I'm posting these as a unit.
Chapters 1-3 reveal Jackson and Dewey Smith-Cotton are twin brothers.
Jackson is undercover D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S.).
Dewey is F.B.I., based in Washington, D.C.
Both are after Griselda Blanco, a Colombian drug lord of the Medellín Cartel.
Paco is regional D.E.A. (Texas).
Ruben is a bad guy in Chicago.
"Fast Eddie" is a bad guy/informant in Chicago.
Moe is a police officer for the C.P.D. (Chicago Police Dept.).
Galveston and Corpus Christi are cities in Texas.
This series takes place back in the day (late 70's).
Ch. 4: Fast Eddie Makes a Run For It
Jackson is headed for Colombia,
but Dewey heads for Chicago to meet with Fast Eddie Gutierrez.
Fast Eddie is looking at life plus ninety-nine, and he’s copping a plea,
dropping the heavyweight down to something manageable.
Even so, he'll be pushing a zimmer before he gets out.
In any event, the Feds have bigger fish to catch down south,
and Fast Eddie's the bait. So he talks—
he and Dewey and Moe, and two badges, drive around Chicago,
Fast Eddie pointing out the relevant spots, naming names.
He’s cooperating, he’s being a good boy, sensible,
so they stop for oysters and a beer—Dewey and Moe head downtown
and Fast Eddie runs for it while one of the badges is taking a piss
and the other is watching the game.
He ends up in Downer’s Grove, holed up in a motel, waving a pistol.
Dewey and Moe drive down, ask the local boys to back off
before someone gets hurt.
Moe approaches Eddie's room with his hands up.
He says, "Eddie, you dumb fuck, what the fuck are you doing?
Put down your fucking gun before we kill the fuck out of you."
Eddie comes out with his hands up.
The three of them drive back to the city, Moe shaking his head the whole time.
"Eddie," he says, "you dumb fuck, what the fuck were you thinking?"
Ch. 5: Jackson Calls Rebecca
Jackson lands on a dirt strip
outside of Galveston, checks in with Paco,
drives to Corpus for a little R & R—
a little seafood and company.
The difference between the good guys
and the bad guys are the rules—
bad guys break them, Jackson bends them,
letting his presence be known
by having a drink with someone he shouldn't,
someone he once knew, whose smile
and laughter stuck with him.
It's a dangerous game, he can't afford a mistake—
Griselda Blanco doesn't play by the rules.
This may be a mistake.
Ch. 6: Meanwhile . . .
Life is too short, too short for this,
Dewey mutters to himself—waiting in a hot car,
on a hot street, on a hot night in Chicago,
watching one gang-banger after another score or be screwed.
The chances of his man, Ruben, showing up
run fifty-fifty, fair odds, still—
Here he comes, low-rider, badass, dangerous.
Ruben's boys slide out of the car, Ruben waits.
They go in. He waits. They come out, stand aside the door.
Ruben goes in, comes out ten minutes later
with what—a grand, ten, a hundred, who knows?
Dewey has what he came for, faces and a locale—
confirmation—enough for the next move.
He drives off, the a.c. killing the Chicago heat—stops for a beer.
Ch. 7: Dewey Gets Shot
The next thing he knows he's on the ground, 67th and Cottage Grove,
looking up at a black sky, a waning moon,
a city block of bricks, boarded windows, and hoplessness.
His pants are wet, he didn't piss himself, and it isn't raining.
He raises his head and groans.
Under the nasueating glow of an amber streetlight
he sees blood, a lot of it, coming from the inside of his thigh,
and it's coming in arcs.
He can pass out or hit nine-one-one.
The next time he opens his eyes he sees the green tile walls
and focused light of an E.R.; and faces,
doctors' and nurses' faces, all too concerned, surrounding him.
Fuck, he says, or thinks, he doesn't know which,
this, most definitely, is not good.
Ch. 8: Annus Mirabilis
Dewey spends Christmas at his daughter's,
his leg is healing, slowly.
He wasn't shot as thought, at least not directly,
but a ricochet glancing off the brick, entering
his leg already flattened,
ripping into his femoral artery.
It was a mess, and a drive-by, not meant for him.
It is, after all, Chicago.
Jackson is back in Corpus. This thing with Rebecca
is proving wholesome, neither prone
to wholesomeness by nature.
So the year is ending for the brothers, nothing accomplished—
the bad guys are still bad. But no one died,
which seems, to them, all to the good.
Ch. 9: Jackson Unwinds
Jackson drops three quarters and a dime
in the cigarette machine, Chesterfields.
He lights up, snaps shut the Zippo,
exhales, drives on across the border into Nuevo Laredo.
There's nothing there for him but a hangover
waiting to happen, which is what he needs
after his Columbian run—six weeks down and back—
not a day, not an hour, rarely a minute,
when he didn't feel scared shitless.
After it's all said and done Border Patrol
has another pen full of runners,
the prosecutors have job security, the junkies
still have all they want and more than they need,
and Jackson is six weeks older and not a penny richer.
Ch. 10: In Which Nothing Much Happens
(It's been ten weeks since Dewey was shot in the thigh.)
Dewey and Moe drive downstate
to visit Tom Bridges.
Tom has a place on Shelbyville Lake
where they hunt turkey in the spring,
catch fish in the summer, and watch the Superbowl
in February, which is a month ill-suited
for much else, at least in downstate Illinois.
Dewey's leg is healed, but it hurts.
He's doing rehab three days a week to stretch
the scar tissue and regain full mobility.
It's one thing to get shot in the line of duty,
another to get caught in the crossfire of two banger's.
It's all bad, but Tom and Dewey and Moe
intend to kick back, watch the game,
drink too much, and that's all good.
They make an unlikely trio. Moe is a street cop,
five foot six on a good day, unflappable.
Tom is a retired Chicago Police detective, six-eleven,
no matter what kind of day, owns a Gentleman's Club,
is devoted to his wife and restoring the Illinois prairie.
Dewey is Dewey—tired, pale, worn out.
Unlikely or not, they all have something in common—
the satisfaction, and sense of futility, in fighting bad guys.
Ch. 11: The Odds Are Against Him
No one, hardly anyone, is paying attention to the comings
and going of DEA agents to and from Colombia.
It's just as well. Nixon's get tough on crime policy,
a cynical political ploy, has grown thin under this Administration,
funds are drying up. There are events unfolding
which are causing the New York Times to dig deep,
and certain memebers of the Administration to quake in their boots.
Meanwhile, Dewey quietly works the system, taking bad guys
off the street, at least for a while. The Big Dogs, though,
they're elusive, well-funded and well armed.
There is little interest in drugs trafficking, which leaves
Jackson under the radar. But it's no less dangerous—
he has his wits, a Glock 17, an informant that he can trust or not,
and a woman he cares about. Except for the last, it isn't much.
Poetry by jim
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Written on 2019-05-22 at 13:23
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