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POETRY Serves Me Right to Suffer Every song I sing is something that happened to my life or somebody else’s life in this world… I watch them. Then I feel their mood with them. I move with them. I get up and get to rockin’ and after I get them goinghigher and higher, I just don’t let them down. I can always knock them dead with “The Boogie.” You got to survive. John Lee Hooker Been thinking bullheads these days & wishing you was here ugly as sin to look at all whiskery jawed flabby yellow gutted and blackeyed course I’m meaning them fish though I don’t know much why I’m all this time thinking on them or what it’s all for hell I ain’t been fishing up to the dam in years not since they turned the water and it ain’t catching them I been thinking on anyhow because I always did enjoy the catching part but the way you got to lay them cross a 2″ by 4″ you know and plant a eight-penny nail right straight through each forehead and how they scream their mouths wide open with no sound but tails beating down like some boogie drum man like them blues you play and all that before you hammer it to them even which sure enough gets the job done but what I been thinking is how all this comes down and how you just do it just make it happen and how it’s okay because it’s what you what we all one way or another been taught is right and because we all got it in us to do it what with having been raised the way we been what with having to eat and still I can’t help but wonder how it must feel to be yanked up like that like a fish what’s got hooked and then I think how always ever anytime I was the one doing the yanking I couldn’t help but feel like it was me man like I was the fish caught like something had got hold of me and wouldn’t no matter what let go no matter what and I’d be screaming but wouldn’t nothing be coining out and wouldn’t nobody be paying me no mind. Inner Lids Imagine each of us our own language, diction and rhythms, singular turns of phrase. Next, the dog her eyes upturned black flesh of inner lids, will rise from the couch place a paw on my shoulder the other on yours and in quiet tones not hushed but nearly so will explain finally the unholy machinations of this universe how the world formed what love is why every endeavor, ever. David Ray Vance 34 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 8/3/01