Under Surveillance

Someone is always watching!
Watching me.  Watching you.
Watching every damn little thing you do!
So don’t you ever forget it!
It is pretty safe to say that 11 times out of 10
We don’t even have a clue.
This is true!
There are eyes and ears planted everywhere!
Here, there, far, near
When you think you are alone
Wrong again! You’re not!
It must be rough to mark your beginnings
In all that is putrid rot!
Precisely why you must give your best shot
What have you to lose, except all that is not?
Besides, the shot will be a long one
And by the time this game is over and done
At the very least you can say you tried!
You never know, you might even say you’ve won!
Always expect it and suspect it, too
There is always someone watching, all eyes on you
Should you have something to offer
And good God I hope you do
What is nil is negative and doesn’t want us to win
No matter what you must never cease to grin
I knew this boy once, I loved him so
Always have, suppose I always will
But more often than not he lived his life
Recklessly to the ill
I had such a soft spot for the boy
For bad boys really
And he was a very bad boy
A big boy, too
What can I say? Honestly.
What do you want me to tell you?
I have had my share of wild fun and play
Spent a good chunk of time as the prodigal one
Long gone astray, much longer than a day
But this boy, he wasn’t really tough
And he didn’t really like to play rough
He was just a young street kid from the skids
You know the ones
That roam the destitute streets
Where the only achievement awaiting is utter defeat
The big boys, the bad boys, they’re always watching
You know the ones, whose rod is their gun
There are much too many of them, son
They never leave us alone.
Bully woolly, battle blocks! Fear knocks!
Never play fair, never let us win!
Even when they do
They come back to torture and haunt you
Vexing dreams and thoughts breed doubt
These boys, the big ones were watching my friend
Their goal was to see him to his fated end
So they propositioned
And made an offer he wisely refused
Somehow he managed to cleverly slip by
He failed to ask and they failed to mention why
He was smart and tough but not really rough
Just your typical street kid
Handsome as ever but straight from the skids
They’re the best kids and always are
At least for as long as a quick minute
Some of them
Future perpetrators and criminalistics
Master the art of the street linguistics
Products of a society with disproportionate logistics
But he kept on walking on his way
He was dying to live another day
Just hoping for the chance to live life his way
But the big boys, the bad boys
They kept stalking where he was walking
Until one day they finally caught him
They had one chance
He was sitting on a park bench about to cry
Questioning the many reasons why
They could see he was tired of his bullshit life
You know, the kind of life one lives in the skids
For one moment he wanted so desperately to die
In that moment they put the make on him
He became their property more quickly than he knew it!
After a lifetime of hits and misses
Would he be able to figure out where he’d blown it?
I sure did hope so!
But only time would tell… and show!
One day after 15 long years
At last, long last he finally did
The outcasts looked everywhere
The big boys placed their mark on him
Their prime pickings are the lost, tattered and torn
That is when they step in
And they break you up just a little bit more
Till you’re strung out on dope
And you really can’t cope
When there is no longer any hope
Till you just hang your head
Begging to be dead!
That’s what happened to my friend
But he won, came back in the end
It almost happened to me, too
But right before it did I got a clue
For a long time, I sojourned with the evil Mark X
I used to honor and praise and revere King Rex
So the dreadful thing is
My love failed to notice
We shared a similar twist of fate
Our lives would be altered
In the most devastating way!
And they were, be sure
Like so many others who have lived and died
Leaving behind no legacy or reason to the rhyme
Bitched from birth, hailed as victims
Born into a life most poverty-stricken
Are we all targets and recruits for service?
Do we exceed the expectations and minimum requirements?
So many of us could have been or would have been
But the truth is that we were not
The pursuer is always the assailant
And the sought after the assailed
Permanently held hostage and under surveillance

Excerpt from ‘The Whisper of Madness,’ 1996

Note to readers:
[This work is from a series of 73 poems I wrote between the years 1996 and 1998. In 2010, I published the work and in 2014, I removed the book from publication. From time to time, I will publish various pieces here].
Under Surveillance Under Surveillance Reviewed by Ruth Hochman on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 Rating: 5

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