We live in an age when every other hip hop artist fancies themselves a "gansta," but Bonnie Parker was the real deal. The famed outlaw wrote the poems, fittingly enough, in a bank book taken from the First National Bank of Burkburnett, Texas, and titled the collection "Poetry From Life's Other Side." Reported the Scotsman ("Poems penned in prison by gangster Bonnie go under hammer," 5/16):
The Prostitutes Convention tells of prostitutes named West End Rose, Lonesome Lou and Subway Sue who meet for a talk but scatter when police turn up. The Fate of Tiger Rose tells of a woman, now growing old in jail, who was once a "woman of shame/who played a hard game". It ends with a shoot-out.Parker wrote the poems in the Kaufman County Jail east of Dallas, and gave the book to a jail guard whose descendant put it up for auction. Here's a taste of Parker's poetry:
In Bravery, she wrote: "No-one must know how I tremble/When I hear a siren moan/Just fearing for you darling/And hoping you're safe at home."See more background on Bonnie Parker , an account of a Barrow-gang accomplice, and the Wikipedia entry on Bonnie & Clyde. Also, here are some of Bonnie's poems online:
The Trail's End, one of the poems that had been previously published, is typical of Parker's "gangster ballads". It reads: "Pat O'Neal, at the Paris Wheel/Makes a grab for a hidden 'gat'/McCall let go and Pat sags low/As the 'sub' went rat-tat-tat."
UPDATE: An anonymous writer makes some valid points in the comments about whether this post was an appropriate subject for Grits. I responded, explaining my reasons for including it, but I'd be curious as to others' opinions. Thanks!