We've written from time to time
about Justin Booth,
a formerly-homeless poet who lived on the streets of Little Rock for five years after descending into a hell of drug addiction. Booth's poetry, as is the case with the artwork of many haunted souls, simply knocks my socks off, his work full of gritty, graceful takes on the back alley lives of the secret Little Rock where hookers stroll, the damned score dope and tattoo machines buzz. Always reminding one of his hero Charles Bukowski, Booth's an important poet, in my estimation, if for no other reason than the fact that he speaks in an Arkansas drawl about the place most Southern writers never get around to mentioning: the streets of the urban South.
Booth will be the guest of honor at a launch party for his all-new collection
, "Trailer Park Troubadour,"
at Vino's Brewpub on Sunday, Dec. 1
at 7:30 p.m. Booth will read selections from the book that night, and will have copies on hand for purchase. Vino's is located at 923 W. 7th St. in Little Rock.
Just to whet your appetite, here's a poem from Booth's first chapbook, "Hookers, Ex-Wives and Other Lovers." Enjoy.
OLD AGE IS CARRION
Should have died young
like James Dean,
The coolest ones
die for the masses
sacrifice self for mob love,
co-dependent, white pantied
cuties wrestle in the Jungle Room.
The shock value
of teen rebellion
followed by a lifetime of
anti-establishment; fistfights, and felonies,
fashionable leather jackets,
black T's, flashfire love affairs,
girls barely legal,
women shockingly mature,
on art, and literature, and fornication.
Should have died in a motorbike wreck.