zEmmett_Kelly_1953Emmett Kelly

Poem: A Tribe Apart [1] – Brendon Lamont


Sampling high school life from an à la carte menu:

Wrestling is his important sport

Trademark Boston Red Sox hat turned backwards

There’s a “Wild Streak” in the Lamont family

Loves his hobbies of drawing and fly-fishing

School is a game to outfox the adults

Felt really cool on the float, dressed as Fred Flintstone, happy, accepted; it was a blast


Graffiti, God, and Other Meaningful Things:

Buzz of alcohol topped by Phillies Blunt

Escape cares and feelings

Sick of waiting for the money

Out here in the night life is sublime

It is really fun to make trouble


Transforming: from class clown, to class pain in the ass, to bona fide delinquent

Special thrill in owning the darkness

When the art starts rolling you can see what I am all about

Loves his graffiti artists notebook

Sneaked cans of spray paint under his jacket

Go out there, get lots of practice with someone significantly higher skill level

Hollows and throwups, like essences, raw emotion

Laughing Hands: hands of a demented circus clown/outside laughing/inside wearing a frown

Turmoil within his mixed up life are guarantees

Crave being close to extended family; grieve at the miles that separate

Walking wounded of the middle class

Nobody knows his anguish

Bomb everywhere as long as the art is good

Fulfilling sensation of his graffiti adventure slips away, replace by deep sadness


Creating My Own Space:

Long cold winter and descent into darkness

Scribbling is communication: artists draw, other critique – integrating into a community effort

Paradox: Art and vandalism, beauty and ugliness, bravura and stupidity

The thrill of a secret society

Deep in the tunnel of his soul


Underground home for impulses: another arena for anger, acting out, and soulful expression

It’s a bitch that he is locked up

Dad has a bad temper

That evil police woman is destroying everyone’s friendships

Comforts of extended family and rhythms of the Deep South

Less concerned about money, more concerned about staying together as family

Don’t shoot me/don’t talk to me/don’t look at me/don’t touch me/leave me alone

Feared as a wrestler

The Darkness that Enlightens: is your child caught in a failure chain?

School is hell, people are morons – teachers are morons and hypocrites

Stupid rules, like you can’t talk back, though most of the time they deserve it

My prison ball and chain is my backpack

Drugs: it’s all about connections – selling to friends, who sell to friends, who sell to friends

Trickles down, trickles down – it’s all about the money

Who gives a damn about love?  I need some stuff

Closest to work ethic: Do your homework before you get high


I’m not a real junkie: torn up with acid, pot, codeine, hash whatever

Kiss my teacher’s ass? They are all jerks

Money talks, everyone is corrupt, so why shouldn’t I make money illegally?

Deep emotional part seeks God in solace

Cancer, choking, death: God made me mental

The “what if’s” haunt my family

It’s not really wasted potential; it’s still in my brain

Flashes of optimism fade back to regrets and bitterness, to wounds of the heart




[1] Patricia Hersch, A Tribe Apart, NY: Random House, 1998.

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