Kent Dixon

Three by Marty

(for Marty, jailhouse artist)

(from WIP Jailhouse Rock)

The Red Carpet of the Prison by Wissam El Shekhani
1. Greer Gets One on Me

Sure, I’ll sell stuff to get along, though usually I got some guy to cop all I want, but I have never sole myself if you know what I mean. I still got my pride. You let go you pride, you fish’d.

So I’m clocking for Greer when he’s smalltime, he don even have bottles, use tinfoil, eyeball everything, an I got my pockets full of dimes and a couple of quarters, maybe a half (well, it start out that way, mysteriously disappear you know), and my own personal style is like I just hops in their car and talks em up—discount the half’s for you, sir, please, take em off my hands, forty dollar why pay ten five times plus all that hassle when I give it to you for for-dee (course it’s about 80% laxative and a little lidocaine to make them lips tingle good), and this nice blue car slides up, nice looking white guy with sharp new haircut you could just smell, so I heps myself to his back door my butt not even hittin the seat before I drops my jaw an a great big nuthin come out.

Me dumbfounded? Yessir, because I see all this radio shit under the dash and he’s wearing this nice-as-you-please smile right up there along side his shoulder holster and I say, Woops wrong car, and beat it outta there goddamn, the goddamn sheriff! I pick me the goddamn offduty sheriffmobile complete with the Man hisself. He still laughing bout this I know, and Greer like to say, Marty, girl, you got no judge of character, and laugh his titties off like I’m some kind of the funny kid in the family.

2. I Get One on Greer

Greer, he piss me off sometimes, I get so mad I go get his gun and wave it in his face and he act like that don faze me, bitch, go ahead and shoot. So I pull the trigger.

Now he starin cross-eyed at that gun kissin his nostril that go click, you can see the hammer holdin on to the base of the shell. Ho-ly shit, you fuckin crazy bitch, he yell at me and I yells right back: No, Greer, you the fucking crazy one, you mess with me.

3. Me, Greer, & the Emerald Green Forest

Last time I see him we fightin as usual, bout paintin the house. He got this green paint off a guy, two three buckets of what you’d paint a park bench with, Forest Green, real homey, right? And it’s got a big oozy drip on the can label that’s droolin down all over some penciled-in woods. And he wanna do our wood trim, so

his idea of that is me paint it.

Ok, I’m six or seven months out with Adelle, I mean you could play six man euchre on my belly while I’m standing there for the bus, so I call him names and tell him I not about to sniff those fumes with this baby in here, might even be his, the stupid shit, an he want forest green he can go shit in the goddamn woods.

I throw the brush at him. “You can paint your own goddamn trim you want it painted so bad,” . . . so the fucker wop me upside the head and go out the door saying he speck that whole trim be forest green when he get back.

Un hunh, trim indeed. I paint it for him awright. I get that paint an I paint the walls right along with the trim, kind free form, and the floor, and the rug, an I paint the window and his clothes and the dishes in the drying rack, and I paint a really nice swipe right across his TV, tear-drop like that drip on the paint can label. Forest green, all three cans. I miss a few spots so it look like someone did a scratch-an-win card outta the whole downstairs. I hold my breath a lot so’s not to hurt the baby. Wish I coulda seen his face when he get home but completely stupid I ain’t.


About the writer:
Kent Dixon is a prize-winning writer with three Pushcart nominations and three Ohio Arts Council awards to his credit. His fiction and poetry have appeared in TriQuarterly, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Gettysburg Review, Georgia Review and others. His nonfiction has appeared in The American Prospect, Florida Review, Kansas Quarterly, Energy Review, and others. He is recently retired from teaching Literature and Creative Writing at Wittenberg University. His graphic novel The Epic of Gilgamesh, co-authored with his son Kevin Dixon, is in release from Seven Stories Press. He lives with his wife Mimi in Springfield, Ohio.

Image: The Red Carpet of the Prison by Wissam El Shekhani. Acrylic on canvas. 120 x 120 cm. By free license.