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Author Topic: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore  (Read 3671 times)

Joel

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Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« on: March 20, 2006, 04:13:03 pm »

Yellow tape fences the yard that he used to tend
With such care, such apparent pride
The bushes beneath the windows now are all trampled
By heavy boots; glass shards twinkle like jewels
From the flash-bangs and the hammers.

They came at night, dozens against one to take him
In his sleep; they are remembered
As heroes, and he as a menace safely removed
Now they are gone; neighbors bunch and murmur
In small flocks, rehearsing the line.

“He seemed so nice and quiet, always smiled and waved
So kindly, who knew he was a
Desperate man, it’s so good that they caught him before
He did some harm; it’s so good the police
Came to keep us safe, don’t you think?”

In time they will all forget his face and his name
For a time the children will point
At the old house, and they will say, “That’s where the man lived,
The crazy man who the cops killed that night.”
None will ask what mad thing he did.

There will never be flowers on his unmarked grave
The others, the heroes he killed
Will have parades, but all anyone will remember
If anyone remembers him at all
Is that Phil Presley doesn’t live here anymore.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007, 09:42:29 am by John DeWitt »
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Yet another Freedomista blog: The Ultimate Answer to Kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.

Docliberty

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 04:57:34 pm »

Good one John.  I wish it wasn't so appropriate to our time.
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Doc

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."  Marion Morrison

"I do not fear my government.  I fear what my government will cause me to become."   Docliberty

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H. L. Mencken

cowardly lion

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 02:27:26 pm »

If it wasn't so appropriate, it wouldn't have been so good . . . .

cl
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It's not unusual to run into folks in the internet that are dense enough to have event horizons.

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Docliberty

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2006, 02:33:26 pm »

Too true.
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Doc

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them."  Marion Morrison

"I do not fear my government.  I fear what my government will cause me to become."   Docliberty

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H. L. Mencken

Lightning

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2006, 04:31:22 pm »

How very poignant.  There's so much emotion in this poem's unemotional language.  Bravo.
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George Potter

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2006, 10:02:06 am »


I like it a lot. Reminds me of Edward Arlington Robinson. Tragedy explained in cool, crisp terms so that the real impact sneaks up on you. I'll be running the last lines through my head for the rest of the day.

Potent stuff.
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George Potter

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2007, 10:48:00 pm »


Bumped for pure quality.
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Joel

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 09:40:27 am »

Aw, shucks... :sunny:
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Yet another Freedomista blog: The Ultimate Answer to Kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.

Claire

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 11:33:08 am »

Thanks for the bump. I wasn't at TCF much when this was published & I missed it the first time around. I agree. It's one of the finest -- and certainly most poignant -- things Joel's ever written.

And yes, like Robinson. Or Edgar Lee Masters. Beautiful, JDW.
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Pagan

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Re: Phil Presley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2007, 11:50:46 am »

Masters, definitely!
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