Saturday, October 5, 2019


the el chapo of dorsey’s knob

on down dorsey’s knob
past green bag road
gps chatters, radio chatters
my lover and I think with our stomachs

i pop to the right lane sans signal
yes, my friends, a faux pas
the rearview reminds me of this
as red and blue splish splash

cop asks my story, my id
shuffles to alchemy
another cop appears
aviators at night
flashlight taps passenger window
my lover needs her id

first cop returns
invites us out of our vehicle
he wants to dance
the flood lights of sheetz
perfect romantic tonight

now another cop
where do they come from?
four cars lights splish spalsh
all for a dangerous couple
of middle age hippies
with no criminal record

now a dog, a wise beast
leashed circles of my car
dog and first officer consult
I’ve never heard a dog speak english
first cop hears the dog whisper english
I, at the edge of my seat for this message

this wise articulate dog says
I have heroin, meth or marijuana in my car
now two of those are drugs
one is legal here and my state, medically

dog is wise, dog is correct
there’s three joints tucked tight
snug in a tin in my luggage

my lover and I hear our rights, no charge
I admit I am a criminal, a ne’er do well, a scofflaw
I admit it here and for all this sheetz parking lot to know
I am a criminal, a dangerous man
I have less than a gram of weed

fourth cop and fifth appear
I am a criminal mastermind on vacation
we have the ministry of attention
every on-duty officer in morgantown,
I am all the crimes happening
I am the crime of the century

I offer to retrieve these pesky drugs
but no, they will handle this service
they are happy to root in all our things
to make sure I, criminal that I am
am not hiding some more nefarious secret

my lover and I, criminals
ushered to a seat on the hood
the luxury of one of five cop cars
it is the sting of the summer, I am the el chapo
of dorsey’s knob. we’re baby sat by sixth
cop who wants our story, or statement
our admission, he wants to crack us
open to get us to admit that we are part
of some goddamn high crime, something more
than daring to vacation with one lonely gram of weed

I’m not good at feeling like a criminal
I love stories and if these seven officers
wise dog and five cop cars want a story
I’ll deliver the goods, I’ll tell them
all about every backroad, every dying coal town
I’ll them about hank williams last ride
I’ll them about history, how this lady
and are I are gonna bask in the tennessee sun
with mandolin’s, fiddles and the ghost
of ralph peer, i’ll tell them about the fabulous
jumping frog of summers county
and how when you sleep in a bounce house
you can hear the bluestone river talk in its sleep

sixth officer is unimpressed, underwhelmed
he has no real interest in our stories
he wants the tales of el chapo
or maybe he wants to go home
strip naked, wrap himself in a confederate flag
watch porn videos of his choice in a lawn chair in his kitchen

the posse are digging in every corner
every nook of the car, nothing unturned
still even with the advice of the wise dog
and my admission they can’t find
my offensive three joints
my offensive gram of weed
they need my help

i’m not allowed to get up from the cruiser seat
i’m arrested, I’m stone still, my co-operation is must

look sir WEED!
egads and golly gee
right were I left it
in a former altoids tin
snug next to my boxers

now frisked in case we’re hiding something
even though we haven’t hidden anything
we are very guilty, we are criminals

my lover’s herbal supplies must be accounted for
you never know when some strange tincture
some nameless powder could be dangerous

I am a criminal mastermind
the el chapo of dorsey’s knob
with a gram of weed confiscated
I have two tickets with the wrong address to prove it
I’ll be five hundred light for my shame

we’re free to go, paroled of our own recognizance
back in the car, ready to drive away
they found my weed, they didn’t find
my less carefully concealed edibles

my lover, fearless, unflappable
beautiful in the termination
of red and blue splish splash
looks at me and says
all I could think was that we
won’t be able to smoke a joint
tomorrow as we listen
to the blue stone river talk in its sleep 

--Jason Baldinger

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