Chapters 4-11


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 The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 377 times
Written on 2019-05-22 at 13:23

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Jim, this is fine work. Everything's so clear, so gritty, and yes, so hard-boiled. A pleasure to read!

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Delightfully hardboiled.