The Ghosts of River Valley Farm
Truman Capote’s torment
Do you visit this lonely farm
on misty Kansas mornings?
Your soul awoken from tortured sleep
by keening hysteric coyotes
and yellow locomotive warnings.
A wispy apparition clutching at your pen,
poised to write your flowery words
gleaned with effeminate guile.
Nepotistic manipulations maximising pain.
Do you search the shuttered house
for your obsession’s love again?
Alone in this forsaken place
staring over madness’ shoulder,
while Perry re-lives his nightmare guilt
on bloody cellar floors
in the house that Clutter built.
Do you reflect upon the crime
that whet your perfidious senses?
Regretting its en-miring grasp
which left you bruised and brooding
inside your cocktail haven.
Ensnared by the viscid crime
that claimed not six – but seven?
What would Truman write of you
if he should return to earth?
A clone, dramatising a hedonistic decline
of a troubled narcissistic elf.
Would he, again be ruled by obsession
and fall in love with himself?
Bravo atmospheric and well written. I confess I am not familiar with much of Truman Capote but that did not stop me enjoying the poem.
I tried to read the book he wrote on the murders. Hard going. Some opinion say it ruined his writing career.
His fiction work is interesting and much easier to read.
Glad you enjoyed it. x
I would disagree that writing “In Cold Blood” ruined his writing career’ I believe that his literary decline was more due to his dissolute living and the drug and alcohol abuse that eventually caused his death.
I believe one thing led to the other and hence his death. I don’t think I am alone in this.
I love Breakfast at Tiffanys – the film ‘Capote’ shows him in not a good light.
A great cocktail of words to ruminate upon. And I am sure he would “fall in love with himself.” Can’t see it any other way.
I’m sure also 🙂
Nice piece. I saw an interview of Capote many years ago where he said that the inspiration for In Cold Blood was a cage filled with dogs about to butchered and eaten he saw while on a foreign trip.
I believe he would say that 🙂 But I’m not sure I would believe him.
Yes, he did embellish a lot on those old talk shows. He was a very sensitive soul who could easily be tormented over things. In this case the trapped puppies he claimed he saw as the condemned murderers.
There’s an interesting article I read about Capote and Harper Lee visiting the town and how people reacted, mostly disliking Capote for his attitude while liking Lee. It highlights the complex character of Perry too, putting a pillow beneath Kenyon’s head to make him comfortable but then being capable of shooting him. I wonder what the book would have been like had Lee been the author instead of Capote.
I read (most) of the book. Heavy going. I ended up ‘speed’ reading it. No doubt Harper Lee would have written a novel rather than a somewhat boring statement of facts decorated with flowery words. Kind of disappointing especially when you see the style of his fiction work. I have to say I had a hard time trying to get a fix on what Perry and Dick were actually like. The book seemed to be written in a rather detached voice. I think I need to read ‘Mockingbird’
Ha – I got the Capote connection at ‘Perry’ 🙂
The film about TC writing the book is excellent.
Enjoyed that and your poem.
Yes I saw both films and also tried to read the book. I found it hard going. So different to his style in Breakfast at Tiffany’s