Buffalo Bill


Little Billy is a simpleton,
They say he’s a 5 year steak eating champ – and they are seldom wrong
For the folks down here are very solemn and factual
But he’s a bit alone, you see
All the steak in the world can’t make up for a partner(in crime)

Orphaned at 6, Billy never made it to college
But Billy is a fiesty ol’ chap,
With a belt of soda bottle tops and a frazzled beard
The beard is a hit at Joe’s salon with aspiring young men queuing up to get Billy’s look
But he’s a natural.
They say he trims his beard with stones and wooden splinters.

Legend has it that Billy was born laughing
His mother made a sharp whistling noise, and away she went
Dying of horror at her creation
They say she inspected carefully to confirm whether the beast sprung out of her own loins
Hers is a cry Billy replays in his head.

Our Billy mints counterfeit money but only as a pastime
Immolating the wads while clapping like a deranged madman
Billy is a paragon of virtue, never a mercenary in his actions
But his madness is a town secret
It reverberates inside the chapel’s basement, where future Billys receive their training
Because Billy was never a first generation, just another side effect of Religion and Faith.

Billy slashes pigs for money,
And humans for their delicious cries
There’s a commonality to both – the look of terror preceding the first cut
The furtive caress of his blade
The perspiration.
The pleading eyes.
The flapping of limbs like a beheaded frog.

Billy is kind. He doesn’t prolong their suffering.
A quick cut and their souls transcend the horrors of this earth,
Billy sometimes envies their easy escape
He’s a bit alone, you see.

Billy has no friends to quibble with,
No girlfriends to take out for his favourite MonsterBite burger – with garlic bread and cheese dip on the side
Billy skins his victims, nay, his ‘companions of darkness’ sometimes
He peels off their skins before they decompose and are rendered useless
Billy wears the skins, chuckling like a kid chasing an ice-cream truck.

Billy feels responsible for their lives and fortunate deaths
He believes he can feel every emotion they have ever experienced by wearing their skins
His own spectrum is all monochrome
Billy sleeps peacefully in the skins
But on normal days, he can’t sleep.

Billy still thinks about the day a man with a crucifix dangling on his hairy chest,
Gave him some very private sermons
Now he has black holes of vacuity for dreams
Billy tries to end the misery that is life, for his ‘companions of darkness’

The folks here say Billy is a helpful fella – and they are seldom wrong.

Post script : Normally I don’t like giving descriptions of my poems because art is completely subjective for me. The reader is free to interpret as he/she likes. However, a little background was essential for ‘Buffalo Bill’. Inspired by Thomas Harris’ novel The Silence Of The Lambs (1988), the character undergoes severe trauma prior to becoming a serial killer. Taking artistic liberty, I have altered the reasons for the trauma. Child sex abuse was rampant within the clergy at the time, and the psychological ramifications manifest themselves in the adulthood of our protagonist.

– A

15 thoughts on “Buffalo Bill

      1. That’s a great insight, love your phrase “microcosm of society’s dark underbelly”- very thought provoking.

        Liked by 1 person

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