Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thursday Verse: The Big-Timer - Langston Hughes

The Big-Timer

Who am I?
It ain't so deep:
I'm the guy the home folks call–
The Black Sheep. 
I ran away.
Went to the city.
Look at me now and
Laugh – or take pity. 
I'm the bad egg, see!
Didn't turn out right.
My people disowned me–
So I'm hustlin' in the night 
Drinkin' and gamblin' now,
And livin' on gals.
Red-hot – that's me,
With a lot o' sporty pals. 
Spendin' money lke water.
Drinkin' life like wine.
Not livin' like I oughter,
But – ain't my life mine? 
I got a high-yaller.
Got a diamond ring.
I got a furnished-up flat,
And all that kind o' thing. 
I got a big car
And I steps on the gas.
And whoever don't like it
Just gimme some sass 
Cause I carries a switch-blade
And I swing it a hummin'
And if I don't get you goin',
I'll cut you down comin' 
You say I'll meet a bad endin', heh?
Well, maybe I will.
But while I'm livin' – I'm livin'!
And when I'm dead – I'll keep still. 
I'm a first class hustler,
Rounder and sport.
Sometimes I'm settin' pretty,
And again money's short. 
But if I wanted to go straight
I'd starve and – oh, well –
I'm just a good-timer
On my road to hell. 
Lots of old schoolmates are married
Home, kids, and everything fine.
But I ain't got nothin' real
That I can call mine. 
But don't let it matter to you
'Cause I'm all right.
I'm eatin' and lovin',
And holdin' things tight. 
So don't worry 'bout me,
Folks, down yonder at home.
I guess I can stand the racket
And fight it out alone. 
I guess I know what I'm up against
I don't cry over troubles
Look 'em in the face and
Bust 'em like bubbles. 
I turn on the radio,
Mix up a drink,
Make lots o' noise,
Then I don't have to think. 
Call in a gang o' women
And let 'em have my money,
And forget that they lyin'
When they callin' me honey. 
So what's the use o' worryin'
Or thinkin' at all?
We only got one life
And I guess that one's all– 
So I'm takin' it easy
And I don't give a damn–
I'm just a big-timer,
That's all I am! 
That's ... all ... I... am.

- Langston Hughes

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