The Ballad of Javier Solis
by Charles Carreon
The DEA came into town,
One dark and slimy day,
Dressed like punker-hippie-
With consecutively numbered stacks
of Treasury-issued cash
To do some deals and add
some meth to Uncle Sammy's stash.
They haunted bars and strip joints
Like real tattooed scum,
They hung around, talked shit
And told pornographic jokes,
Treated Mexes at the bar
Like ordinary folks,
And at suspicious intervals
Got up to take a whiz,
Made faces like they'd copped a buzz,
And were always up for biz.
Well soon they'd rounded up
A nice young man from Nayarit
Who swore his uncle knew a man
Whose crank was pure and sweet,
He tossed off his tequila,
The cops poured him one more,
They set the deal to go down
In a chicken coop at four.
Those doughty DEA guys thought
They'd hatched a nice surprise.
At three o’clock, the backup team
Arrived at their spot on a ridge above
The chicken coop described.
In the dry and dusty valley
The snipers cleaned their sights.
At four o’clock, the narcs rolled up
All bad in their Mustang 5.
With their bag of funny-money,
And swaggering gangster panache,
With their visible guns and hidden badges,
They were ready for anything,
Hoping for action.
Behind a counter in the heat
Sat a man with a poundscale,
A scoop, and some bags,
A heap of some whitish substance,
And a smile as warm as the sun.
The scum looked at each other,
And jerked their guns real fast.
But the Mexican started laughing,
And waved his hands at last.
He wasn't frightened, didn't cry,
And explained in perfect Spanish,
The fertilizer was not that dear,
And there was no need to steal it.
Besides the boss had always said
The police were all their friends.
“What's that guys name?”
A Spanish-speaking cop was quick to ask.
"Oh, he's well known around these parts.
He's called Javier Solis."
Then the man was very helpful,
And showed the DEA
How he mixed the powders and liquids
In a manner he'd well-memorized:
"Two scoops of this, one scoop of that,
Mix well and cook with this.
Decant, then strain, and filter again.
We made several pounds each day,
And at the end of every week,
Solis took it all away,
Bringing beans, tortillas, chile,
Bacon, chicken, cabbage too.
A very good man Solis was,
Kind and honest, just like you.
I'm sure he'd want you to have it,
So take a pound or two."
They took him into custody
But hell, it was no fun.
He knew it was a mixup
And didn't try to run,
Besides, they'd got the name now
Of a local drug kingpin.
They decided they should go back
Undercover for a spin.
Back in town, they quietly whispered
To the guys in the strip-bar toilet
That they sought Javier Solis.
Like a charm, the name
Drew forth laughs and knowing nods.
"Sure," said a dapper fellow
Slicking his hair in the mirror,
"He goes to that one place all the time ...
You remember ese," he says,
Turning to his comrade,
Whose head bobs in agreement,
"It's in that town where the mill gone closed,
A little bar, where I think he owns a share,
Cause him and his homies,
They're always drinkin there."
So they went to the bar in
the town up the road,
And asked if Solis was there.
A helpful fellow answered
"Dude, you missed him,
He was here,
But I know where he's going,
And if you hurry
You might catch him there."
And so they went from town to town,
Chasing old Solis on down,
Till at last their Mustang lights
Revealed a motel by a lettuce field,
Where an old Marine smokin' Chesterfields,
Was watchin’ TV at the manager's desk.
They told him, whispering closely,
They were looking for Javier Solis.
The manager squinted, and twisted his head
And answered “Say that again?”
They repeated themselves,
And when he was sure that they’d said
What he thought they had said,
He started to laugh,
And turned to the screen
Where a charro with a guitar on horseback
Serenaded a girl with long, black hair.
As he smiled with satisfaction, he said,
“That’s the man, right there.”