters…

but He’ll never have this bird by the feathers…

because my words are my weapon.