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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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