Friday, May 05, 2006
COOL AS ICE
When I got out of high school in 1987 there were two books that I was actively reading: The Autobiography of Malcolm X and a book called "Pimp the Story of My Life by Iceberg Slim". Both books had a profound impact on me.
After I first started reading his work I asked around about him "Oh, he's dead" people would tell me. "He didn't really write those books" others would say.
Long before I knew I was destined to write I was obsessed with the works of Iceberg Slim. So obsessed was I that in 1990 I wrote him a letter. I didn't want the secrets of the pimp game, nope, I ain't cut out for pimpin' yo, I wanted his secret: "Man, where did you learn to do that with words?" I asked.
In all of his books there were certain phrases and metaphors he would use that were absolutely beautiful to me, like this one: "As the sun decapitated the moons head with a golden axe", or this one: "He disappeared like a wisp of smoke."
That was poetry baby, pure poetry.
He never responded to my letter. I still bought all of his books anyway though - except for Mama Black Widow, I just can't read stuff about batty men like that.
Anyway, someday if God is willing, I will write the definitive Iceberg Slim article or book. I'm going to get Peter Muckley's book and see what he's done. I want to get to the real story, I fear that too much time has gone by for me to talk to old cronies or whatever have you but, there is a story there.
They say before he died in 1992 that he sold some six million books - that is incredible.