There are many sources of inspiration. Quick proverbs and witty comments found in fortune cookies, those "Poetry in Motions" poems on the trains just to name a few. I doubt there will be another influential poem as " Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminally Insane". The fist line opens " Hard Rock was known not to take no shit from nobody". I imagined my name in that sentence going down with the greats, being remembered as a person that was fearless and feared. When I first read the poem I read it over and over until I practically memorized it. I even wanted to read it in class because I was the only one who could do it justice. Hard Rock was the jail martyr and hero. It was looked up to by the prisoners and feared by the guards. He was so bad that in order to control him " half his brain was removed" to be replaced with electricity. It must have been real fear to do that to someone. .
Although I don't believe that Hard Rock actually existed, I know he was alive in spirit. He is and was the drive and ambition that many African- Americans have today. Hard Rock is the person we become inside when we fell wronged for being black. Some of us let him out. When I read the line " Ol Hard Rock! Man, that's one crazy nigger." I thought back to the time in MACY"S when this older woman and her daughter grabbed their purses. While they yelled at me " Don't we give you enough for welfare? Do you have to rob us too?" I was stunned and amazed, motionless and confused. If I had been Hard Rock I would have tore them apart. But I was liked one of the prisoners in the poem, wanting to live thorough someone who was as tough as I wanted to be. While in my state of motionless, a large black woman came and yelled back at them " she wasn't stealing from you nasty women" and " your going to hell for talking to her like that". She was my Hard Rock, the way she swooped in there and made them walk off.