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The Friday Poem: Party Legend by Sam Duckor-Jones

A new poem by Wellington poet Sam Duckor-Jones. Reading time: Approximately 10 minutes.

 

Party Legend

 

Vote for me / I’m from a very distinguished flame /

I attended a school for gifted merchandise /

Yet this is also an everyman’s story /

I have a very relatable familiar regular story /

 

Sure I attended a school for gifted merchandise /

& I appear to you now as a velveteen seal pup with enormous bloody teeth, but don’t be frightened /

I have a very relatable familiar regular story /

Plus I understand complex economic systems /

 

I may appear to you now as a velveteen seal pup w an enormous bank account, but don’t be fooled /

I’m from a tiny Kansas farm atop the Himalayas in the Mexican state of Alice Springs, Bangladesh /

I understand complex emotional systems /

My mother was my childhood dog, run over before she was born, so don’t tell me about sorrow /

 

I grew up on a hay bale propped atop the Himalayas in the Mexican state of Kaikohe, Kazakhstan /

The stories are true / I’ve nothing to hide /

My mother was my childhood dog, run over before she was born /

Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, all fabulous lovers /

 

The stories are true / I’ve nothing to hide /

See how I relate

Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Barack Obama, Emily Dickinson, Frank O’Hara

Poetry & politics are in the blood /

 

See how I relate /

Max, my great great great uncle, shtetl heartthrob & political activist, was arrested in 1895,
thrown into a Russian jail & Rose, the aunt on the outside, sang in Yiddish through the bars

Poetry & politics my darlings, some things are in the blood /

Rebellion, rebellion is in the blood /

 

I may have mentioned Max, arrested in 1895 & thrown into a Russian jail & Rose who sang
in Yiddish through the bars & the guards thought: harmless lullaby / but it was actually an
escape plan /

Folks / I care, oh my god I care /

Rebellion is in my blood /

Send me to jail if you wish, for I believe in many things /

 

I care, oh my god I care /

I nurture my mythologies as robustly as you shelter to yours /

Send me to jail if you wish, for I’ll believe in anything /

But come election day do consider my singular story /

 

Embrace my mythologies & I shall acknowledge yours /

Vote for me, blood of Max, jailed for his politics & of Rose who broke him out with a lullaby /

Come election day do consider my inspiring story /

My mother’s mother’s mother left Russia for America & became the first female pharmacist in NYC /

 

Imagine: Max, jailed for his political beliefs & Rose who broke him out with a lullaby /

Then this pharmacy, which before long becomes a front for dealing heroin to the mob /

My mother’s mother’s mother was the first female pharmacist in New York City /

These are facts / We have the news clippings /

 

& yes her pharmacy was a front for dealing heroin to the mob /

See this photo of her in a frilly white dress, wide-brimmed hat & enormous gun strapped to her side /

These are facts / We have the news clippings /

What is my point / Dear audience /

 

There is the photo of my great grandmother with an enormous machine gun strapped to her side /

But my point is not about organised crime /

What is my point /

My point is that I come from well connected & fearless & entrepreneurial stock /

 

My point is not of homogenized time /

I have no ghosts /

I come from well connected & fearless & entrepreneurial stock /

Justin Trudeau still sends chocolates / See how I shake out the sheets /

 

I have no ghosts /

My opponents will argue that the timeline meanders but I shall fire back /

Dorothy Gail has the other half of this locket / See how I shake out the sheets /

History is a game of Broken Telephone /

 

I shall fire back /

Plotlines curl & twist, are dropped, picked up later, repurposed or rewritten /

Mystery is a game of Token Xylophone /

Edges fray & are mended with new perspective /

 

Plotlines twist & curl, are dropped, picked up later, repurposed or rebitten /

What does it matter if there are embellishments /

Pledges stray & are blended with blue perspex lids /

Who doesn’t relish some abstraction now & then /

 

What does it matter if there are embellishments /

Homer, the Bible, Lord of the Rings /

Who doesn’t relish a metaphor now & then /

If it’s good it might as well count /

 

Homer, the Bible, Harry Potter /

I ask you / define reality to your neighbour & you will each come up with different answers /

If it’s good it might as well count /

A show of hands, please, how many of you chose the vial of blood over the Stradivarius /

 

Define reality to your neighbour & you will each come up with different answers /

Did I mention I am       so well connected /

A show of hands / how many of you chose the Stradivarius over the message in a bottle /

It’s true / my great great uncle Joachim was violinist to the Tsar /

 

Vote for me, I am     so well connected /

A position I would indeed consider reinstating should I be elected in September /

Is that of my great great uncle Joachim / Violinist to the Tsar /

Ah but Sam, I hear you say, everyone’s Russian great grandmother was potentially Anastasia /

 

Look, there are positions I would indeed consider reinstating should I be elected /

I have the receipts / I didn’t want to have to show them but ok, if you insist, I will bring the receipts /

Ah but Sam, you say, every Hamilton kotiro is secretly a Tainui princes, & yes, ok, I hear you /

& positively argue that a vote for me is a vote for dreaming & old photographs /

 

Friends, I have the receipts / I guarantee 100% you will not want to miss when I unveil the receipts /

Ok / fireside time / Colleagues, countryfolk /

Regarding dreaming & these old photographs /

Remember in the war when I saved your sorry arse /

 

Friends, colleagues, countryfolk /

I’m no hero /

But remember in the war when I taught that yoga class /

I’ve had my struggles / You know, with self esteem /

 

Some call me a hero /

Of humble beginnings, yes /

I’ve had my struggles /

My grandfather was found with his infant siblings beside their dead mother /

 

Humble beginnings /

My grandmother was held by the ankle out the window by a wicked woman /

My grandfather & his infant siblings gurgling on the kitchen floor beside their dead blind mother /

My uncle saved his ice creams so his mother could have a lick / Now he’s a real estate tycoon /

 

My grandmother was dangled by the ankle out of a window by Philip Pullman /

But look at us now /

My uncle is a real hate typhoon /

My father was nominated for the Best Dream Prize & my mother is a Shaman /

 

Look at us now /

My brother really did find treasure on an island & my sister has the President’s number /

My father was nominated for a size & my mother is a ploughman /

Vote for me /

 

My brother really did find pleasure of a kind & my sister is the resident plumber /

When I was a child, I drew rainbow coloured orchestras /

Vote for me /

& the gorgeous lies that we wrap around ourselves in order to have one step follow the next /

 

When I was a child, I had a rainbow coloured orchestra /

Friends, hands up if you remember your dreams /

Art, poetry / such gorgeous elegant lies that we wrap around ourselves /

Vote for me & I’ll insist they count / & recount / Till we win /

 

Friends, sing out if you remember your dreams /

Oh, sweet constituents / I love you like you were one of my own numerous & successful daughters /

Vote for me & I’ll insist you count / & recount / Till we win /

Congratulations /

 

Sweet constituents / I love you like you were one of my own very numerous & successful racehorses /

We are winners, we have won, we are fabulous winners who have already won /

Congratulations /

Yes, I am still so very velveteen /

 

We are winners, we have won, we are fabulous winners who have already won /

& soon, perhaps I shall return to the ocean /

Tell me, am I not still very velveteen /

My advice / go to bed / upon waking, write it down /

 

Soon, perhaps I shall return to the ocean /

That mighty ballot box /

Till then, go to bed / upon waking, write it down / repeat /

I am incredibly wealthy & devastatingly handsome & really good at sports /

 

See you at the ballot box /

Remember my everyman’s story /

I am incredibly healthy & devastatingly handy & really good at thoughts / but you know this /

I am relatable / I am a very distinguished shame / Vote for me /

 


The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions are welcome at thefridaypoem@gmail.com


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