Found Poem: Jonestown

I watched a documentary about the Jonestown massacre and events leading up to it – with closed captioning generated by Youtube. The captions were so incorrect, but some of them were very interesting. I began to do screen captures of phrases, then I pasted them into a document in order of capture. After that, I began to assemble them into a poem. I tried to find, to build a context out of the pieces and parts, like trying to carve a figure from wood. the context of the poem was also layered with the story of the Jonestown cult and its odd leader, the way religion can confuse people, the many lives that were broken. I’m not sure how successful this poem is, but I am fascinated with this process and maybe will do this some more. Here is the finished poem:


The Texas real-slows, shaky steps.

“Peace is not what you want.”

And she starts walking

   pale time running down

             well just running around.

The trade? Foreign extras

later sent out, tulips crippled.

For those people

they have to sell it.

Extranet religious backgrounds

bring them the message that’s

so important:

            ~Did you see the light come?~

                  ~See me as you~

                                     ~God out beyond.~

A scaled cirque on local access.

“Well, how do you like everything so far?”

Our true mama, refunded wife, showed up.


Source Material: Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.23.57 AM Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.33.43 AM


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