Robinson Jeffers Builds an Outhouse and Other Poems Kevin Jones 2013
The first five poems in this chapbook were originally published in Medusaâ€™s Kitchen October 5, 2011.
ROBINSON JEFFERS FINISHES BUILDING TOR HOUSE “You know, dear, I’d really like to have A tower to go with it.”
Jeffers grimaces (Maybe smiles, Maybe not: hard To tell), rolls and Smokes a cigarette Takes a shot Of Una’s Old Bushmills, Walks down To the beach, Begins hauling back The boulders.
JEFFERS’ TOR HOUSE It’s a little Cottage, and A fairly large Tower,
Both Built of stones He dragged up From the sea.
Big rocks, Much dragging. No wonder In photos He looks pained: Really big rocks, Must be ruptures, A whole lot
Of straining going On, serious Hernias there.
No wonder He looks up At the hawks, Envies them.
THE SIGN ON JEFFERS’ GATE “No visitors before Four p.m.”
At which time He’d turn it Around: “Not at Home.”
I want one; I need one.
ON NOT VISITING CARMEL (Further adventures of Jack Kerouac And Neal Cassady) Coming up from Big Sur, Jack and Neal Think about Robinson Jeffers And stopping by To pay homage.
Closer they Get to Carmel, They begin to think About his poems— He’s not a happy man; He doesn’t like People, visitors Especially; He won’t like
Us; heâ€™ll kick Our asses.
Most of which Is probably True. Wisely, For once They make A right turn And head into Monterey instead.
TOR HOUSE/HAWK TOWER TOURIST Atop Hawk Tower At Jeffers’ Tor House You can look Straight out Past the beach And into the poet’s Hawk-haunted Vision of infinity.
To the right You see The blue and gold Visqueen roof Of a cottage That will probably Never Be restored. To the left,
Day I was there, Was a Paunchy guy Wandering Past the windows Of a house Rumored To have been Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
“Eeugh,” said my Tour companions. “At least he’s Sort of dressed This time,” said The docent. “nice boxers,” I thought.
THE POET EDGAR LEE MASTERS SPENDS SOME TIME AT TOR HOUSE
Jeffers’ journal: Masters Just left after a week. Grim, depressing man. Had a great time.
Masters’ Diary: spent my summer Holiday at Jeffers’ House. Dour, dark, humourless man. Best. Vacation. Ever.
MY NAME IS NOT ROBIN There is a photograph of Jeffers, Looking uncommonly benign, titled “Some Call Me Robin,” though I Imagine not many actually did. In fact there are few people Who are less Robin. It is the Name for little boys in rubber Boots who have complex Relationships with pastel colored Stuffed animals. It is the name Of superhero sidekicks in Domino masks, green fish-scale Speedos, with bad hair, worse Attitudes. Probably no one has ever Been less a Robin than Jeffers. Instead, let us call him By his true name: The Hawk. Like Robert Parker’s mysterious
Anti-hero, he is quiet, not without An air of menace, capable of Sudden horrifying retributive Violence (Think of Tamar, think Of Medea). Or see him as the Illustrated novel character The Hawkmanâ€”possessed Of ancient wisdom, righteous Strength. Or the sadly betrayed Sac-Fox Indian war chief, Black Hawk, Crafty, brutally efficient in battle. Fierce and frightening even in captivity, Paraded in chains through his captorsâ€™ Cities like a hurt hawk. Or let him be called after That other graphic action hero, Blackhawk, he of his own Private air force (Give your Heart to the hawks), devoted To justice and peace. They, all
Of them, are no Robins, Jeffers least of all. Let him sound his Real Name From atop his tower: the Blackhawk’s War Cry—Hawkaaaa.
ROBINSON JEFFERS BUILDS AN OUTHOUSE
And I will build one of stone, dredged from the deepest depths of the sea, Dragged from the beach and piled like a staunch fortress, except wit Multiple holes, and stout enough to withstand the ages, One which will laugh at the wintry sea-wrack, survive Even the fiercest flush. Oh. Outhouses donâ€™t work that way?
Sacramento â€“area poet Kevin Jones is a big fan of Jeffers, the Original Hawk Man.