I was raised with the word nigger
in my mouth. In this part of the south
it is considered our silver spoon.
It practically lived in every good joke
I heard growing up in Mississippi.
The only other good ones were about sex.
But I’ve seen bad jokes about niggers and sex
kick all the power of whiskey right off
the front porch, turn it into something so mean,
somebody would have to get smacked around
to stir that power back up again. Sometimes
it was a dog too friendly for drunks.
Sometimes it was a girlfriend or a wife
who wandered grinning into our man-talk
and snickered at all the wrong parts.
If there weren’t no women or dogs around,
us men would pile into a truck and ride off towards
the coon side of town, looking for something funny.