Bright As The Sun And Moon
Gustav Hauck had spent thirty years in a Texas prison
and how he wound up in Coney Island
married to a woman in a wheelchair
I didn’t know nor did I know of his crime
but that was long ago
now he was an old man with stories to tell
and I listened because there was always
a kernel of wisdom to them
and never bitterness
in fact the man emanated joy.
John Bannon had just finished describing
the three days he spent in the Brooklyn House
of Detention on Atlantic Avenue
when Gustave jumped right in saying:
“That place is Paradise compared to a jail cell in Texas.
One time they put Duke Durando
in with me. A big man, so no matter what he did
I couldn’t say nothing
but the man talked in his sleep.
Night after night. Now I thought
I could deal with anything but the night is special
in prison cause that’s escape time,
when you dream of the life
you don’t have but might have.
Without dreams you get all tied up in knots.
Anyway, Duke kept it up and I couldn’t sleep
in the day time cause you weren’t
allowed in your cell
so I started praying for him to get a heart attack
now I know I shouldn’t but desperation
made me a sinner.
When that didn’t work I told him to shut up.
Sure he said, not taking offense but that night
the talking continued cause he didn’t have
no control over the matter.
I’m gonna have to kill the man I said to myself
stick a sharpened spoon into his eye
cause I knew I couldn’t win in a fair fight
but the Lord must have heard
my pleas because two days later
Duke Durando was transferred
to some other hell hole