The Bargain Basement* / Oscar Mardell

A Tragical History of Life, Death, and Record Stores

* among whose hellish circles I have spent
decades, aeons scouring for redemption:
a deal to justify those very years.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

CHORUS, being comprised of ROBERT JOHNSON/ COVEN/ CHARLIE DANIELS BAND/ MICHAEL JACKSON/ DAVID BOWIE/ TOM WAITS/ THREE 6 MAFIA/ SNOOP DOGG/ EMINEM/ KE$HA/ KENDRICK LAMAR/ XXXTENTACION/ LIL PEEP//

SCENE: A Crossroads/ A Hickory Stump/ A Magic Circle/ etc.//

                          Thunder. Enter CHORUS.

CHORUS: When you knocked upon my door/ And I said, “Hello Satan,/ I believe it’s time to go”//[i] The farmer’d lost most all he had/ His crop had failed, his stock went bad/ He cursed his fate, wife and son/ Vowed to sell his soul for dollar one//[ii] The boy said, “My name’s Johnny/ And it might be a sin/ But I’ll take your bet/ And you’re gonna regret/ ’Cause I’m the best there’s ever been”//[iii] “Oh,” I said, “so long” and I waved bye-bye/ And I smashed my soul and traded my mind//[iv] Anything for money/ Would lie for you/ Would die for you/ Even sell my soul to the devil//[v] Anchors away with the Black Rider/ I’ll drink your blood like wine/ I’ll drop you off in Harlem with the Black Rider/ Out where the bullets shine//[vi] There was a man who approached me every night/ When I was resting fast asleep/ He tried to get into my mind// And he promised me power beyond my wildest dreams/ He said he could take me away from the suffering, begging, and life of/ a teen//[vii] I stop breathin’, damn I see deamons…/ A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin/ “I’ll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of/ So relax your soul, let me take control”//[viii] And the dark shall emerge from the firey depths of hell/ And swallow the shallow the hallow who dwell/ In the shadows of all who are willing to sell their souls/ For this rap game…//[ix] You and I made a deal/ I was young and shit got real//[x] What you want, a house or a car/ 40 acres and a mule, a piano a guitar/ anything, see my name is Lucy, I’m your dog//[xi] … my Lord I/ Spoke to a baphomet, he/ Said he would save me if I/ Gave him one thing he needed//[xii] Take what the devil offer/ I got nothing to lose//[xiii]

[EXEUNT into DEEPEST OBSCURITY]


Oscar Mardell was born in London, raised in South Wales, and currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where he teaches English and Classical Studies. His essays and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications, including War, Literature, and the Arts, The Literary London Journal, 3:AM, and DIAGRAM.


[i] ‘Me and the Devil Blues’
[ii] ‘Pact with Lucifer’
[iii] ‘The Devil Came Down to Georgia’
[iv] ‘The Width of a Circle’
[v] ‘Money’
[vi] ‘The Black Rider’
[vii] ‘N 2 Deep’
[viii] ‘Murder Was the Case’
[ix] ‘My Darling’
[x] ‘Dancing with the Devil’
[xi] ‘Alright’
[xii] ‘I spoke to the devil in Miami, he said everything would be fine’
[xiii] ‘Problems’

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