Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Bonnie and Clyde: Behind the headlines—Poetry writing

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Bonnie wrote a lot of poetry in her day. Most of it was composed while cooling her heels in the hoosegow. One of her most famous poems is Suicide Sal. Here’s a stanza:

As long as I've stayed on this "island"

And heard "confidence tales" from each "gal"

Only one seemed interesting and truthful-

The story of "Suicide Sal."

And this is from Trail’s End, her last and highly prescient poem:

Some day they'll go down together

they'll bury them side by side.

To few it'll be grief,

to the law a relief

but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

In our book, Resurrection Road, Bonnie and Clyde are spared from their gruesome deaths and forced to work for the government. The tough-as-nails agent that runs them calls herself Suicide Sal. And the story line moves between the 1930s and the 1980s when “old Bonnie” shares her story with a disbelieving reporter. She’s still writing poetry, but – at least in our fictional world – it’s gotten a little better in the intervening 50 years.