Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
May 4th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 288,306 comments.
Etheridge Knight - Hard Rock Returns To Prison From The Hospital For The Criminal Insane

Hard Rock/ was/ "known not to take no shit 
From nobody," and he had the scars to prove it:
Split purple lips, lumbed ears, welts above
His yellow eyes, and one long scar that cut
Across his temple and plowed through a thick 
Canopy of kinky hair. 

The WORD/ was/ that Hard Rock wasn't a mean nigger
Anymore, that the doctors had bored a hole in his head, 
Cut out part of his brain, and shot electricity 
Through the rest. When they brought Hard Rock back,
Handcuffed and chained, he was turned loose,
Like a freshly gelded stallion, to try his new status. 
and we all waited and watched, like a herd of sheep,
To see if the WORD was true. 

As we waited we wrapped ourselves in the cloak 
Of his exploits: "Man, the last time, it took eight
Screws to put him in the Hole." "Yeah, remember when he
Smacked the captain with his dinner tray?" "he set
The record for time in the Hole-67 straight days!"
"Ol Hard Rock! man, that's one crazy nigger."
And then the jewel of a myth that Hard Rock had once bit
A screw on the thumb and poisoned him with syphilitic spit. 

The testing came to see if Hard Rock was really tame. 
A hillbilly called him a black son of a bitch 
And didn't lose his teeth, a screw who knew Hard Rock
>From before shook him down and barked in his face
And Hard Rock did nothing. Just grinned and look silly. 
His empty eyes like knot holes in a fence. 

And even after we discovered that it took Hard Rock
Exactly 3 minutes to tell you his name,
we told ourselves that he had just wised up,
Was being cool; but we could not fool ourselves for long. 
And we turned away, our eyes on the ground. Crushed. 
He had been our Destroyer, the doer of things
We dreamed of doing but could not bring ourselves to do. 
The fears of years like a biting whip,
Had cut deep bloody grooves
Across our backs.

Share |

Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 8166 times | Comments and analysis of Hard Rock Returns To Prison From The Hospital For The Criminal Insane by Etheridge Knight Comments (47)

Hard Rock Returns To Prison From The Hospital For The Criminal Insane - Comments and Information

Poet: Etheridge Knight
Poem: Hard Rock Returns To Prison From The Hospital For The Criminal Insane
Volume: The Essential Ethridge Knight
Year: Published/Written in 1968

Comment 47 of 47, added on April 7th, 2015 at 1:46 PM.
opCITOnolnDRfLNfHoe

bLlq07 Thanks - Enjoyed this blog post, is there any way I can receive an update sent in an email every time you publish a new post?

nick crorkz from Denmark
Comment 46 of 47, added on April 7th, 2015 at 2:30 AM.
OnPsouahAyHK

dQWY57 I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :)

nick crorkz from Ghana
Comment 45 of 47, added on January 15th, 2015 at 9:47 PM.
wZrbqsXyUwRHLlSF

Zk65PJ As I web-site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling great , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

crorkz linkz from Czech Republic

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Hard Rock Returns To Prison From The Hospital For The Criminal Insane, has received 47 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Knight Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links