Category Archives: Poetry

Hell, since I’m posting poems I wrote about depression

Written sometime between 11pm and 7am at the what?  Roadway Inn? motel, anyway, Grants, New Mexico.    Probably 2002, 2003.  Hell, it wasn’t me who was depressed.  Can’t recall what inspired this:

The Voyeur

Soul sucked darkness from eternity
Fashioned this, my tiny room;
This monumental construct of infirmity;
This animated tomb
With a peephole to observe
The profanity:
The bell shaped curve
Of insanity.

From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003, NineLives Press, Jack Purcell

Sylvia Plath and so many other suicides

Hi readers.  Someone female sitting in the lobby late one night tossed The Bell Jar aside and groaned a curse.  Headed for the wagon yard, I reckons.  So I picked up Plath’s tome and read enough to remember everything else I ever knew, ever wanted to know about Sylvia Plath.  Most vividly I remembered a poem, Daddy, by Ms Plath.  Some University of Texas poetry course caused me to write a ten page paper about it once.

I learned to hate the thought Sylvia Plath and her lot shared this planet with regular human beings.  And after reading a while on Bell Jar, chunking it, I wrote this:

Virus of the mind

The drumbeat litany of hatred
And blame;
Of smug mindless naiveté
Numbs the mind.
Alienation is a welcome gift
From the universe
When it involves the inability
To identify with THAT.

The preoccupation with death
As though death is an unnatural state,
Created by a dark maker for the shallow purpose
Of providing a source of terror and sadness
For tiny humans;
Leaves me with a yearning:

Just once I’d like to see a poem
Just once.
A poem full of truths:

“I gave you permission
to hurt me and make me angry;
because of my illusions and expectations
you never agreed to satisfy
and didn’t
now I’m angry.

“I wanted you to behave a certain way.
Because I wanted it, I demanded it
In my expectations of you
without saying so.

“I wanted you to give up your choices.
I didn’t want it
because giving them up would make you
happier
Or more fulfilled.
I just wanted it because I wanted it.

“I’m used to getting my way.
I’ll hate you if I don’t get it.

“I’ll hate you fiercely
and if that doesn’t work
I’ll threaten to kill myself
Just to get you back.”

Or,

“I’m angry.  I’ve always been angry.
Life isn’t fair and it pisses me off.
I haven’t gotten everything I want.
Sometimes my parents weren’t kind to me;
Didn’t give me what I wanted.

“I talk to my friends and they’re angry, too.
The more we talk the more we realize life isn’t fair
And it pisses us off.

“We talk among ourselves
About how cool it would be
To kill some of those flawed bastards
We don’t like.

“We savor our anger; our hatred
We wallow in it
And think of different ways we’d like to kill
The bastards we don’t like;
How much we’d enjoy killing.
We all know
Because took a voice vote.

“Some nerd who wears his glasses crooked
And isn’t cool;
Some football jock who gets all the girls
We’d like to get;
We hate the girls and the jocks.

“Some sarcastic adult who isn’t cool
And doesn’t respect our views
About how the world is.

“We’d like to kill them all.
We took a voice vote
And we all agree.”

“We haven’t studied much
Nor read much
Nor lived much
Nor listened much
But that doesn’t keep us
From knowing how life is;
How life should be.”

“We’re angry and we’d like to kill them all!
We took a voice vote.

“And by God you’ll see
You’ll be sorry
When I kill myself!”

And the Ted Hugheses of the world , the Daddys

Sort through selective memories to avoid the truth

About this creature they loved.

From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003 Jack Purcell

Suicide: Make it count, son. There’s money to be made.

Hi readers.  Shortly after I came back to town after The End of Life As We Know It and the Y2K I gave myself [you can probably find the stories of that by searching the blog for Y2K] I went to work graveyard shift.  Travel Lodge, maybe, or Motor Inn, night clerk.  11pm-7am.  That story’s here somewhere, too.

Those nights in that motel were always long, sometimes interesting, never boring.  At least not to me, but I don’t recall ever having been bored this lifetime.

One night a guy came down from his room and sat in the lobby, just wanted to talk.  He was in town as part of a team cleaning up a particularly messy suicide.  That’s what he did for a living.  Travelled all over the place where suicides happened and left a terrible mess, maybe a hazardous one.

Interesting guy, with a perspective about suicide and life that I mightn’t agree with, but am glad I encountered anyway.  So sometime one of those long nights later I wrote this thing I might have once called a poem:

Industry

Brain soup on steel rails,
Creosote and gravel
Is tasteless and inconsiderate.

What a waste, you say.
It keeps people employed
I say.

Lawsuits, insurance forms
Police reports
Accident reports
For a non accident.

Clerks, cops, lawyers
Funeral directors
Morticians
And the little guy.

Someone has to clean up
Those brain and bloodstains
On the walls and carpets;
Pick the bone fragments
Out of the doorframe
With a pair of needle nosed pliers;
Plug the holes
Re paint. 
Mop up those
Sidewalk body fluids
Untangle the lariat
Or phone cord
From the light fixture
Scrub bathtub
crimson rings.

Someone has to manufacture
Sleeping pills
Bullets
Razorblades
Ropes.

And hospital beds
For the faint of heart.

Some of that’s still
Made in America
(Good quality, too
And I’m damned proud
To say it.)

It’s hard times.
A man has to go where the work is.

What a waste, you say.
It keeps people employed
I say.
It’s commerce.

From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003, NineLives Press, Jack Purcell

Old Jules

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Missing a couple of  days now.  Hopefully she's just on an extended adventure, but she's got Hydrox and me missing her a lot.  Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur.  But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water. Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here.  Jack

Missing a couple of days now. Hopefully she’s just on an extended adventure, but she’s got Hydrox and me missing her a lot. Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur. But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water.
Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here. Jack

The Cat in the Wood – Archibald MacLeish

The cat in the wood cried farewell cried farewell
Farther and farther away and the leaves
Covered her over with the sound of the leaves
And the sound of the wood O my love O my love
Farther and farther away and the sound
Of leaves overhead when I call to you
Leaves on the ground.

Socorro, NM, 1996 - 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate.  Beginning the long road home.

Socorro, NM, 1996 – 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate. Beginning the long road home.

Naiad sunset placitas

Executive Privilege

Little Red2

Human brain Fido
Inside his chainlink fence
Joins full moon sky concert
With Rufus and Poochie
Down the block
On their chains;

Cock their ears
And wonder, wonder
Why the faint coyote calls
Why a whiff of rotten elk meat
In the garbage
Drives them wild

Old Jules

Time to lighten up a bit – Communist hell on the Zuni Reservation

I wrote this after a weekend spent with a once-lady-friend who spent her career as a high school librarian on the Navajo and Zuni Reservations.

zuniland1a

Cataclysmic Doggerel
 
 
A schoolmarmish lady in Zuni
Had canines subversive and loony;
Her Communist felines
Made neighborhood beelines
With doctrines both outworn and puny.
 
The KGB cat was a lean
And speckled-nosed beauty serene
In appearance alone
For her countenance shown
Multi-faceted plots as she preened.
 
Her Weathercat history was tops:
She sprayed on dozens of cops
With a Commie aroma
But joined Sertoma
Cavorting with phonies and fops.
 
The ringleader hound was a red
And curly haired rascal it’s said
Whose Trotskyish leanings
And Maoish gleanings 
Were pondered curled up on the bed.
 
Princess Redfeather, they tells
Of this curly red bitch of the cells,
Forsook her fine lineage
To sip of the vintage
of Lenin, and Gulags and hells.
 
The worst of the felines, Bearboy:
Striped and cross-eyed and coy;
Politically weak, 
Had claws that could tweak
Bourgeois carpet, and bedspread, with joy.

The Uncle-Tom dog of the hut
Was Ernie, the gray-bearded mutt; 
Dog-tired, and dogmatic,
He thought,”Problematic:
dog-eared dialectic and glut.”
 
The Uncle-Tom dog she called Ernie
Began as a dog-pound attorney
Commuted from gassing
He pondered in passing
Discretion’s demand for a journey.
 
A calico hound lying dormant,
Most likely a police informant:
A capitalist clown
Took his food lying down
Resisting the commie allurement.
 
The Stalinish kittenish spies
Spread foment and torment and lies
To Indian curs
And mutts that were hers
And War-Gods high up on the rise.
 
Princess and Ernie and, Spot,
And Chester, the narc-dog; the lot:
For half a piaster
Would bring a disaster 
To Zuni, once called Camelot

shalako pot

Old Jules

Chicken Poems

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The C*ckfight post got me thinking it’s time for putting up a few chicken poems.  These are from the Y2k flock, so enough time’s passed to allow me to post them without violating any confidences.  They’re almost surely all dead and gone from the stewpots of history.

El Palenque
El Palenque doesn’t think;
Knows and loves
His only job
And does it;
Perfection without compromise.
Reality
Where owls, hawks
And sly coyotes salivate
Reduced
To lowest common denominator
When the cackling hen
Rises from a fresh-laid egg.

Gallo del Cielo
Gallo del Cielo
Looks at God
Before he dies
Weeps
For eggs
Unlaid
From Araucana
Hens.

Red Tail Hawk

Raptor eye
Picks the kindred soul
Of silky bantam
From the flock

Rosencrantz
(A buff-crested Polish)

False dawn
Full moon
Morning.
Treetop cries
Of Rosencrantz
And Guildenstern
Deceived by
Counterfeit
Light
And sound
Misty memories
Of owl dreams

Old Jules

Philosophy by Limerick – Patrician Solutions

While a peasant ponders

An insect in amber can last
Long after its species is past:
Urge you to clamber
Avoiding the amber
And eat extinct plants for repast.

Old Jules

Beating Dead Horses – Lynching Poor Old Ayn Rand Again

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I gather from the email forwards that someone’s not satisfied Ayn Rand has been accepted as pathetic enough, wrong enough, dead enough to be left alone.  Subject lines by non-psychiatrists, non-psychologists are taking the trouble to declare her a lunatic.

Poor, sad, bitter woman trapped inside a self yearning for men to be hairier chested, more muscled-up, more knock-em-around, slap-em-down and screw ‘em.  More like the good old days, taking what they want from anyone too weak to keep them from it.

I wonder why they don’t just leave her the hell alone.  The 20th Century had no shortage of miserable, confused people, plenty of them writers, submerged in bitterness and misplaced notions of how it could be better.

In some ways every time Ayn Rand and her wishes come up I find myself thinking of Sylvia Plath, similar in so many ways, but with a different slant on the sort of man Rand longed for:

Daddy   
by Sylvia Plath 

 
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time–
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You–

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two–
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
12 October 1962
 

But nobody ever bothers dragging Plath up out of the grave and horsewhipping her.  What the hell.

Old Jules

Philosophy by Limerick – Necessary Evils

Providing for continuity
Needs high salaries and ingenuity
Retirement and health care
Assurance of wealth care
And uniformed Homeland Security.

Old Jules

Incidently, notice the other cats under the cars.  Snitches, most likely.  Especially the one peeking out from behind the front tire.