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“Charlie Pride,” A Poem by Bruce Craven

In Arts & Letters, Creative Writing, Poetry on June 10, 2020 at 6:45 am

Bruce Craven is a member of the Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty in New York City. In addition to directing and teaching in a variety of executive programs, he teaches graduate business students his popular elective Leadership Through Fiction.  His book Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, was published in March 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.  The book is currently being translated into Russian and Turkish. He wrote the novel Fast Sofa (1993) which was published in Japanese and German. He also co-wrote the script for the film adaptation, starring Jennifer Tilly, Jake Busey and Crispin Glover. His collection of poetry, Buena Suerte in Red Glitter will be published in 2019 by Red Dirt Press. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Coachella Valley in California.

 

Charlie Pride

Charlie’s first night was in Dallas. Pride
joined the Willie Nelson package tour.
Marty Stewart told Willie: hire him! To ride
with the boys, Pride’d work for change. Still, you’re
hiring a black country singer…Crash asked, “Don’t you
worry about taking him into Dallas, Fort Worth,
San Antone…all those places?” Redneck rooms
aren’t gonna be happy on (non-Austin) Tejas turf
for Country Charlie from Mississippi.
But Will liked the man’s music. Piss folks off?
“I don’t know,” Shotgun said, “Let’s go see.”
Charlie, at the mic: “Don’t let this permanent tan fool you.” Tough
work to win that crowd, but Pride was strong & good. The South
was his home, too. Post-show, on stage, Willie laid a kiss on Charlie’s mouth.

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