Monthly Archives: September 2022

No Love Lost for Wisdom

No Love Lost for Wisdom


He was a solid man
Probably the best that she could do
Thought she knew what she wanted:
If he was not exactly that
A lot she didn’t want he wasn’t either
And she needed to get married
Didn’t love him but she liked him
And he respected her
Yes he did.

He was a solid man
Three kids later
When he came home late for dinner
Because he got to talking to some friends
Though he never talked to her
And forgot to pick her up at the airport
No she didn’t like him much
But he would do

He was a solid man
With his kisses and his love on autopilot
Would have sent her chocolates
And a card but he forgot
Things were fine around the house
And no.  She didn’t like him.
Didn’t like him.

He was a solid man
A good father to the kids
They grew up and he stayed distant
But he always took them fishing
And they forgot her birthdays
Same as he forgot the anniversaries
No. No. No she didn’t like him.

He was a solid man
But she filed for a divorce
That’s when she figured he would surely
Want to talk but he didn’t
And he didn’t want to think about divorce
He was happy with the marriage
Sent her roses and a pretty box of candy
And she wondered why she ever thought
She liked him.

From Poems of the New Old West, Jack Purcell, copyright 2002

Ask Old Jules: Noble profession, That one answer, Why bother living, Why life is shallow, Mending broken trust

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Old Jules, what is the most noble profession a person can have?

Sewage treatment plant operator

Old Jules, if you could know the answer to one thing (anything) in the world what would it be?

Best answer: I’d like to know what actually happened with the Lost Adams Diggings.

Old Jules, if there is no survival after death, why do we bother living?

The default position is that we are living. The bother isn’t in whether to continue what we’re already doing. The bother would be whether to take active measures to cease living. Every instinct a human being has argues for attempting to survive if possible. Making a decision to end the life and following through with it requires a considerable bother. That’s where the entire ‘reasoning’ fabrication concerning suicide runs into a tree because, while you mightn’t be able to ‘reason’ that life is worth living there’s something in your mind and your guts telling you it is. You have no way of actually knowing it isn’t without fabricating all manner of thought structures over-riding what you know in a convincing way at a fundamental level.

Old Jules, why is life so shallow and empty?

If you go through life wearing a pair of welding goggles to block out 90 percent of the light you’ll be able to get through it and you’ll be able to weld. Those welding goggles aren’t something someone else put on you to cover up reality. You decided all you wanted to be was a welder and nothing anyone said was going to make you take them off and try to see anything but what’s happening at the working end of your welding torch. Life’s a shallow, empty place for a person wearing welding goggles.

Old Jules, can a broken trust be mended?

Trust is an attempt to narrow the options of another individual by virtue of your own expectations and an implied ownership. There’s a goodly chance the person never agreed to be owned, nor to have the options narrowed in that particular way, or if such an agreement was made, that the person chose differently at a later time. Trust can be mended back as many times as you wish to do it and expectations can re-emerge as many times as it takes to convince you that you can’t succeed at narrowing the options of another person by owning them.

Quick Pick Candidates

Jack wrote this in September, 2006:

Jeanne told me the other night on the phone that Ann Richards is dead.

I had a flash of memory of a movie I saw a long time ago, first scene of which was a funeral.  Everyone there went up for a close, squinting look at the corpse.  Someone even poked it with a needle, just to make sure the corpse was really a corpse.

I never set high store by Ann Richards, though I don’t suppose she was any worse than most of the career politicians.  But it’s comforting to know that if she’s ever going to be in the White House, it won’t be this lifetime.Fifteen, seventeen years ago I was standing in a poll-booth looking at a ballot.  It suddenly dawned on me there was nobody on the ballot I would prefer to see in office over some name picked randomly out of the phone book.

That’s when I quit bothering to vote.  That’s also why I quit bothering to vote.

Selecting from a set of names, none of whom you can endorse without being overcome with guilt and a feeling you’ve betrayed the country you love isn’t my idea of fulfilling a civic duty.

  • I believe everything the Republicans say about Bill and Hillary Clinton.
  • I believe everything the Democrats say about this guy now, step 2 of the 3-step Bush Dynasty.
  • I believe everything Todd and Konane say about the rad-lib Demos in Congress and the Senate.
  • And I feel an absolute certainty I believe whatever it is the Demos in Congress and the Senate are saying about the Republicans.

The only time those folks can be depended upon to tell the truth is when they’re talking about one-another.

I don’t want any of them in office.

I think it’s time for a set of Quick Pick candidates on every ballot. 

Guys in black helicopters swoop down and snag a pedestrian:

 “Mr. President, would you come with us, please.  You won’t need that wig and lipstick where you’re going.”

“Excuse me, Madam Congressman.  Would you mind leaving that brat with the woman beside you and come with us?”

“Take off that bib full of nails and put down that hammer, Senator.  You have a job to do.”

“No.  We’s not looking for a good time, Congresswoman.  And you are not under arrest.  Please put on something longer and less shiny and get into the helicopter.”

“If you’ll turn down that boombox, Mr. Vice President, you’ll hear us better…..Thanks.  We need you to turn your hat around and come with us.”

“Interesting piercings and tattoos, Governor.  If you’re hmmm carrying anything you want to get rid of you might step into that restroom over there for a moment.  We’ll wait.  We’ll all be going through some metal detectors and past a lot of sniffer dogs. ….. Come back here!  Get him!” 

Heck of an improvement over what we have now.


Mail Coach Pillar

Mail Coach Pillar

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Roadside somewhere in South Wales

This pillar is called
Mail Coach Pillar and erected
As a caution to mail coach
Drivers to keep from intoxication
And in memory of the Gloucester
Carmarthen mail coach
Which was driven by
Edward Jenkins on the 19 day of
December in the year 1835, who
Was intoxicated at the time
Drove the mail on the wrong side of the road and going at
Full speed or gallop met a
Cart .  Permitted the leader
To turn short round to the right hand
And went down over the
Precipice 121 feet where at the
Bottom near the river it came
Against an ash tree when the
Coach was dashed into
Several pieces
Colonel Glynn of Glanbrian
Park, Daniel Jones Esq. of
Pennybone, a person of the name of
Edwards were outside
David Leon D Harris Esq. of
LLandover, Solicitor and a lad
Of the name of Kernick were inside
Passengers and John Compton RD

I have heard where there is a
A will there is a way one person
Cannot assist many but many can
Assist a few as this pillar will
Shew which was suggested
Designed and erected by J bull
Inspector of mail coaches, with
The aid of 13 pounds
Sixteen shillings and six pence
Received by him from forty one
Subscribers in the year 1841.

The work of this pillar was
Executed by John Jones
Marble stone mason Llanddaroe
Near Carmarthen
Painted and restored
By Postal Officials 1901”

from Poems of the New Old West
Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

Ask Old Jules: Existence of soul, Narrowing of mind, Doing wrong?, What to accomplish before death, Disappointment in humanity?

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Old Jules, do you believe the soul exists?

Seems to me the problem isn’t whether the soul exists. There’s sufficient evidence it does to make a convincing case for it. The question is whether the body exists and what the hell the soul is using it for.

Old Jules, should the goal of life be to rid the mind of all activity which is of no useful application?

If you’d like to narrow your mind down in that way it could be your goal. A better goal would be to keep good tires on whatever transportation you depend on, check the brake fluid regularly, change the oil every 3000 miles and keep an extra air cleaner and fan belts in the trunk along with a decent toolkit.

Old Jules, is what I’m doing wrong? I’m 17 year old senior in high school, and I happen to be in love with a 27 year old man. Some people say it’s wrong but i find older men more attractive. Now my mom somehow found out and she flipped at me. Because the guy i happen to be in love with is involved in organized crime, drug and sex trafficking. 

No big deal if you don’t mind the fact they’ll probably find your body in a ditch somewhere or you’ll end up wasting away with HIV in a whorehouse spreading the wealth around. Life is full of the challenges we give ourselves.

Old Jules, what is one thing you would like to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to wear out all my clothes, eat all the food I’ve got around here and outlive my cats and chickens. I’m not big on waste and I’ve got a contract with the animalcules.

Old Jules, do you ever feel disappointed in your fellow man? In yourself?

Nope. My expectations of my fellow man are fairly well in tune with what my fellow man is able to rub up against my reality. As for myself, no again. I just lean in and keep doing the only things I know how to do.


Jack wrote this at the end of September, 2006:

Today I was finishing up battening down the hatches on the old adobe for winter.  The last week or so it’s been into the low 40s a couple of times, nights, so I’ve been pecking away at putting up plastic over the insides of most of the windows to cut down on the amount of wind blowing through the house.  I came across some car-covers free a while back when the lady was wrapping up at the flea market and was going to haul them to the dump because they didn’t sell.

I’m cutting up those to staple over the plastic in hopes it will provide insulation.  Last year it got cold enough in here to impress me with my pansyish non-pioneer spirit, even with Mexican blankets hung over all the windows and the front door on the inside.

Anyway, I ran spang out of staples and plastic, mid-job, so I toodled down to Rio Rancho Home Depot to buy more.  The clerk asked me in passing, “Does it look like snow out there to you?”

I’d been asking myself the same question almost from daybreak onward.  “Pretty early for it.  Almost never get snow before the first of October.  But it’s happened.”

Clerk laughed, handed me my bag, and I headed back through Bernalillo toward the mountains.

As I passed the Dollar General I was reminded I was running short of tortillas and a couple of other incidentals, so I swung in.  I always take a look at their half-price clearance items, which are dirt-cheap and sometimes something a man could use.

There on the half-price clearance table was a plastic package with a hand-crank flashlight and a handcrank AMFM Weather radio.  $12 regular price.  Hmmm.

Some little voice in my mind says, “Jack, old man, batteries are dead on your flashlight, and likely are dead on your radio.  You need to buy that $6 package of flashlight and battery just in case the power goes out for a few days.”

So I put it in the plastic box hanging off my arm, picked up a few extra cans of canned fruit and fruit c*cktail, and headed for the checkout.  Clerk knows me by sight and we’re amiable.  “You think it looks like snow out there?”

“You been talking to the guy down at Home Depot?”

Blank look.

“Guy down there just said the same thing.  I think you might be right.  That’s the reason I’ve picked that half-price radio and flashlight off your clearance table.”

Another blank look, then he squints at the plastic thingee with all that in it.  “Was this on the clearance table?”


He calls the manager over.  “Is this half price?”

“No.  The half-price stuff was all the summer stock… barbeque things and that.”

I scowl.  “Okay.  I’m not paying $12 for it.  Don’t ring it up.”

“You’ll buy it for $6?”  She grins at me.  We clown around  some when I’m in there.

“Five and a half.”


“Sold.  Ring it up.”

Sooooo.  I ended up with a hand-crank charging flashlight and radio.

The hosses are getting thick coats of hair.  I’m thinking it’s going to be an early, bull-goose of a winter.

Mainly the radio and flashlight thing.  I confess I haven’t gotten a good look at what the hosses  are doing, hair-wise.



Edited in: 

As I re-read this entry I noticed the censor had edited out the nasty part of the word c*cktail.  So here I was claiming I’d bought some fruit tail, which I might if I ever come across any, but this wasn’t the day for it.  That old censor’s always catching me out when I try to use that nasty word, full-c*cked pistol, c*ck fights, and now fruit c*cktail.  Lucky thing for me that old censor’s on the job.  Otherwise I’d be saying just awful stuff.

A Very Early Piece of Jack’s Writing: The Death of Man

The Death of Man

  The earth was silent now, for the first time since the birth of man. The bombs had come, merciless, unsparing, leaving only the maddening silence, nonexistent for five millenniums. 
  The planet stormed with despair, cried with grief at the death of her firstborn, for she had nursed him to a fast growth, then while still a child, he had killed himself. For ten thousand years she had worked slowly, tediously, developing her son from mindless brute to civilized man, only to lose him at the first touch of adolescence.
  She offered her wood for fuel. He took her coal. She offered beautiful forests for shelter, he stripped them, tilled, and planted the soil. She offered herself, and he reached for the stars. He explored the infinitesimal reaches of the atom, and using this as power, he tore at her bowels, taking all resources.
  He conquered her deepest seas, her highest mountains, and she was joyous, rapturous as is a tree, raped by her own beautiful fruit. He fought himself and his own progress for thousands of years with no great avail. Soon, however, he discovered the bomb. Powered by the smallest of particles, it could unleash the power of hell itself on to the remainder of the beautiful planet; the flower of the cosmos. The fruit of the earth did not linger, however, and he dealt himself a death that greatly matched his short life, and disappeared from the earth forever.

Jack Purcell

Ask Old Jules: No feelings/emotions, Philosophy, Genesis, Wanting to help, Purpose of Life

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Old Jules, is it Possible to have no feelings or emotions?

No. But it’s possible to train your feelings and emotions to sit in the passenger seat and keep their voices down. It’s possible to train what’s driving you to slap them back to where they belong when they try to get hold of the steering wheel or their foots on the gas pedal or brake. It’s possible not to allow them to turn on the windshield wiper, lights or try to work the turn signals.

Old Jules, do you think philosophy is worth studying or not? Isn’t philosophy just opinion?

Philosophy isn’t about knowledge and it isn’t about what people think. Philosophy is about learning to discipline or train your mind to think effectively. If you’d like to learn to think by methods that will help you understand what’s going on around you study philosophy. If you want knowledge study something else.

Old Jules, can the Book of Genesis be taken as an allegory?

Seems to me the problem isn’t whether something doing something that rhymes with something human beings might call a deity might have something to do with the beginning of and running of the universe. It might. My personal view is that it probably does. The problem is whether bronze age nomads had a particularly insightful explanation and whether it’s more worth considering than the lots of other possibilities. Yes, the OT probably has a lot of allegory. Does that allegory relate to anything in modern life outside the minds of people who choose to believe it? Maybe, but more likely it doesn’t. Is it worth reading multiple times and knowing, digesting what it says? I think it is. Otherwise there’s no way of reaching any kind of comprehension of what’s motivating the people we have to deal with in life who do believe it. Does it contain wisdom? Yes, it does. Bronze age nomads weren’t stupid. They just didn’t manage to offer up a set of explanations for the physical workings of the universe that seems to me to be the most likely answer. But they weren’t stupid and they weren’t lacking in their particular brand of wisdom.

Old Jules, why is it that some of us want to help all life in so many ways yet others just simply do not?

Some of us prefer honest and brutal self-examination over platitudes.

Old Jules, what’s the purpose of life?

The purpose of life is to scratch cats behind the ears, feed the chickens and gather eggs, and get the garden ready to plant come spring, pull weeds out from around the winter spinach and onions, and to watch Orion chase the Seven Sisters across the sky nighttimes.


None of the Above Foundation

Jack wrote this in September, 2006. I confess I have no idea who FJX Sterling was. The search I did led to a porn site- J.

I’ve been thinking for a while about what a person might do with a jackpot win to bring about some changes in the political zealotry in the US.  It’s something gone rabid, Democrats and Republicans going at one another with their wolf-teeth.

In the past I’d thought when, yeah, when I win a large jackpot, I’d put up a Zen Monastery with some refinements into other avenues of metaphysical and spiritual pursuit.

But the last couple of days have convinced me that Zen Monastery cum Spiritual Healing Center will  have to wait for the second major jackpot win.

The first one’s going to create the None of the Above Foundation.  That foundation is going to do everything legally and monetarily possible to make certain no incumbent will ever serve a second term in office.

Somewhere down at the roots of everything that’s gone wrong with America is the career politician, the power, the retirement and health benefits, the near-thing bribes and special interest supports giving them motives to stay in office.

A hundred million or so going to make sure they don’t get re-elected might just help a lot.  In fact, it might just spawn a None of the Above political party.

We need people in national elected offices who get out and live in the land.  We need folks such as, say, fjxsterling up there in the Senate, or the House.  People who’ve felt the pain of the problems everywhere at street level.  People who aren’t going to sit still for any air-castle election time feeding frenzy illusions to deal with real problems.

I can see it all now.

Vote for FJX Sterling

Rush Hates Him


Heck, I’d register to vote.



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Man long
Without a woman
Sees them everywhere

Hard men wandered
Pecked the earth
Water holes
Mountain faces
For gold and silver
Lead and copper

Fought among themselves
Fought Tigua
Acoma and Zuni
Yankee fought rebel
Fought Mexican
Fought Apache
Fought Navajo
Fought renegade
Fought partner
Fought an unforgiving

They found her here
Thirsty minds
In a woman face
A cameo
On mountain face

A face of peace


From Poems of the New Old West
Copyright 2002 Jack Purcell