Saturday, June 04, 2005

Tracks in the Widest Orbit

from the diary: “February 4, 1985

“Highlight of the day: went to tonight’s RRWG (N)Erotic/Romantic Poetry. Fun. Read one of mine (which was applauded) and read a couple from J.H. Montrose’s Tracks in the Widest Orbit. Somebody came in and videotaped most of the evening.”

I believe Jim Montrose helped found the Russian River Writers’ Guild. I don’t remember having met him, but I probably did. The book, Tracks in the Widest Orbit, was published posthumously. It has a picture of Jim on the cover standing before a fighter jet in his military flight suit, smiling, helmet tucked under one arm. I liked the book. For a collection of a life’s work it seemed tiny … but I think he didn’t really get serious about poetry until late.

I probably read this one:

“Last Rites”

When a codger named Tim caught the flu,
his lady, Miss Sadie, did too.
They took to their bed
and stayed there till dead,
a very sad story it’s true.

Now, the quaint little couple were struck
in flagrante delicto, worse luck!
When the children came round,
they were finally found
saddled up for a last good-bye fuck.

Rigor mortis had seized them mid-lay
in a truly disgusting display;
she had such a lock
on his rusty old cock,
mortal hands couldn’t rip him away.

And their withered old corpses were dry
as the tear in the mortician’s eye;
their bones were so brittle
they broke in the middle
when he grabbed them and gave them a pry.

The solution he finally found
was bizarre, yet basically sound;
you don’t see too often
a double backed-coffin,
but it worked, and they’re safe underground.

-- J.H. Montrose

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