a price to pay…

Teacher…that’s what they called me…these guys in shelters where i dwelled for years…a traveling gypsy…a wandering soul…they called me Teacher…

men outta’ Rikers…outta’ state prisons…time served for murder…rape…horrible…said they did what they had to do…said they were compelled…to steal…assault…kill…
violent…living by codes…pecking orders…time spent in the joint…time served on the streets…points for each crime committed…a constant fight to be number one among the tribe…of killers…crazies…junkies…hustlers…whores…predators…meth-heads…casualties of the streets…casualties…

Joyce…Melville…Kerouac…carried on me at all times…Whitman in times of need…, what you always readin’ for…,guys would ask me….,good for the soul…,i’d tell ’em…,good for the soul…

it was good for my soul…kept me grounded…all that time without had more than i needed…a cot…shower…books…constant prayer…constant prayer…

and i’d tell ’em ’bout Ahab…Ishmael…Bloom…Dean Moriarty…bout facing the belly of the beast…the road…these killers and cutthroats…would listen…listen to lessons day in and day out…,Teacher…how’d you get so smart…, they’d ask…,why’d you wind-up in this place…homeless…shelters and the streets…shelters and the streets…

i just shook my head…told ’em…,Everybody has a price to pay…everybody…whether you’re a killer or a crazy…we all have a price to pay…

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