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"SPOOKY " a family memoir of tattooing my Mothers Youngest brother

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Shotsie Gorman

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SPOOKY

What I loved, really was

my memory of him.

Francis, was my mothers youngest brother.

But reflecting now I realize

I knew Butch more by the artifacts of his life.

My feelings were almost archeological

After twenty years of separation

As the facts of his death were

related to me- by his sister sobbing

over a crackling phone connection.

“The prison lost his ashes in transit.”

missing the irony, she wept.

“It was UPS they said, those bastards!”

bruised out on the static connection

Butchy’s

ashes

to be dusted over the

race track

like his life lost in transit.

Spooky, Casper the Ghost’s comic,

bad boy other self-was India ink etched into his

right bicep.

First e mano by an old South Paterson Gumba

Who owed Butch a gambling debt

Settled as he carved him a

Spooky tattoo.

Jabbed in by three sewing needles tied

together with thread one poke at a time.

“Fuck you!” Butch said each time

keeping the rhythm

of

the

blood

beaded

jabs.

Spooky was to be

sharpened black

and reshaped,

It’s fedora cocked off kilter

by me.

In an attempt

to revisit

our family connection.

Buzzing my heavy tattoo machines in the dim light

of a sleazy Florida pool hall and beer joint.

Listening to do-wop.

Watching the blood drop.

I dreamed

in the still

of that night

splashed with his red Neapolitan

feverish with the knowledge

that it ran in my veins.

Slurred me to sleep

with tears for

his suffering.

Kneeling

before the image of him

Impaled on the x of his life

And his faux tortoise shell

hair brush, left behind,

filled with stands of

brillcreamed black hair

and dandruff.

Sitting on his

high boy

blond dresser

with the loose change

of his life spilling out

Like an offering

below the spooky plaster Jesus head

with the concave eyes that followed

my every move.

END

Let me know what you think!

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wonderful.

to me, its a joyful celebration that no one is disposable (at least in part)...and I am warmed. you have quite a way with words. ty for sharing

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I keep coming back to reread one liners that have stuck with me and every time it grows on me as a whole.

At first the flow distracted me, but now I appreciate how simultaneously reflective and real that flow it is.

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Thanks I am glad it grabbed you it is one of my favorites!

I keep coming back to reread one liners that have stuck with me and every time it grows on me as a whole.

At first the flow distracted me' date=' but now I appreciate how simultaneously reflective and real that flow it is.[/quote']

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I took this as more of a spoken word writing that would flow much differently than it would reading it after watching your video posting, thanks for sharing Shotsie.

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