Emporia: In Cold Blood


“When we got to Emporia”
—Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

It was easy for me—
To do a non-fiction poem
About our lovely little
Town of Emporia, Kansas

It wasn’t hard for me—
To meticulously get rid of
And eliminate my own
Stupid little crummy ego

That’s because as I—
Grew up there in Emporia
I scarcely adumbrated
Any kind of ego anyway

A Horrible Life

“It’s a horrible life”
—Truman Capote interviewed
in Edmund White’s Sacred Monsters

The interview with—
Truman Capote is rather
Disjointed with Capote
Running off to the bathroom

By then he’s snorting—
Lots of cocaine just to get
 Through any kind of
 Tiresome commitment

Mapplethorpe is there—
To take pictures but soon
Capote says enough and
Shoos him away

Welcome to Emporia

To find the psychic energy—
To write a non-fiction poem
About Kansas takes more than
Just the Pleasure Principle

If one eliminates the Ego—
One ends up with Journalism
And who needs more Trash like
Fox-News already dishes out?

If one’s American Gothic—
Imagination is given free rein
Then things can get Shamelessly
Tedious like a Soap Opera

Commercial Street

I start things off simple—
An opening scene when Dick
Hickcock says to  Perry:
“Well, honey, here we are.”

They’re pulling into the—
City Limits of Emporia for
A quick stop at nice quaint
Haines Hardware Store
To buy some rope & tape

Then they cruise down—
Commercial Street, past
The Presbyterian Church
Across from the Granada

Kress’s Five and Dime Store

Perry tells his Horror Story—
About being in an Orphanage
After a flock of Black Widows
Cross the street at the lights

They nix the idea of wearing—
Catholic Black Stocking masks
It’ll be dark by the time they
Get to Holcomb KS anyway

Emporia business buildings—
Go by as the Killers drive slowly
Past Reeble’s North and take
A left at The Sunken Garden

Night Ride to Murder

Capote moves the story fast—
It’s linear as a Fish Bone &
Its spine follows the highway
Like a road Straight to Murder

Capote keeps it simple—
Simplicity and swiftness is
What he values the most
A style simple to duplicate

Writing is a state of Traveling—
Getting rid of Miss Proustian
Procrustean campy chiaroscuro
And all that vacuous verbiage
On getting on with the Story

Mixed Movie Reviews

Capote’s ”In Cold Blood”—
Got mixed movie reviews in
The Emporia Gazette, Kansas City
Star and the Wichita Eagle

Emporians got irate & upset—
The killers buying rope & tape
There in Haines Hardware Store
For Heaven’s sake in Emporia!!!

The Nuns getting dished and—
Called Black Widow Spiders by
Nasty nefarious Murderers with
Dick Hickcock always smirking!!!

Emporia Premier at the Granada

The audiences were hushed—
When the hanging scenes came—
Little did they know that Capote
Was actually finally very pleased

Harper Lee was already very—
Famous for “To Kill a Mockingbird”
But the appeals for Capote’s killers
Would go on simply forever & ever

Green with jealousy & envy over—
Harper Lee’s success and fame
Poor Truman had to play the tacky
Crying Game & simply wait forever

Colder Than In Cold Blood

Then with the revealing remake of—
“In Cold Blood” starring the excellent
Look-alike actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
From the film “The Amazing Mr. Ripley”

Comes the Unflattering Portrait of an—
Ingratiating, Overly Ambitions and
Writing her “Murder Most Foul” Novel

In many ways some Novelists can be—
Even worse homicidal maniacs than the
Worst killers like Dick Hickcock & Perry
Smith, hanging around Holcomb KS

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