THE RAVING — All eighteen verses

The Raving

by Horton Deakins

Once upon a whiskey bourbon, while I watched my ice a-meltin’,
Stacks of pizza boxes littering the floor—
While the dog, her water lapping, suddenly there came a capping,
In the middle of 50 Cent rapping, rapping words that I abhor—
“‘Tis some gangbanger,” I muttered, “capping just outside my door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Yes, I’ll always remember it was the third of September;
I saw a gangsta dismembered, dying on the barroom floor.
I was there to try to borrow the keys to Alejandro’s carro
“Is he dead?” I asked. Sí, claro—tomorrow there will be a war—
These pendejos got it coming and there’s gonna be a war—
We’ll put them down for evermore.

And the smoke of marijuana filled the room of some kid’s mama
Chill me—spill my dollar beer I just bought at the store;
Some old man, his kid he’s beatin’ while curses he’s repeatin’,
“I’m slidin’ the new chain into the lock on my apartment door—
Got me a brand new chain for the lock on my apartment door;—
Got no money for nothin’ more.”

Figured I’d go all out; had to give a shout out,
“Dude,” I said, “or Girlfriend, I was about to take a snore;
Over all the rapping, I heard you out there capping,
That’s not exactly tapping, tapping on my apartment door, Every cat in this block heard you”—here I peeked outside the door;—
Cold black night and nothing more.

Down the long dark hallway, watching, stood there in a daze, trembling,
It ain’t nothing, I’m just dreaming, but they’s never dreams like this before;
But silence is as silence does, I’m tellin’ you I had no buzz,
And the only word that came my way was just a vapor, “A war?”
I mouthed it out, and an echo shot back to me, “A war!”—
Tha’s it—nothing more.

Glad the toilet was so near, I puked my guts up out of fear,
And in a heartbeat came more capping, sounding like a .44.
“C’mon I said, “that can’t be nothing but a car backfiring;
Some gangsta be a hotwire trying, I cry out to El Señor—
Another sip of liquid courage, now protect me El Señor;—
I pray it’s a car and nothing more!”

Pried open the paint-sealed shutter, whores below flirt in the gutter,
From the fire escape stepped a black-clad dude with a sack from the bodega store;
No sound when moving made he; now says he needs a church key;
Just like he owned the place, he guarded my apartment door—
Said he came up from Dallas, keeping watch at my door—
Grabbed a chair and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony dude inducing my sad face into smiling,
Because he wasn’t joking, but a ghastly face he wore,
“Though I know that you aren’t raving,” I said, “you’re really misbehaving,
You’re upsetting me, though you seem to come from the bodega store,
Tell me why the name on your bodega bag says, “Plutonium Store”
But all the dude could say was “Nevermore”

Tripped me out to hear this strange bird talk so straight up,
The dude had to be jiving—no clue what he said it for;
Every renter in the projects no matter what his dialect
Would never ever suspect he’d see such strangeness by his door—
Dude or dude-ess holding watch at his apartment door,
He say his name was “Nevermore.”

But this dark-clad dude, like he was expecting a bust, say only
That one word, crazy high like he just made a score.
I tell you this is one tough nut—He got me down in one deep rut—
Till I exclaimed, “Say whut? Some of my friends live on this floor—
Better get your ass outta here, or they gonna come throw it out the door.”
But the dude just said “Nevermore.”

I’s jacked up by what was spoken, dude sat and flipped a subway token,
“No freakin’ way,” said I, “his bag come from the bodega store
He pickin’ off my wall’s plaster, and paper below it look like New York aster
Loaded his burner fast and racked it faster—Lord, I ain’t never seen such a bore—
Stomach rose up my throat when I see such a huge bore
Hope he don’t pop me never—nevermore.”

I sat on my bean bag for awhile, then I had to crack a smile,
Moved my bean bag right in front of the dude who stared out through my door;
At this range, the guy was stinking, but then I got to thinking
Could this overwhelming smell be coming through the door—
What had this dark, unholy, ghostly, ninja-like dude at my door
Meant when he spat out “Nevermore”?

My guessing gave me pause, but not a word came through my jaws
To the dude who kept his piece in the bag from the bodega store;
This and more was my quest, as I gave my head a rest
On the bean bag’s vinyl cover that the hall light flowed o’er,
But whose faded black vinyl cover with the hall light flowing o’er,
Will he leave? Ah, nevermore!

As I struggled to make a point, I sniffed the smoke of some huge joint
Echoes of “You bogartin’!” haunted the hallways of this floor.
“Junkie,” I said, “your pusher gave you—crazy pills that will not save you
A brief escape—escape and high, and now you think there’ll be a war;
Let me get you a cold brewski, and  forget this stupid war!”
Scary dude said “Nevermore.”

“Gangsta! Word, yo! On the level!—gangsta still, if dude or devil!—
Whether you been told, or whether you just feel the need for war,
All alone, but that don’t stop you, ain’t no cop around to drop you—
You know I ain’t gonna pop you—can’t you just walk out that door?
What the—what the hell you doin’ here?—tell me what you have in store!”
Scary dude said “Nevermore.”

“Gangsta! Word, yo! On the level!—gangsta still, if dude or devil!
Look up!  See who lookin’ at us?  God in Heaven, He got your score—
Pues, digame en Español, ¿Estás borracho de alcohol?
Just go home, you misguided man.  Ain’t no use to start a war—
You just foolin’ your own self now, ain’t no use to start a war”
Scary dude said “Nevermore.”

“Don’t care ‘bout your gang sign, go, dude!” Gangsta, ain’t askin’ you to dine—
“Out into the night, you villain, back to your bodega store!
Leave no body as a token, heed the words that I have spoken!
Leave my simple crib unbroken!—blow my pad, walk out my door!
Don’t you tear my soul apart, and haul yourself right out my door!”
Scary dude said “Nevermore.”

And the dude, he unremitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the creaky, broken chair in front of my apartment door;
And his eyes, they just keep staring, like a gangsta that is daring,
And the hall light on him glaring casts his shadow on the floor;
And my soul within that shadow lies there, lies there on the floor
Won’t be lifted—nevermore!

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