Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ron Roman writes

“Hillbilly Veteran Meets the Devil on Halloween”

Saw Satan in my ancestors’ cemetery one eerie Halloween night,
Sonafabitch sat atop my mama’s tombstone howling with delight.
Crouching on all fours by my mommy’s grave site,
Bright flames shot out of flared nostrils under full West Virginia moonlight.

He just sat there, diddling with his pitchfork of gold,
Pure essence of evil, a sickening sight to behold.
Smelling like cow dung, and pointy of tail,
His eyes blazed like burning coals, with fingers like nails.

He spied me under the moonlight, and spit out in a heartbeat,
See you’re a veteran; can tell by the combat boots on your feet.
You’ve got yourself your Colt .45, thinking you’re hot stuff with that,
And look cocky as hell, wearing the Old Glory patch on your silly Army hat.

Tell you what, you stupid hillbilly, I’ll make you a wager or two,
Bet I’m a better shot with that Colt .45, better even than you.
Wager you my pitchfork here, made of pure gold,
Or I’ll take your soul and Old Glory patch with me; now this dare you’ve been told.

I said, OK, Devil, you don’t frighten me a bit,
Take you up on your wager; know you’re just full of sh*t.
Tried to keep my bladder from wetting my torn Army pants,
Was scared as the dickens, worse than hearing my first sergeant’s rants.

I know you’re the Devil, and how much you love sin,
Yet I swear on my mama’s tomb there, this challenge I’ll win.
I may be a hillbilly, but stupid I’m not,
You’re not taking my soul or Old Glory, not even my hillbilly snot. 

My kinfolk are buried here; many have sinned worse even than you,
But at least Sunday morn, they’d wear out the local Baptist pew.
Mammy, Pappy, Aunt Millie, moonshiner Uncle Charley all laid out here to rot,
Now pushing up daisies, in this West Virginia backwater lot.

He stared at me under full moonlight, then cracked his devilish grin,
And with hands like eagle talons, stroked the pointy beard on his chin.
I heard enough of your backwoods blather, it’s time to begin,
Prepare to lose your soul and Old Glory, attached by your stupid Army hat pin.

He said, See those distant jack-o-lanterns of the green-yellowish hue?
I’ll show you I can hit them, yes, better than you.
He hopped over, and clasped with his talons my old Colt .45,
Said, Show you what Satan can do, ‘cause I’m sick of your hillbilly jive.

Took aim at the carved pumpkins; squeezed out many a shot,
Blasted all but one, and as marksmen go was pretty damned hot.
Came my turn to show him, I reloaded my gun,
Reflecting upon his wager, thought I might try to run.

Chin spittle dribbled down when he said, You saw what I did to those pumpkins,
Now let’s see what you got, you stupid-ass country bumpkin.
Amidst shining stars straight overhead, I steadied my old faithful gun,
Since standing knee-high to Pappy’s britches, was the best shot in the woods bar none.

Gunshots echoed throughout the valley, by the pond, corn fields, pastures and streams,
But never did I think I’d hit all of my marks, not even in my wildest of dreams.
Satan knew he was beaten; his match he had met,
In this squirrel-hunting mountain hick, and Army combat vet.

Told him, My Pappy and drill sergeant taught me to be better than the best,
Go against my hillbilly code, and go down like the rest.
This combat vet’s veins bleed for Old Glory’s colors, the red, white and blue,
And he’ll die for all things American: Elvis, Budweiser, Kim Kardashian, too!

Devil, you see this hillbilly shed his blood to keep America free,
You can go straight back to Hell now, you slimy SOB.
I told him, Keep your filthy pitchfork of gold, as he let out a bloodcurdling moan,
Just don’t you ever again squat on my mama’s gravestone! 

gothic devil
 St. Augustine and the Devil  -- Michael Pacher


  1. West Virginia is one of the poorest, most rural states in the US. Elvis Presley, the "King of Rock and Roll," was an American singer and actor whose records have sold more than 600 million copies. Budweiser is an iconic brand of American beer that accounts for nearly 1/2 of US sales of the beverage. It is called the "King of Beers," in imitation of the brew that has been made in České Budějovice ("Budweis" in German), Czechoslovakia, since the town's founding in 1245 by Königreich Böhmen's ruler Ottokar II, which has been called "The Beer of Kings" since the 16th century. Kim Kardashian is a reality television star, whose "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" has aired since 2007, and the husband of rapper Kanye West. She earned over $53 million in 2015, while her husband has sold more than 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads (and picking up 21 Grammy Awards
    in the process). Bishop Augustinus of Hippo Regius (modern Annaba, Algeria) was one of the most important Christian theologians. His mother was a devout Christian, and his father converted on his deathbed; they were Berbers but completely assimilated Romans. Before his re-conversion at 32, Augustinus had been a Manicheee (Manicheanism, based on the dualistic cosmology of the 3rd-century Persian philosopher whose own parents had been Elcesaites [Jewish christian Gnostics], was Christianity's chief rival as Roman paganism waned.) As a 19-year-old student in Carthago he began a 15-year affair (and had a son) but ended it when he prepared to marry a 10-year-old heiress, but he had to wait two years until she reached the legal marriage age; meanwhile, he took up with a concubine and then, before his wedding, decided to become a celibate Manichean priest. It was during his hedonistic youth that he prayed to be granted "chastity and continence, but not yet." After his death during the Vandal siege of Hippo in 430 he was recognized as the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and sore eyes.

  2. A "hillbilly" is someone who dwells in rural, mountainous areas in the US (mainly the Ozarks and Appalachia, which includes West Virginia) and is often used as a derogatory term. West Virginia was settled in the 18th century by immigrants from Ulster, mainly Protestants from Scotland and Northern England, who were called "Scots-Irish" in the US. In the Scottish dialect, people who preferred isolated lives were called "hill-folk," and a "billy" was a comrade or companion. The "Hillmen" were radical Scottish Covenanters who followed the teachings of Richard Cameron; after Charles II outlawed their movement, tens of thousands of them fled to Ulster between 1660 and 1690. The Covenanters founded their 1st presbytery in North America in 1774. Before the Civil War (1861-1865), Appalachia was not distinctively different from other rural areas of the country, but it retained its frontier characteristics after the war. Appalachians were soon stereotyped as backward, quick to violence, and inbred in their isolation. In 1900 the "New York Journal" defined "a Hill-Billie" as a free and untrammeled white citizen of Tennessee, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him." In 1925 pianist Al Hopkins and his unnamed band recorded 6 sides for Okeh Records in New York; he told their producer, Ralph Peer (who had pioneered field recording in rural Georgia in 1923), "We're nothing but a bunch of hillbillies from North Carolina and Virginia. Call us anything." In this way they became the Hill Billies, and the kind of music they played became known as "hillbilly music" until the 1950s, when the music industry began labeling it as "country music." At about the same time "white" hillbilly music merged with "black" rhythm and blues to produce what was known as "rockabilly," a term coined in 1956 in a press release promoting "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. (The song peaked at #7 on Billboard's pop music chart and #8 on its R&B chart, while climbing to #5 on its country & Western chart. By 1957 it had sold over 2 million copies and has been frequently covered since then.)


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