The Beautiful Madness of “The System”

In every sense of the word….he’s the epitome of a changed man
and all he wants….is a second chance,
because he knows he messed up the first time,
& when he first went on the grind
he knew he shouldn’t have been out there,
selling dope in the middle of nowhere
like he was born with the hustle inside of him,
and the confidence he had while on that corner
school & sports just couldn’t provide for him,
and he thought it was where he belonged,
but….it didn’t take long
before he figured out that no matter how much love you have for these streets
or no matter how deep
you think your game is,
when these undercover pigs
get you under surveillance with night vision binoculars,
and start watching ya…’re playing right into their hands,
so now he’s praying in the back of E350 van,
because they chose to raid,
on the very next day
after he ‘cooked’,
cuffed, transported and booked,
then sent away
for a year and a day,
for possession of and intent to distribute 3 bags of ‘yey’.
But now he’s……
& patiently waiting
for this store manager to finish reviewing his application,
awkwardly taking
only a few moments after the criminal history review
to tell him
“We’ll call you”.
When….all else falls through
and every last worker on our staff is striking
and our stock falls like lightning
and it looks like we’ll be bankrupt in a week or two,
We’ll call you.
…and although it’s not what’s said,
this is what is implied when the applicant is an ex-felon,
convicted for drug selling
at the age of 18
he’s seen
his fair share of classifieds
and tried
his hand at everything he was qualified for,
even took a couple of college courses when they shipped him up north,
learned how to fix computers, 
so that when he got paroled
he wouldn’t have to go back to the dope hole,
‘Help Yourself’,
is what prison instilled in him,
building him up
…for a let down,
because when his release date rolled around,
he wasn’t anxious to party or kick it with the ladies,
all he wanted was the see his baby
and get a job.
it’s hard
to get up everyday
when you know your application will be turned away,
when no matter what you say,
it can’t erase the ink check marked
in the box
labeled ‘Yes’,
and formerly in distress
he lied about his record……
only for the company to check it
and relieve him of his position,
but only after several of his customers had written
letters about his excellent service,
but now he exits the service
having learned that honesty
is not the best policy
but it probably
will save him the hassle of starting & stopping work,
budgeting a paycheck
then budgeting based on the first…
is a big difference.
The difference between lights and rent,
the difference between paying his probation officer
or paying child support,
in both cases he could end up back in court,
based on a warrant,
and even though all those things matter
what’s really important….
is his sanity.
What’s REALLY important…
is something to drawn out the chorus
of the sweet melodies of the streets calling him back,
like an ex-girlfriend
getting dropped by her new man
comes crawling back,
you know you shouldn’t answer,
you know it’s an offer that you shouldn’t ever entertain,
but who in their right mind turns down a sure thing,
and what you DON’T know…..
what you don’t know is that the third time you hit your button for ‘snooze’,
he was getting assigned in the labor pool,
and afterwards he rushed home to change
because of three afternoon interviews
that all ended the same,
that all feed him the SAME line,
and now his changed mind,
is thinking renege,
he’s…thinking about what he did
and how he got caught up,
but now he’s 1 year smarter
and he won’t make the same mistake,
he won’t sell cooked weight
just straight powder,
he’ll vary his hours
so they can’t track him if they do watch,
he’ll sell from various spots
so they’ll never know where he’ll be,
he just needed to tighten up his game,
not change,
not go straight
because even when he tried to
they didn’t want to hire him anyway!
….and everyday,
this story is lived out.
Someone seeking to turn their life around
is denied that opportunity,
and usually,
they end up as a repeat offender,
or churches welcome them into their ministry centers
and take advantage of them,
handling them
as borderline sweatshop workers
and that’s their service….to the Lord,
as repayment for their sins,
but in reality,
they do it because they know their chances of survival in the job market
is slim,
so how do we bring this madness to an end?
First off,
understand that the fast money & women
is not worth you becoming entangled in ‘the system’,
because when they got you,
they GOT you,
and once they lock you?!
Those bars don’t go away,
so, fight temptation like Cuba & Beyonce,
because we all wanna ball,
second of all,
if you’re already in the system,
take any position
you can get,
it’s not about money….
it’s about confidence,
it’s about getting your mind off the fast knot
you made on the block,
and begin to build your house on a rock
instead of sand,
and overstand  
that it doesn’t matter how much rehab you’ve been through,
it’s obvious by its results,
that they designed ‘the system’…to work against you.



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