Chuck Town

Thomas Sayers Ellis

Heroes Are Gang Leaders

for Chuck Brown 1936-2012

   Sell Chuck.
Buy Chucks.
One Chuck fits.

Lace up Liaison
gold Chucks,
    All Stars.

Chucks come in
    all pockets
not just Pops.

    High top,
low top, green
snakeskin,

boot-length Chucks.
Battle of the
    Kicks—

    Kenboy,
    Suga,
    Milton,

    Kiggo,
    JuJu,
    Kwick.

   Footlocker Chucks
may smell like
   condoms,

   but nunchucks
bow-leg the chain
    between Chucks.
Unlock Chuck. Chuck lock it.

Lorton Chuck up.
   Chuck so country.
   Cost more

   to see a reformed Chuck
      than a pair
   of toe-guarded

Ex con verse Chucks.
   Women love
   a sweaty Chuck,

    Bama and Show.
Shout like Lotto
      when Chuck socket.

Rumors of a Chuck mural.
   A Chuck Park.
Chuck jock it.

Chocolate City
Chocolate Chucks
by Chucky
   Thompson.

Win a Chuck
   Winnebago.
A Drama Cruise for two

   to Chuck Levins
      with Chucky Burwell & Boo.
Junk love Chuck.
   Chuck all a bucket got.

Win a week in Brad’s
trumpet bag.
   Touch Cherie’s sweet,

grown ass, Grown & Sexy keys.
Them play better
    in Chucks.

    Wet Chuck roaches
not the dry ones
Chuck left Reo.

Hustlers want a cut.
Chuck give ’em
   the bridge.

Chuck give ’em the shank
  but no gym
      shoe deal.

   Don’t give a Chuck
how many times
   you saw Chuck.

      More Bright
“Mighty Moe” Shorter
Moments in Chucks,

      did pushups.
Chuck gave Thanks. Chuck accepted Christ.
   Chuck stopped fights.

“Who baby dat?
   Dat Chuck
   Baby!”

“WIND ME UP, CHUCK!”
   Say What!?
“WIND ME
        DOWN,
BROWN!”

  Footz wore Chucks.
    Sneakers talk
to pimps behind Chuck’s back,

    tie up two-faced
tennis shoe tongues
   before they flap.

   Elect Chuck.
Got Chuck. Got votes.
   Now Listen! A tin

toy wind-up Chuck,
already wound up.
“Wind me up,
    Chuck”

   winds Chuck up
like a tradewind of well-tailored
      wind-songs

  a tale of two Chucks,
    Chuck Taylors,
wing-tipped. Breeze called Chuck

      a Chuck never
   too old to spill
        his own too big

    to refill Chucks.
930 Happy Birthday Chucks.
Not enough Chuck

        then Chuck
        enough Chuck tributes
to monument Chuck.

D.C. don’t stand for
   Dodge Chuck.
    Run fast like Joe

  in Chucks.
        Any other way to Go,
GoGo in Chucks.

    Chuck fucks
      with us.
  We fucks with Chuck.

   Even without Chuck,
Chuck band
   still work,

still work, still work
   with Chuck
and Chuck ghost.

Scooby Chuck.
Picture Chuck taking
      a picture

of a Poet picture-taker.
I saw Chuck
in a hearse.

   Soul, reflection, search.
Chuck heard
my camera curse.

Just one more frame
  of flowers
      from Chuck
      for all of us.

“WIND ME UP, CHUCK!”
   Say What!?
“WIND ME
        DOWN,
BROWN!”

 

Audio Recording Credits
Heroes Are Gang Leaders:
Margaret Morris, Vocals
Nina Angela Mercer, Background Vocals
Luke Stewart, Bass
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone
Ryan Frazier, Trumpet
Janice Lowe, Piano and Vocals
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
James Brandon Lewis, Background Voice
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Background Vocals
Randall Horton, Background Vocals and Cool Ass Bama Adlib
Catalina Gonzalez, Background Voice
Ailish Hopper, Background Vocals

Poem written and read by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Arranged and Composed by Thomas Sayers Ellis and James Brandon Lewis

Nods to The Soul Searchers, Eric B. & Rakim, Rare Essence, Petworth Band, Little Benny and The Masters, and Backyard Band

Produced by Thomas Sayers Ellis

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