Sunday, March 29, 2009

Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett Writes

After a a long and at least colorful career attempting to find the lost city of "Z" in the Amazon (and I know you swine won't believe me, so here's a link) Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett staged his own disappearance and then moved, with his son Jack, to the Philippines*.

Years later, Jack had come into reduced circumstance and, in a brief period of sobriety, tried a quick succession of jobs, none of which panned out.

The following is from his attempt to be the commentary-page poet (a position that as far as Google research can determine, only exists in the Philippine Islands) for the Manila Times-Picayune.

Going to the Philippines
And renting me a shack
With a corrugated tin-roof
A rusty sink over at the back

I’ll need a three-legged dog
An old Ford stuck up on blocks
A creaky metal spring bed
With a mattress up on top

I’ll rent a part time wife
Buy me a full time bottle
Get me a sometimes friend
Do things I shouldn’t oughta

Two dirty half-full glasses
On the table by the bed
Lipstick on the glasses’ rims
A thunderstorm in my head.

Going to the Philippines
And renting me a shack
Where nobody wants to know me
And I won’t be coming back.

It didn't work out, of course, and Jack resumed the only position he had ever been successful at - the prone one.

Two years later, the work of rum concluded, he was consigned to the land of the permanently prone.

A cautionary tale, indeed, in these difficult times

*In 1927 the New York Times reported a rumor that Fawcett had been found alive and well, living in a "veritable paradise," a bountiful land "that has no owner." That was before the US got their hands on it.

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