Kill Kill Faster Faster
by Joel Rose (Crown Publishers, $21, 212 pp)
by Thomas Christian
Joey comin’ back. Joey BACK. Back from the dead, the whirl of the underworld, where nobody ever escapes. Nobody. No body ‘cept Joey. Joey did. Joey free. Free on bail. Free to roam after 17 years.
Everybody call him Joey One-Way on account a they said only one way outta that prison. In a box. Inna six-foot case a wood, seventy-two inches of knotted patchwood smack together by rotted hammerhead to rusty nail and some leftover carpenter glue.
But Joey free. FREE. After 17 years. Set free by Markie. Joey’s guardian angel. Markie Mann is big time. Prime Time. Movies, TV, Tel-a-vision. Markie got hold of Joey’s script. The Prison play. Play. And take that play to New York City. The Great White Way. Make Joey a star. And stars are free to float and shine and sparkle and run. But lately Joey’s star feel like fallin’ comet. Fallin’ burnin’ scorchin’ clump. But nonetheless Joey still free. Free because Markie Mann make him a star. ‘Cause Markie Mann hire Joey for scripting t.v. Convince the parole board that Joey rehabilitated and serve mankind best from the outside. So now Joey have a career. Gonna make a million bucks. Joey a star. Joey’s star burn bright. But Joey know inside that star is still dark. Is black tears. Inside that star is still Joey.
Joey fall for Markie’s girl, Flowers. Flowers fall for Joey also. Joey got a girl. First girl since his wife Kim. Seventeen years ago. Joey got a girl. Joey got Markie’s girl. Joey still carry razor in his pocket. Old habit. Boxcutter razor. Same like he carry ’round when he and Kim were married. Were a couple. Same razor like seventeen years ago, before Attica, Dannemora, Sing Sing, Elmira. Before lawyers and judges. Before his name One-Way. When Kim was still alive.
Same razor. Joey and Flowers.
Joey got a girl, Joey got a girl, Joey got Markie’s girl.
And Markie pissed.
And Flowers sad.
And Joey got a razor. And Joey got a star.
And Joey know his star startin’ to flicker and fade
and burn and fly
and scrape across the dark black sky,