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‘He Out’
Bulls, Zebras, Lamas and Other Wildlife in Baltimore City

Over on Oliver and Greenmount, near where the annex was, a bunch of MICAH [Maryland Institute College of the Arts] people used to live there. There used to be a huge abandoned lot where these little kids would use all of these mattresses as trampolines, an abandoned stretch where row houses had been knocked down and the rest were not [officially] occupied. I was visiting a friend from the copy cat building and there were chickens in an abandoned lot and running on the streets—three or four chickens walking around pecking at trash [chicken bones, weeds, condoms, blunts].

I did a photo shot of the contents of someone’s black liquor store bag: dirty, balled up tissue, a broken lighter, a Keystone ice 24 ounce can, a pack of Newports [wrapper, all saved on the Cutie smartphone], half smoked cigarettes—that was it. No chickens bones or condoms, surprisingly.

Nero the Pict, Now Mate and Then Bartender of Cutie Homesteader, Interjects

This was on Madison and Saint Paul, close to the Washington Monument.

It was around 2001-2002 the middle of summertime. I lived on the third floor of an apartment building. It was hot as hell out and I couldn’t sleep, so I grabbed a beer and went downstairs to sit out on my front steps to get some air and cool off.

I had to work the next morning, so it would have been two or three in the morning.

I was not drunk or under the influence of any substances, a half of can of beer in the heat.

I heard galloping horse hooves, like in a western move. It really, truly was some Roy Rogers shit. I probably heard the hooves for three or four seconds. Madison is the street that will connect you to the jail and it goes in only one direction, west.

I see this horse, dark colored, fairly big—a big dark horse—but the thing that stuck out to me was who was on it, riding bareback through the city—dude had corn rows, long-ass braids really, medium complexion, wearing that era’s hoodrat fashion, the Galaxy Rea—big white T-shirt—the toddler shorts, the weird-ass baggy shorts hanging off your ass all the way down to the ankles. He had sneakers on, of course.

I felt like the drunk in western movie.

He had his hands at the horse’s neck, no saddle, bridle, no means of staying on, holding onto that mane.

He flashes by. A minute maybe two minutes later, two cop cars come flying with lights and sirens blaring. Given the late hour, they wouldn’t usually have the sirens on. I’d imagine they were chasing him.

I remember laughing a lot, shaking my head, finishing my beer and not getting to sleep.

It was too much heat for a box fan to dissipate.

The author then discusses with Cutie and Nero the release of the Lamas and zebras from the Baltimore City Zoo by hoodrat humanitarians during the April 2015 riots and Cutie pulls up a video she saved on her phone set to rap music as a car load of hoodrats ride along North Avenue in North-Central Baltimore videoing the run of a stockyard bull which escaped its transporters and would soon be shot by cops. In the meantime, the hoodrats were rapping along, videoing their bullish alter ego, with one of them commenting excitedly, “He out!” obviously in a state of empathy over a fellow escapee on the loose.

For this bit of scholarship and also her work on photo archiving the contents of the liquor store bag, Cutie received an urban anthropology “atagirl” from the Violence Guy—pat on the back omitted.

Waking Up in Indian Country: Harm City: 2015

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ShepAugust 24, 2017 12:44 AM UTC

That was Poet on the horse, of course.