Hard Nails

This poem is also a blues poem and it is titled ‘Hard Nails’, and I give this to my character George Hamilton. George Hamilton speaking, or singing, ‘Hard Nails’.

Geo: Hard nails split my frail bones;
Hard nails gouge my tomb from stone.
Hard nails pierce my feet and hands,
Tack me down so I can’t stand.

Hard nails scratch my frail skin;
Hard nails fasten us chin to chin.
Hard nails I want, hard nails I lack – 
Her fingernails ploughin my back.

Drench me down with rum and Coca‑Cola.
The gal I kiss be a pretty pretty colour.
I ain’t got a dollar, but I ain’t got no dolour.
Drench me down with rum and Coca‑Cola.


from Execution Poems (Gaspereau Press, 2001), © George Elliott Clarke 2001, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

George Elliott Clarke Downloads

1Watercolour for Negro Expatriates in France

£0.89

2Look Homeward, Exile

£0.89

3The Wisdom of Shelley

£0.89

4The River Pilgrim: A Letter

£0.89

5King Bee Blues

£0.89

6Blank Sonnet

£0.89

7Blues for X

£0.89

8Everything is Free

£0.89

9Chancy’s Menu

£0.89

10Chancy’s Drinking song

£0.89

11Ballad of a Hanged Man

£0.89

12Hard Nails

£0.89

13The Killing

£0.89

14Negation

£0.89

15Haligonian Market Cry

£0.89

16I. v

£0.89

17IV. ii

£0.89

18VI. i

£0.89

19À Bellagio (II)

£0.89

20La Vérité à Ottawa

No preview avaialable.£0.89

21La Vérité à Ottawa (II)

No preview avaialable.£0.89

22Lust Tussle

£0.89

23Girl

£0.89

24IX/XI

£0.89

25Jean Chrétien

No preview avaialable.£0.89

26I - Calypso

£0.89

27I - Blues & Jazz

£0.89

28II - Blues & Jazz

£0.89

29II - Reggae

£0.89

30I - Anastacia

£0.89

31III - Oxum

£0.89

32To the Poet

£0.89

33'Quemada!'

£0.89

34I Loved You Once

£0.89

35James Brown’s Rhetoric

£0.89

36Tomcat/Pussycat Blues

£0.89

37Sestina April

£0.89

38‘Decisione’

£0.89

39Taxi

£0.89

40from Traverse I – VIII

£0.89

41Valentine

£0.89

42Au Tombeau de Dante By Othello

£0.89

Books by George Elliott Clarke