Approximately one year after Crockjaw Parish Prison had the old warden replaced, had its tank room rebuilt into a library, the padded cell rebuilt into a broom closet, and the east wall just plain rebuilt ~ one crisp dawn ~

     The Attica Correctional Facility in the state of New York, which housed 2,543 inmates, found its entire 30-foot high 2-foot wide wall, on all four sides, leveled boomfully by 10 skillfully manned cannons.  When the echos and dust cleared, a smaller wall made of little piles of stolen books surrounded the destroyed concrete wall.  This shorter wall of books, roughly 2-feet high in most sections, could be stepped over, kicked thru, or read.

     One correctional officer (guard) suffered a mild concussion when a concrete chunk fell on his head.  Fortunately nobody was killed.

     Later, after seven weeks of hard work and investigation, the police and FBI had captured about two thirds of the cannoners.  But the other third, along with the anonomous leader of this fiasco, got away.

     Nine of the 10 cannons were confiscated by the U.S. Government and put in moth balls.

     The tenth cannon could not be found.





     I, Clyde Collins, am done writing this story.  But I just saw Road pull up in his truck outside my window.

     Oh shit.  Here he comes.

     He walks in stiffly, unshaven, soiled, butt of a cigar puffin' tween his lips.  A musty odor drifts in thru the door with him, reeks in my nostrils.  His dark tangled hair flows from beneath his gray cap and down his back past his belt.  In the chair on the other side of my writing table, he sits.

     Hello, Road.

     He nods, leans back, looks very tired, puts his booted feet on my table.  My table cracks down the middle and crashes to the floor.  I'm stunned, pale, mainly pale from sitting in this room for two months writing this tale.

     "Oops," says Road, almost meekly, about as much apology I'll ever get from him for breaking my writing table like it's a gram cracker ~ with his God-damned feet!

     The story, this story, is all over the floor now.  I'll pick it up, unscramble it, later.  As for now, I got my little note pad.

     "Ya done?" asks Road.


     "You probably exaggerated every thing," he says.

     Well, I must admit, the truth did take a back seat to a few of my personal whims.

     He shakes his head a little bit, amused, smiling.  "What's the moral?" he asks, puffing his cigar butt.

     I don't know.  I can't even figure out just who, or what, Lady Gutter and Lady Luck are.


     Who's Lady Gutter, and who's Lady Luck?

     Road is smiling a little broader now, flashing his teeth.  "Lady Gutter, Lady Luck?  Well, they are poverty and confidence, or spirit and belief, or you and me, or her and him, or two nymphs in my bath tub, or even two homo men on a park bench.  Lady Gutter, Lady Luck?  Well, Lady Gutter helps me not get greedy, rich, spoiled, helps me appreciate myself, the world, even when she slaps me down into the gutter.  Now, Lady Luck, she helps me keep moving, helps me end up every time where me can be all the world, the roses, the weeds, the stars, the crabs on the shore, where me can be you and we can become it!  Lady Gutter and Lady Luck are my two ears, whisper to me from each side of my head.  They are the two sweet whores, yin and yang, or is that yang and yin?  Love and non-attachment?  Anyway, when I have toast in my head, Lady Gutter and Lady Luck melt the butter on it."

     They melt the butter on your head?

     "No, on the toast in my head, you fuckin' fool."

     Thanks a lot, Road, you really put things straight for us, about as straight as a bandit crook.  But tell me, how come God married Lady Gutter, and not Lady Luck?  Huh, Road?  Road?

     Road won't answer.  He just looks at me like it's a stupid question, gets up, and departs.


~ the end ~


(Copyright 1974, 2010)...