Madness in Kansas (A Wichitan’s Sermon)

 By Jason Bertucci

well, the old devils are at it again
this whole rotten city has gone insane
gangs of criminals mark their territory like dogs
I can’t drive to the store without seeing a black and white
they’re after the meth heads and African Americans
here they shoot before protecting or serving, fuck questions
funky Broadway has more shitty motels than I can count
shameless pimps and working girls litter that old street
on Friday and Saturday nights you can get lucky with $5 on a fish hook
there are drive through Mexican taco shacks open 24 hours a day
whole families work in shifts to keep their heads above water
the Vietnamese populous sticks together like magnets
their dense numbers and markets love my side of town
quasi-legal pills are for sale almost all day at ‘Pho’ something or other
rednecks, hillbillies and hunters are also very prevalent
they’re the real charmers and GQ level dressers too

then there’s the local biker bar with 75% in all leather
clouds of smoke are free and the drinks are over priced
you can find it just past the train tracks and before the Walmart
the only time I’ve been, I met a man that called himself ‘Peanut’
I said my name was ‘Uncle Ras’, both of us also lied about our occupations
it’s like a casino in there, would it kill them to install some windows?
I creatively drove home thinking that it’s a tropical oasis for greasy speed freaks
you must be wondering why and I have a very good reason for being there
on Sunday nights in Wichita you can’t buy beer at a store after 10pm
this is hugely problematic for a procrastinating alcoholic

downtrodden and weary folks are attracted to this town
the homeless have become like street signs
wherever you go you can’t avoid them
they’re usually partnered up with the mentally ill
begging for food or panhandling on the corners
the afore mentioned Walmart is like Disneyland to them
you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve seen there
most are on some form of government assistance
trust me, you don’t want to be there on pay day
it’s like they lost the keys to the madhouse

what I’m trying to tell you is…
I rub elbows with the people, common men and women
we have all races, shapes, sizes and colors

you could call it the ghetto or the hood
is it a cliché or is it actually just a funny fact?
the area I live in is called South Central
maybe every South Central is the same in every city or state?
but somehow I think not.


Jason Bertucci is a freelance writer currently residing in Kansas. His works have appeared in Litterae Magazine, Peaches Lit Mag, The Arlington Literary Journal, Cacti Fur and also in Akashic Books’ ‘Thursdaze’ series. He is an iconoclast and finds inspiration from the Beat writers and quirky musicians. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and loves experimenting with effects and new sounds. Jason collects vintage typewriters and loves the island life. He aspires to be a retired beach bum and live out his days in the Caribbean.