Bonjour ma Bernice,
Do you remember that mornin’ when I leave for Germany to fight the Kaisers? I surely do. Momma make the cafish the night before and we all ate and had us a good time ‘fore I say “You don’t worry ‘bout me none. I come back from this here war and it’s gonna be like I never leave.”
The only time I ever leave the swamp was for Uncle Clarence’s house in Baton Rouge to Grammas’ funeral. I was not used to seeing people shot and finding where little children had been bayoneted through the eyeball ‘till they lay dead beside they dead, naked mommas.
The only thing that keep me from goin’ crazy was the thought of you telling me to come home and come see you the first thing when I get back so we can start us a family. But when I come back from the war, momma say you find yourself a lawyer’s boy.
I survive men shooting they guns at me and throwing they mustard gas at me and bone chilled cold nights
in the trenches in France with dead men staring at me and big bombs keeping me awake for days and days and days. But I tell you truly, Bernice, I could not survive seeing you with that lawyer’s boy.
So yes, Bernice, I do kill him. I sharpen my papa’s bowie knife he give me ‘fore he die and I wait for him that last Friday night you were together. I wait ‘till he walk to that car of his and slice his throat. I slice and I slice until his head come off. And then the sheriff find his head on the seat of his car and my knife with the dry blood on it and want to know where the body is, but I don’t tell. I tell you now Bernice, after I slice his head off, I keep slicing on his body and I feed to the alligators.
So they send me to Angola Prison and I’m gonna die tonight in the electric chair. Boss man say I’m the first one in the state of Louisiana to be executed this way. He says they’s a lot of politicians at my killing to see the chair work.
The boss man also say I get a last request, so I ask for this pen and paper to write you one question. “Where did you sleep last night?” Did you sleep in a foul smelling trench with dead men’s arms and legs piled beside you? Did you sleep in a bomb shelter with people screaming to death for the gangrene? I could never sleep over there. I just closed my eyes and dream ‘bout you and hope that maybe you was dreaming ‘bout me. But where ever you slept, Bernice, I know it wasn’t with no lawyer’s boy.
Au revoir ma Bernice
DelRay Levon Bourgeois
| reads very professional.|
A nice tone of controlled anger with well framed punchline.
Timely with a war on and all the marital strife that it causes.
Also resonates with OJs book coming out.
If there were anything I would pick at it would be "they dead naked mommas". I had to read it twice to get the possessive.
|| Posted on 2006-11-17 00:00:00 | by Beekeeper | [ Reply to This ] || this is a phenomenal piece of work. i love the style of speech, too. helps us 'feel' him personally. wow, it's so sad. i just don't know what to say.|
'I survive men shooting they guns at me and throwing they mustard gas at me and bone chilled cold nights
in the trenches in France with dead men staring at me and big bombs keeping me awake for days and days and days. But I tell you truly, Bernice, I could not survive seeing you with that lawyer’s boy.'
this is the part that stuck out for me. he could face absolutely anything, except the fact his woman was with someone else.
you have written this so well, it truely is a fantastic piece. i have to thank you for pointing it out to me. i think you have so much talent for this sort of thing. it kinda hit me in my centre, cuz things like this happen for real. i found it very sad, but definately worth a place in my favs. you're awesome!!!
|| Posted on 2006-11-05 00:00:00 | by whirl | [ Reply to This ] || I'm not a Nirvana fan and I've never even heard of Huddle Leadbelly, so the song makes no difference in my perception of your piece. Which is good.|
A. I'm not sure this is poetry. In fact, I'd guess it's actually prose.
B. It's very good prose. Your use of the vernacular form of speech was perfect. It really got us into the man's head. The graphic details of what he saw in the war also helped us get to know him.
This was a really, really good write. Thanks for sharing it with us. mae
|| Posted on 2006-09-30 00:00:00 | by mae | [ Reply to This ] || wow. this is so interesting. i like it a lot. i read it once, then read it again with "where did you sleep last night" in the background. i like this a lot, my favorite part happens to be where he explains how he killed the lawyer's boy. that was wicked cool. you have a very interesting writing style, i really like it. i don't understand why no one has commented on this yet its so good. "But when I come back from the war, momma say you find yourself a lawyer’s boy." that line completely ties the song into what you've written. i could like feel the hurt of this guy, between your words and kurt's screaming in the middle of the song it was absolutely perfect. i wouldn't change a thing.|
|| Posted on 2006-09-22 00:00:00 | by LossOfHope03 | [ Reply to This ] |