The Legend of John Back’s Death

As legend has it, whether true or
Perhaps a tallish tale, John Back
Was dry and needed more hard liquor
Than what he’d hid beneath his sack.
He barged aboard a tied-up steamer
And found a case of gin, some creamer,
A loaf of cheese — that was enough:
John grabbed the gin and other stuff —
As much as his poor arms could mule —
And would have left the ship, but that
Was not his fate; instead a rat
Appeared and challenged him to duel,
Produced a tiny pistol, fired:
John Back lay dead, wiped out, expired.


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says
  2. Churchill says

    Can I confess?

    I’d assumed this site was written by someone I met because he referred to the novel that is written in it. If it’s written by someone else, I still respect its contents.

    There are two sites where I feel comfortable writing. I need to be able to communicate in confidence, and not burden my partner with everything, and I’m sorry to say that anything I might say to a therapist is neither in confidence nor is the therapist likely to be anything like as intelligent, in a broad sense, as the person(people) on this site or the other I visit. Of course, a more likely explanation is that both sites, as the world does, contain a multiplicity of people, but I’d rather hoped otherwise.

    I am particularly concerned that members of my family don’t visit these two sites, and I don’t think it’s that difficult not to look inside the room – some impulses are more within our control than others.

  3. Churchill says

    And thank you for the poem.

  4. Churchill says

    I have assumed that this person is unable to intervene, unlike those other poets who could.

  5. Churchill says

    Or, rather, could have.

  6. Matthew Lickona says

    Thanks for letting us know, Churchill. We are indeed people. But we are happy if you find this a felicitous place for commenting.

  7. Churchill says

    That’s not you.

  8. Churchill says

    You know what I’m thinking!

  9. Churchill says

    Or both are true?

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