This brief poetic statement speaks volumes about the dangers of alcohol.


Ask The Smart Guy

Who is the most famous poet in the world?

Poetry sucks for the most part when dissected under Smart Guy analysis. I donít know why anyone writes poetry because there is no money to be made and you get hassled to enter contests where everyone is a winner if they buy an expensive book. I did like a famous poet named Sylvia Plath because I could understand her. She was a depressed, frustrated individual who ended up killing herself at age thirty, so that could mean she was a psycho which is why I understood her. I only knew one famous poet. So from my view, the most famous poet in the world was a man named Coochie Butler. No one else probably knows his name, but he was famous inside the Florida prison system.


I met Coochie Butler while roaming through Florida in 1968. He was on parole for armed robbery and had decided to become a successful poet. We spent the summer in Panama City working as busboys at a Sambo Restaurant. He would arrive at my apartment each day at four in the morning to use my typewriter. Coochie was a big, dangerous-looking man with a bunch of tattoos and a head the size of a watermelon. He had quit school after the fourth grade, so he was dumber than dried lava, but since he thought I was a Smart Guy, we got along fine.


Coochie always had a bunch of money he shared with me. This was unusual because we made the same salary at the restaurant. But there were a lot of armed robberies in Panama City that year. We parted company at the end of the summer when he decided to become a better criminal. He succeeded, in his own mind. I believe a successful criminal is one who doesn't get caught. Since Coochie spent over half his life in prison, I thought he should have tried another line of work. He wasnít able to support himself with poetry.


Coochie was executed in Florida in1976. His mother sent me the charred original of his short poem, Them Thar Roses, written moments before his death. No analysis is required to understand this one. Coochie could write under pressure.


Them Thar Roses by Coochie Butler


Them thar roses, I got them free

Them thar roses, Are all for me

Them thar roses, From mom and dad

Them thar roses, Sure make me glad

Them thar roses, Sure do smell

Them thar roses, Are finer than hell

Them thar roses, You can see

Them thar roses, I'll take with me

Them thar roses, Sure are fair

Sitting on my lap, In the 'lectric chair



Cootchie Butler in 1968

A dangerous man who appreciated fine flowers.

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