Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Ballad of Omar Little

First of all, I want you to know that I would never presume to write poetry except under duress. But since that's the assignment here at Criminal Minds this week, I'm going to give it a shot.

I've been rewatching some episodes of David Simon's epic crime drama "The Wire" lately, so here is my attempt to express in verse my appreciation of my favorite character in that series -- Omar Little, as portrayed by the great Michael K. Williams.

The Ballad of Omar Little

This is the story of the outlaw Omar Little
The man, the legend, the poet, the riddle
He made his living robbing crack dealers wealthy
With a crew that was tough, well-armed and stealthy

In court, a lawyer accused Omar of exploiting the culture of drugs
Saying that robbing dealers still made him one of the thugs
Omar replied, "I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase, but we're the same
Two different players, but it's all in the game"

Omar loved Brandon and he didn't care who knew
Their love was tested, and turns out it was true
Brandon was captured and tortured by Barksdale's crew
They wanted Omar's hideout but Brandon refused

Stringer Bell's boys struck back at Omar
Taking a shot at him outside church from afar
They blasted away, but Omar did not go down
The only casualty was his mama's Sunday crown

But fair is fair and right is right
And even a fool knows not to involve Omar's mama in such a fight
If you come at the king, you best not miss
So Stringer moved to the top of Omar's most-wanted list

In dapper Brother Mouzon Omar found an unlikely ally
Mouzon quickly concurred that Stringer must die
Omar pumped his sawed-off shotgun and Mouzon drew a bead
And when the smoke cleared, all Omar said was, "Indeed"

But you can't wage war with everyone
If you hope to live many days in the Baltimore Sun
Like so many gunslingers before him who achieved renown
A kid trying to make a name shot Omar Little down

Omar played the game hard, but he played by his rules
He never robbed civilians like those other fools
And so, to Omar I dedicate this ode
Because, in the end, yo, man gotta have a code

Happy New Year everyone!


Joshua Corin said...

Love it!

Here's my favorite too.

Happy New Year!

Reece said...

Thanks, Josh. I could have gone with McNulty, but for sheer quotability, you just can't beat Omar.

Happy New Year to you, too!

Michael Wiley said...

"gotta have a code" -- Great words for the New Year, Reece. I hope yours is a happy one!

Kelli Stanley said...

Happy New Year, Reece, and well-done!! :)

The code is what it's all about!! :)


Reece said...

Kelli and Michael -- Thanks, guys! Wishing you both a very Omar New Year!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Almost everyone claims they don't write poetry, yet I've seen some great promise here. Good job, folks!

Shane Gericke said...

I love this poem, and The Wire. One of the best TV shows ever made. And Omar was terrific ... I wish they'd kept him till the bitter end.

Reece said...

I agree, Shane. It was a real shocker when Omar was killed off so suddenly. Wish we'd had one more season of Omar (and The Wire, for that matter). What an assemblage of writing talent on that show -- Pelecanos, Lehane, Price, Simon -- it was the New York Yankees of TV crime writing.

Susan Shea said...

Omar is surely the most unlikely hero in literature (and The Wire was literature) but I'm like thousands of other fans who couldn't help but admire this complex, honorable killer. Thanks for giving Omar the ballad he deserves, Reece. And thanks for keeping the story of The Wire going.