• Breeze Vincinz

Killer Queen

(c) Breeze Vincinz


Part of a novel written during NaNoWriMo inspired by the last night of my local bar before it closed forever I’ve been all around the world, as far as the eye can see. Seen every walk of life from Chimpan-A to Chimpanzee!” Says the gigantic, tall and voluptuous drag queen with the bright blood orange bouffant and lips of crimson sheen. A group of young and coiffed Caucasians are drinking Zima, And forming a circle around her as if she were a donna who was prima. “Come around me children” she says “and make sure you take heed that not everything you want is everything you need!” The rest of the bar is engaged in all of the night’s antics Music, drinking and an Asian stripper whose body is fantastic Some want to pay attention but there is way too much to observe Too much energy flowing through the bar, it sways, it curves It mists through the crowd like an excitable fog It excites people’s carnal desires as if they were ravenous hogs But these frat boys and sorority girls stand in rapture Of the drag queen in front of them with such an amazing stature “Once upon a time there was a boy named Bill Hempkins He was born in a housing project in a rough part of Memphis He had one little brother, one big momma and a whole lot of love Didn’t prevent his neighborhood from their pushes and shoves Not upon him but upon his younger, smaller sibling Whose stature was so small his bones could crack like kindling ‘The world can be a vicious place’ Bill sang to the one whose heart was lit People are evil and devious and deceptive and filled with shit I’m telling you, don’t be fooled by some rose colored sycophant This world is just fucked up, don’t believe anything different’ But the little one only smiled and said, ’Oh brother bear! Not everything is out to attack us! Some people care.’ ‘Not enough’ snapped Bill. ‘Not enough to have no defense We are of color, were are of the South, our lives are condensed’ Bill went through life with the biggest chip on his shoulder He beat his enemies for the lesson to be learned by his brother It’s a dog eat dog world, your bite has to be equal to your bark You have to be aware of the monsters; you have to know the dark ‘Oh brother bear, why don’t come over here and play with me, I’m not trying to hurt you, I just want to climb trees’ And only with the little one could Bill lay down his guard It was only then could he seem to get closer to God And when Bill wasn’t attacking the world with a ferocious bent The little one succumbed to the senseless cycle of violence He wasn’t involved in any drug deal done gone horribly awry He wasn’t a thief, a pimp, a dealer, or a bad guy He was a little kid walking with his older brother to the store When the sky was showered with bullets coming from a 4 x 4 The target of the attack is still under investigation The cause could have been money, could have been discrimination What’s for sure is that when the sky opened up with magnum rain Little one used his body for an umbrella, Bill felt no pain Bill went on a rampage and tried to kill everything he saw Regardless of the consequence, regardless of the law The world he felt was viscous and could eat a baby whole Ate his little brother and turned his heart into coal Convinced there was no karma or anything as consequence His uncontrollable rage ruled over his commonsense He pulled out his gun and shot someone of a different color He hoped it would fill the void left by his absent brother What it filled was years of journal entries of hate and pain As he sat in his jail cell trying to maintain It was the little brother of his victim that sliced his heart “Dear Mr. Hempkins, you don’t know me, but my name is Bart I used to live in a trailer with my brother and my mom She tells me to read the bible and study the psalms She tells me not to hate you; that vengeance is not with me That it is with the Lord and that he repays mightily To not take revenge but leave room for God’s wrath That it is his to avenge and your fate is his math But I often find myself sitting down and truly hating you For everything little thing that you are, and everything you do For what you’ve taken from me and what it’s making me become I have no one to play with; I am my mom’s only son So I hope you rot in jail, I hope your nights are long I hope you realize one day that what you did was wrong You made me realize that in this world there is no joy Signed sincerely, a brotherless little boy” And with this Bill began to cry uncontrollably He thought about his life as a kid in Tennessee And all the pain he soaked up in his soul like a sponge And how he never had an opportunity for his pain to expunge Like when he saw his father beat his mom with garden hose Or when his best friend came to school with a broken nose Or when the family down street was harassed by gangs so much They left town never came back the night their house was torched Or when the uncle he thought was decent and kind Touched him in ways no one would think was refined He took all that pain and hurt and tried to convince his brother That the same fate awaited him if he didn’t run for cover But his brother accepted the world and its indecent lashes Even if it meant that his own skin would turn into ashes And as little life as he lived, he had only love and no despair He had more fun and light that his sibling, brother bear And he cried because he realized all of that negative energy Had robbed four people of their dreams, hopes and dignity He’s in jail, his brother gone, another man shot down with hate His little brother sure to follow the road of one of these fates He just wanted his family safe; he never meant to hurt anybody But now his rage has grown into a tradition of melancholy Passed down from father to son and then from son to brother And from brother to stranger and then stranger to another He decided it would stop and it would stop right then and there That this little boy and no one else would wallow in his despair “Dear little boy I know you don’t want to hear from me But I just needed to tell you that I listened carefully Words cannot express what I did to you and your kin I’ll never give you an excuse, there is none for what I did I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry for your pain Sorry for the inexplicable camaraderie you’ll never find again I’m sorry I injected your life with my own anguish I’m sorry that it’s your compassion that now languishes Believe me I know that what I’ve done to your life was jarring I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry But you cannot give up your life; you cannot give up your glee You cannot preoccupy your time by hating me Your mother was right, vengeance is worth the Lord When the time is right, I will be struck down with that sword But you have much more game to play, you have to live your life You do not have to not be darkened by the brightness of my light I’m not asking for compassion, I’m not asking for forgiveness I’m asking for something similar to ambivalence No one could ever defend what I did to you and your family No one would say it was right, not even me I will mourn the loss of your brother as I will my own But I think it’s time we all made these houses we’re in our home No more fighting, no more hate, I am suffering, you are alive Blame me, but let it go, I can live, but you can thrive I tell you this because there is one thing that is frightening Similarity between the two of us have, so much of you in me You’re in pain, you’re in mourning, you’re losing your religion And to prevent you from becoming me has now become my mission You cannot give up your life in reaction to my malevolence YOU have to find peace, WE have to find solace Don’t be bruised by the world and its indecent lashes You can be your own phoenix that rises from your brother’s ashes I say this to you as I say to me and even say to your brother If the devil actually exists, I am not him or her I am just a guy who has made a ton of horrible mistakes With a mountain of regret I realize now that I’m awake To repay my debt to you would take a lifetime of apologies But if God actually exists, he is in you as she is in me So I beg of you to live your life without an anchor of hate To have a childhood of climbing trees, an adolescence with dates An adulthood with privilege and love and peace Do not give that up with an obsession with me So I beg of you do not give up your sun, your light, your air Signed sincerely, your Brother Bear” But his pleas fell on deaf ears and the little boy grew up to be quite the terror in Knox County, in a town called Farragut Vandalism, grand theft auto, drug possession, forgery DUI, carrying a concealed weapon, aggravated battery Attempted murder, bad checks, stalking, statutory rape Public intoxication, selling bootleg Tyler Perry videotapes By the time he was 23 he got 25 years to life with no parole Bill still kept in contact with him, he worried for his soul “Oh little one” he wrote “I tried to tell you well That you reap what you sow, you buy what you sell You get what give, I tried to give you serenity Even still I hope you’re doing well, still hope you forgive me.” “Fuck you,” he replied back “I’m insulted you’re still alive. You’ve caused nothing but grief over the years, nothing but jive You’re sugary words over the years were for you not me They were to ease your conscious, ease your own grief I will never accept your apologies, I will always feel aloof So fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.” “But what about love little one? Is hate still your gravity? What can I do to bring you up?” wrote Bill cautiously “Die” wrote the boy, “Be six feet underground, not breathing It is then and only then that I will begin my healing” “I have not seen you in 2 decades,” wrote Bill from his own cell “Won’t bring your brother back, won’t release you from this hell You have to take responsibility for things that you have done The same as I have accepted decades of life without light or sun My death is unavoidable, and it is part of the great plan But the key to your happiness should not lie in my dead hands” There was long time of silence that stretched after that letter The young man wrote Bill many times but Bill never answered Even as his temper rose and crested, even after his rage dimmed Even after he was close to writing that he forgave him “Bill must be 50 now” he thought, “if he’s not in his grave. What a wondrous life would we have if all of us were saved If there were no guns, no murders, no rage What if we all didn’t act like rats in a cage I still don’t fully accept my brother’s fate as acceptable But realizing I screwed my own fate is becoming perceptible Then one day while working out in the prison gym The warden called and said there was a letter for him “Dear Brotherless Boy, I truly hope all is well As well as they can be inside of that cell I know how it can drive you crazy and suck your soul clean Especially when your soul’s weight at the start was pretty lean I know you wanted my death to be your emotional salve But I don’t think that would even cut your troubles in half I think that no one’s death at all can bring peace As evil and malevolent as their intentions my seem In life I believe there are actually no real antagonists Just misguided and misunderstood protagonists True villains only exist in Disney films with witches throughout In real life all people have the same goal just different routes We all pray to the same God we just give it a different name We all want the best for our people, for them not to be defamed In that I am not your enemy but a friend not actualized I’m hoping these concepts don’t again make your heart crystalize But I offer you this one last olive branch, one last plea I offer you to live vicariously through me How about instead of dreaming of you that I dream for you How about everything I do I do for you too? How about when I walk down the street and see a hot dog vendor I’ll eat two and truly enjoy the flavors they engender When I go to the beach and feel it’s warmth against my skin I will feel it also warming the souls of you, my auxiliary kin And as I swim in the sea, slipping through each wave that smacks It is you that will be sitting lotus style on my back I can’t offer you my death but I can offer my life to you Let it be the chalk window on your cell that you fly through And just in case you wondering as I’m pretty sure you are I am not longer encaged in a jail cell; in fact I am quite far I would go into the specifics but its best that you don’t know I’m not out legally or knowingly by my family, friends or the po po But lest be sure that I’m out and I’m out for good I’ll kill myself before I go back to that penal neighborhood So either way I’m hoping this brings you some sort of solace man Dead if I get caught, but if not I can be your talisman Reminding you that there is a life outside that penitentiary And a part of you is living a life that’s not sedentary You will always be in my prayers; you will always be in my care Sincerely love you always, Brother Big Bear” The young man then looked at the envelope for the return address There was none but it was postmarked California, Los Angeles The music of the bar pulsated with an electronic features As some female rapper spit quickly through the speakers The fraternity boys and sorority girls sat in quiet awe A little disappointed by the dourness of it all “I thought that was going to be a fun story filled with glee I thought that you were going to sing and entertain me” One of the crowd said, visibly disturbed by the morose tale “You’re a drag queen after all, where’s the sugary details?” Someone else added “And wasn’t the point of the whole thing was that not everything you want is everything you need?” “Exactly” said the drag queen “You were paying attention. That had to do with Bill’s emotional detention He wanted to teach his brother hate but he needed learn love It wasn’t until his freedom was taken that he learned to look above What he wanted was a world filled with his own derision A world so insulated from pain it had shit colored vision It was his little brother who taught him about the simplicity That everything you want, isn’t everything you need Like now, you want a story filled with frivolity and blue humor As if I am sparkle seller and you are an obedient consumer What you need is a story about the tragedies in life Because I know that you know tonight is this bar’s last night This bar is being torn down and it’s a sad occasion for us By “us” I mean everybody but you, I know of your business I know you are affiliated with the new owners of this place I can see your scrutiny; I can see it all over your face I can see that you came in here as some sort of contrition To make peace with your hand in this legacy’s termination But let me tell you something, this here is just a building The people inside here, we’re not just kindling We’re just fags that you can burn your spit of pig over We know the history here and that can never be painted over So what you want is for this place to be a notch in your belt What you need to know is the pain that is felt By all of us here who walked through the door looking for sanctuary That group of boys over there, the old men, me We all have our stories, and we all come here to share But you developers just tear things down like you don’t care” Paulie comes to the group and asks, “You want another round.” Someone says, “Six more Zima’s and whatever he wants, the clown” The college crowd loudly laughs, Paulie says, “Watch your tone” Drag queen simply says, “Gran Centenario Leyenda Extra Añejo” Paulie walks away, the kids laugh, and the Drag Queen continues “Let me see, if I remember right Q8HRRZ and 6HEJU2” “What are you remembering?” someone says with a pompous air “He’s losing his mind, nothing underneath that pile if hair!” Paulie returns with the drinks, on the bar he places them Someone sees the Drag Queen’s shot and kindly gives it to him Everyone else grabs the Zimas as the Drag Queen happily intones “Get yourself a shot Paulie, enjoy the last night of our home” Paulie pours himself a shot; they all raise their glass in a toast “To everyone here right now and your witty riposte To everyone gone and all of their precious memories To… my little brother, to… me To all of the cars parked where they are not supposed to Like Q8HRRZ and 6HEJU2 And the tow trucks I flagged down who were on patrol As we laughed at who could park their cars like such assholes To the person who told me the college kids who invested in this place Were coming in tonight and I wanted to see faces So this toast I give is for the 1% What I’ve done tonight might not make dent. But I got a $30 shot of tequila out of it and a lot of laughs To the real clowns in the bar tonight. Kiss my ass.” The Drag Queen swallows the shot whole then smiles with glee Everyone around them who was paying attention starts laughing loudly The college kids try to run but Paulie grabs one by the shoulder “That’s $56 for the drinks, that’s if you want to grow older” He throws three $20 bills on the counter, says “Keep the change” Then runs out of the bar in a fit of rage. “You’re not going to finish your shot?” The drag queen asks “I already had two; the owners are going to kick my ass” “I’ll take it” the drag queen says following with, “Holy Shit” “If they kick my ass too… I would be totally worth it!” “Maybe I could have one more, think I should” Paulie inquires Drag queen says, “I think you should do what your heart desires” Paulie pours the both of them their third consecutive shots “To all that we have” Paulie says, “To all that we have lost” They click their glasses together and swallow in synchronicity “Oh girl, I think that is putting hair on my titties!” They both laugh as they slap their glasses down Someone yells from across the bar, “How about another round!” Paulie moves down and serves the rest of the patrons The bar as a whole continues their conversations Right about here a boy walks in who looks about seventeen And on the jukebox begins a raucous version of “Killer Queen” “She keeps Moet et Chandon in a pretty cabinet 'Let them eat cake' she says Just like Marie Antoinette A built-in remedy For Khrushchev and Kennedy” “Boy how old are you?” says the drag queen with hint of fun He says “I know I don’t look it, but I just turned twenty-one” “Uh huh” says the Drag Queen rolling his eyes with incredulity “She's a Killer Queen, Gunpowder, Gelatine” “My name is Tyrone. Tyrone Willis. I’m from Glendale.” “They call me Sister Billie Bear. I could tell you a tale.” “If you buy me a drink” said Tyrone in a tone that was surreptitious “Boy have one of these Zimas!” Billie said, “They delicious!” Tyrone grabbed the bottle and set down for a spell Billie said “Settle down child, I got a story I’m going to tell For you this will be a tale about growing up too fast Hold on to your youth little one, believe me, it doesn’t last” “To avoid complications she never kept the same address In conversation she spoke just like a baroness Met a man from China / Went down to Geisha Minah Then again incidentally if you're that way inclined Perfume came naturally from Paris For cars she couldn't care less Fastidious and precise She's a Killer Queen Gunpowder, Gelatine Dynamite with a laser beam Guaranteed to blow your mind Anytime”


*** *** *** #nationalpoetrymonth "Life As A Boy: Poems" by Breeze Vincinz Available NOW on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Life-As-Boy-Breeze-Vincinz/dp/1693306018

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