There seems to be a rule that
well-behaved women never make history.
Bessie Smith taught me that.
ME AND BESSIE SMITH
In a maximum conformity suburb,
I was serving sixteen to life.
This cruel sentence was loosely defined
By two forks and a butter knife.
Famished by life at that genteel table,
I was starved for a real-life bite.
When I heard Bessie sing “Gimme a Pigfoot,”
How could I eat turkey on white?
So I’ll slip into the dark,
I’ll ask the devil to dance,
I’ll take a dive into decadence,
And try to atone for my past.
I’ll laugh all the way to the river,
I’ll welcome its wayward force,
I’ll chase down my rowdy roots,
And find my natural source.