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 taste:

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."
Now "Sal" was a gal of rare beauty, 
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the "up and up."
"Sal" told me this take on the evening
Before she was turned out "free,"
And I'll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me

In our alt-history series, 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 this bit is 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.