Tag Archives: poems

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

Advertisements

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

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

The only honest-to-goodness prophet in human history

Hi Readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.
Amazing isn’t it? In all human history only one person has ever undeniably  and inescapably predicted the future. 

Predicted the tanks, machine guns, the mustard gas shells of WWI. Predicted the Manhattan Project, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, the Cold War of Mutually Assured Destruction. Predicted Agent Orange, DDT, sheep cloning, genetic engineering of agricultural products.   Biological warfare.  Thalidomide babies.

And who was it?  Nostradamus?  Nah.  He never predicted anything anyone could understand.

The prophetess was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.  Married poet Percy Shelley even though he was married to another woman.  Stayed married to him long enough so’s the wife #1 suicided, so she had him all to herself.

And in 1817 wrote the novel, Frankenstein.  The book that understood what would happen when you turned human beings loose on something as dangerous as science.

Amazing.  Predicted the Doctor Frankenstein hidden  inside the human psyche would emerge when egomaniac academians piddle around in scientific laboratories.

Sarcastic Science

Sarcastic Science, she would like to know,
In her complacent ministry of fear,
How we propose to get away from here
When she has made things so we have to go
Or be wiped out. Will she be asked to show
Us how by rocket we may hope to steer
To some star off there, say, a half light-year
Through temperature of absolute zero?
Why wait for Science to supply the how
When any amateur can tell it now?
The way to go away should be the same
As fifty million years ago we came—
If anyone remembers how that was
I have a theory, but it hardly does.

Robert Frost

Amazing.

Old Jules

Where Were You When The World Ended?

When the world ended

The End Of The World by Archibald MacLeish

Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly to top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing — nothing at all.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.   I’m the more profoundly enlightened, severely evolved creature who used to be Old Jules before the Mayan calendar ended.

As for the Mayan calendar, I think we have to assume the ancient Mayans were referring to Greenwich time, midnight.  I can’t see any way around it.  It all had to begin somewhere and I think the ancient Mayans were sufficiently wise to begin it in a place where everyone in the future would be able to agree when it happened.

For the cats and me, that was Big Lake, Texas.  A city park there with dozens of RV connections and three free overnight connections, according to information online.  But when the Mayan calendar ended I happened to be walking on the pavement near a dim sign I’ll paraphrase as saying, “Welcome to Big Lake overnight RV connections.  $15 per night, enjoy, stay as long as you wish and come back often.”

Big Lake Park hookups

As the Coincidence Coordinators would have it, I’d been there a couple of hours, trying out a new harness and leash I’d bought in the Walmart store in Midland, Texas, on each of the cats.  I’d noticed I was the target of repeated scrutiny by a Big Lake City Police officer driving slowly by, me smiling and half-waving as he went by.  Him not smiling, not waving.

Big Lake Park

Then, cats all battened back down into the RV, I took a longer walk and found myself more informed about the Post Mayan calendar calendar and surviving the coming times with the least possible bullshit for all concerned.

So the cats and I celebrated the birth of the new era by topping off the gas tank and heading off down the road where the glow of headlights might shine on someplace free to sleep off the emerging shock of sudden evolution.

Ended up in a Rest Area somewhere between Ozona and Snora around 10:00 pm the Day the World Ended.

I’ve some retrospectives about the people and places of the previous several days, but I’m shooting this off just to suggest if you’re ever looking for a place to spend a hassle-free night parked free with cats purring on your chest, stay out of Big Lake, Texas.

But I’ve digressed.  About that photo at the top:

Very few white men have ever witnessed what honest-to-goodness, eat-it-down-to-the-rocks over-grazing looks like unless they’ve visited the Navajo Reservation in the four-corners area of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. 

Or Texas.

The New Old Jules