Scoundrel Time

From A Series of Portraits of the Most Dominant Possessions in Rap Music


A Portrait of a Gold-link Chain

Great material of this kind requires mastery, requires great digging, yes, a great digger, and a heavy, well-stropped shovel. It purports the need for a good licking, a pounding and beating to leaf, or the material portends a raking, a grinding, a heaving. A poor man is the fault of dull tools. Poor man, empty, empty tool. Clip. Murderous. Heaving. Beat and stroke the material until good and wide, yes, until the pores of all good glister loosens empty. This is how, in a line-up, we identify a black surface. You point and pound until a black surfaces or until you are, and this, you and I have heard, this wonderful syncopation – pound, stop, pound – the sound of metal of yanked chains falling to the ground – the static ricocheting – the clang of “chain” and “gang” and the silenced ă, the elongated yelling in between. The ricocheting is of the dissonance in the old riddle or of the older silence, or of the body which, for this kind of material – again – you must, must, must know the root; in fact, tubed in a canal of sin, the skin is the bark of the old chopped log, still lit and popping, whipping – as the digging goes – still, beneath the Poplar tree – beating gold leaf, quick, hush. Hush goes the ash – for the gold links and chain gangs on the sopping, well fed grass. 



A Portrait of the Gutter

A portion of the trauma is in the bowels. Take of only the stool and tug. A poor gutting is oft at the rugged fault of the utter: You top rate, low rung motherfucker, you pit thug, you guttersnipe sniper, you hard “r” in “rope,” “truck,” “rut,” you rundown and trot off motherfucker, you pretty – aint no glitz if aint no grit – mother, you grimy, you know talkin’ bout the fire only turns the coal, you know the noise of chains sweeter than whatever the dead man know, you know the code we live by, and that every man has a price when them decrepit bricks don’t sell: or to this, you might say, is at the other end of fault, at the foggy, impenetrable liquid, running deep, deep hardening thing. And that’s usually right before they note – the doctors – hovering over the cold prosection table, the blood flooding in the peritoneum, but somehow, this time, they’d forgotten to unhinge the tube streaming embalming fluid and got — instead of a life-like corpse – what we call art or human artifact. 



Glorious Piner BFA ’19 is currently in the MFA program at the University of Maryland focusing on poetry. She teaches Poetry at the University of Maryland and at the University of the Arts. She has two works published in Queerbook, the first-ever anthology released by the first LGBTQ+ bookstore in the country, Giovanni’s Room Bookstore’s attendant press. You can find more of Glorious’ work in Prolit Magazine and Toho Journal. Soon, you’ll also be able to read her work in forthcoming issues of Conduit Magazine, the Florida Review and the American Poetry Review. Glorious is finishing up the first season of a poetry podcast, co-hosting another poetry podcast, curating an anthology of American sonnets, and resurrecting, reshaping and reimagining Paperback Literary Journal. You can follow @gloriouspiner on every relevant social media platform for updates on the release of projects and forthcoming published works.






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