reggie harding, at an angle

Man, don’t talk that shit–I ain’t but six-eleven, maybe,

But, pretend as he might, Reggie was seven-foot, legit,

And as bad a cat as ever took the court at Eastern High,

But bad off the court, too, and took the neighborhood with him,

Wherever he went–man just couldn’t shake Mack Avenue,

And when the pros just decided he wasn’t worth the trouble any more,

He had nowhere to go but back home, and nothin’ to work with

Save havin’ a big hand to pull a trigger with

(And that wasn’t getting him too far, like there wasn’t anyone

Who didn’t know who Reggie was), and at some point

You end up on the wrong end of the barrel,

And at that point wasn’t nothin’ left to do

‘Cept try to wrestle what remained of the man

Into some huge-ass coffin (rumor had it

That Mike Storen from the Pacers paid for it,

Even though Reggie had threatened to shoot his ass

On live TV), and word was when they got him to the graveyard

The coffin wouldn’t fit in the hole straight-in,

So they had to snap off a couple of the handles

And wedge him in all kitty-corner.

Man, I hope that story’s true, folks from the neighborhood used to say,

It wouldn’t be Reggie if he went straight.




10 thoughts on “reggie harding, at an angle

  1. Your tone and flow here are amazing. I feel as if I had just sat down with a local from the neighborhood and heard it hollered at me straight. This adds an intriguing addition to your already fully stocked arsenal of everyday life. What I enjoyed most about this piece was the voice of the speaker and how s/he conveyed a certain truthiness to story that at face value is nod and a shrug to survival. Damn, Kortas, you done good here.

  2. I second Izy. Your poetry rings so true as the speaking voice of hometown America – that you can vary the hometown, vernacular and subject at will is a mark of your genius. Mediocre my @$$.

  3. Ive tried to hunt down Reggie’s grave. the cemetery told me the section, but I cant find it. He’s either unmarked or the stone has been covered with growth.

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