Monday, April 2, 2012

Jack Bates

SUSPECT HAS A HISTORY

TWO-TWENTY-THREE
ARE YOU CLEAR?
OVER

Two-twenty-three
Copy
Headed west on Hollywood
Over


TWO-TWENTY-THREE
RESPOND TO ADDRESS
OVER

Two-twenty-three
Copy
Suspect
inside address
Over


TWO-TWENTY-THREE
BE ADVISED: SUSPECT HAS A HISTORY
OVER


And over
It goes

Different perp
Different crime
All the same

Night after night
Over and over


TWO-TWENTY-THREE
SUSPECT IS ARMED WITH A
KNIFE
OVER

Two-twenty-three
Copy
Awaiting backup
Over


TWO-TWENTY-THREE
BE ADVISED: SUSPECT HAS A HISTORY
OVER

Two-twenty-three
Copy
Backup has arrived
Over



And out
Of the car
Into the house
Full of children
Big, frightened eyes
Filled with tears
You gonna shoot my daddy?


TWO-TWENTY-THREE
SUSPECT ON FOOT
OVER

Two-twenty-three
Copy
Suspect
now in custody
Over



But it's not
Never will be

Suspect has a history
And history repeats


Alison Dasho, Thomas Pluck, and Gerald So perform "Suspect Has a History":



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Jack confesses: "Over on Google+, Christa Faust posted a link for youarelistening.to/losangeles. I had it on and was catching snippets of police calls mixed with music. A 2-2-3 actually means traffic lights are out, but my mind was wandering over a story I'd been trying to write."


JACK BATES writes with bloody knuckles. He has an ongoing series about a slacker PI in Detroit. A couple of his stories have appeared in anthologies like Discount Noir and Grimm Tales. Check him out at his blog: http://flashjab.blogspot.com/

6 comments:

Thomas Pluck said...

A fine poem, and proud to be a part of it.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Wonderfully done.

AJ Hayes said...

Expected it to end with a gun shot and a call for a medical examiner. But it didn't. It ends with a much larger wound to the soul. Last line is a tear maker. Captured the nighttime police radio perfectly. That's the good stuff, jack.

David Barber said...

A great piece, Jack. Well read by the team. Enjoyed the read and the audio. Excellent!!

nigel p bird said...

a great idea to structure a poem - so obvious when you see it, but impossible to see until it's there in front of you (unless you're Jack Bates.

Thanks.

Benjamin Sobieck said...

Fantastic. Love the sense of pacing this piece takes. The form matches the function perfectly.