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By David Amoruso

Growing up in his hometown of Ybor City/Tampa, Florida, Fred Shrum III always had an interest in organized crime due to the area’s Mafia background. As he read about the violence between 1922 and 1955, dubbed “The Era of Blood”, he penned down this beautiful poem about the gangster lifestyle.

“I wrote this poem from the point of view of a penitent killer," Fred Shrum III tells Gangsters Inc. "He's proud of his past until years later when he realizes the extent of what he has done. He wonders what will become of him. I want readers to understand that gangsters are not mindless - they are people too.”

Tommy Gun Blues 

by Fred Shrum, III 

I can’t stay in 

I can’t get out 

My heart is so hard 

My tears become draught 

Your life is in my hands 

But who holds mine 

My rivers flow with blood 

I am stranded in time 

From across the gaping void 

The light becomes clear 

You realize with a start 

There is no time for fear 

My life will soon end 

It’s a price I must pay 

On the road of existence 

I turned the wrong way 

I will carry my burdens 

Like a head in a noose 

Just cannot shake 

These Tommy Gun Blues 

Asked about the gangster he finds the most interesting, Shrum III answers: “Santo Trafficante Jr. fascinates me the most. He had most of the east coast on lockdown and yet was soft spoken. On his deathbed he made interesting remarks about being involved in one of the Kennedy assassinations.”

You can follow Fred Shrum III on Twitter and Facebook and visit his website at Fredshrum.com.

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