History Ignored

Due to current events
Regarding tyrannous actions
From those of Putin,
One can wish he meets the same fate as Rasputin,
With the help of an assassin;
Makes for a good plot for a spin
That becomes a bestselling nonfiction.

Couldn’t help for this piece to take a sinister turn;
Too much blood has been shed in Ukraine as it burns.
History ignored once again.

Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler (a book blurt)

The writer of this book has also written and directed two movies – Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. His treatment of the book is not much different in how he evokes images of jarring violence and graphic gore. Here, such intensity is combined with snappy writing and colorful characters. The book tells a story about a disgraced detective, Jules Bettinger, who is transferred to the “armpit” of America. This is a place where crime is the mainstay; it’s safe to say the ratio of crime-fighters to criminals is comparable to one person’s chances of winning the lottery. Not wanting to see his family live in the same city where he works, Bettinger suffers daily through an 85-mile one-way commute from home to his “new” police headquarters.  But his work is even worse. He soon finds himself in trying to solve a double homicide that causes a string of events of increasing violent consequences and shocking climax.

Triple 9 (a movie blurt)

This film caught my attention because of the all-star cast ensemble: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, and Kate Winslet. The characters they play are flawed and except for Affleck’s character, they’re all cynical or corrupt to a certain degree. Set in Atlanta and complete with graphic scenes, this film is violent and gritty about dirty cops and dirty deeds with links to  Russian organized crime . Lots of twists, action, and raw pain. Feels too much like real life in these turbulent times. There’s no escapism here.

Ahead on a Stick

It’s not just an ordinary day in the ‘hood. Today is the First Annual Race-o-Rama on Washington St., in a neighborhood of single, and mostly, multifamily homes. Their peeling paint and chipped shingles, a consequence of the past rough winter and general lack of funds, do not faze the merriment of the ragtag bunch. The kids range in age from nine to fourteen. There are about a dozen of them, half in the audience, while the others are getting ready to motor up in their unique makeshift racers.

Image by Freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Vlado from Freedigitalphotos.net

Lamont “LeMans” revs up his mini-roadster, powered by his short legs. Ramon “The Main Rain Man” can barely keep still, poised to pedal his trike. “Cuz” Chondelle is riding high on his pogo stick. Their older siblings are lined alongside them; one on a bike, another on a unicycle and a third on a skateboard. They all eye the finish line ahead.

“You getting this on tape, Clarice?” Delroy asks. “It’s for pos-ter-ee-tee.” He calls out to the girl holding up a smartphone with a cracked screen.

“You been reading again, Del-boy?” Royale chortles.

Delroy shoots him an “eat my shorts” look and hunches down to get set as Sharlayne primes the group, “When you see my gun go off, that means go.” She is holding up an orange-colored water blaster, which she squirts at the group.

The kids watching laugh as the group, poised to race, are momentarily startled as water sprays them. “You’re supposed to aim it up in the air, wonder brain,” Royale yells as he wipes off the water from his face. He gets soaked the most because he is the closest to Sharlayne.

“Well, you sure aren’t ‘cuz you’re still crying about a little water. Get going.”

Now Lamont is head to head with Ramon, while Delroy whizzes past them. But Chondelle surprises all as he overtakes them.

“Whoa, there goes Chondelle almost lick the dust, but now he’s ahead on a stick . . . yeah . . .” one of the kids watching starts to rap out a song in honor of the frontrunner. Suddenly, two cars seeming to race with each other careen by them. A gun shot in the air. Chondelle in the lead crashes to the ground. The kids scream as the two cars speed away, long gone.

It turns out to be just another ordinary day in the ‘hood.

©2015 Karina Pinella