Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hi, My Name Is Carl Nash

Hi, my name is Carl Nash. I am a made up person that Raymond Pert created to tell a made up story as if it happened in and after a real life event. The real life event was the Sunshine Mine Fire of 1972, near Kellogg, Idaho. Ninety-one men were killed. My story is about what people did and felt in the aftermath of the fire.


Free

Down the Jewell Shaft of the Sunshine Mine
The men called bologna horse cock
And the miner who loved horse cock most was
Carl Nash. His hands chewed and bloody
From shoveling mine car after mine car of muck,
At lunch Carl unfolded a cloth napkin on the lunchroom
Table and laid out his horse cock and onion sandwich,
Prayed thanks, and ate it like bread at the communion rail.

Billy trudged down two houses after each snow fall
And heaved shovel after shovel into tall berms to clear
The way for Carl Nash to tell Billy he shovelled snow
Like a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest
And to drive his Rambler Ambassador on to the glass road
Leading up Big Creek Gulch and day shift at the Sunshine Mine.

When the mine fire hit the lunch room at the 4100
Level, Carl Nash died with a cloth napkin unfolded
And dropped his nose into his spongy horse cock sandwich.

Months later snow fell hard and deep and Billy
Trudged down and offered to shovel snow for Mrs. Nash,
Who thanked him very much but couldn’t afford to pay him
The way Carl did. Billy trudged back toward home
And turned around and knocked again on Mrs. Nash’s door.
“It’s okay. I’ll shovel your walk for free.”

10 comments:

paris parfait said...

I like how these stories intertwine, but so sad. Well done, you!

Jo said...

This is a very strong piece.

Mx-Susan said...

A dark piece with a soft ending.
Nice work

Toni said...

This is beautiful. It literally brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing.

colleen said...

Very poignant and descriptive. It was hard for me to integrate "bologna horse cock" though. I'm not familiar with it usage. Even so it gave the poem an eerie humorous twist.

Frances said...

I feel like you were really observing this happen.
Incredible turn of phrase. Raw. Real.
Kudos.
Thanks for stopping by my blog
My Sunday Scribbling is at:
http://blogforth.com

tumblewords said...

I remember this tragedy - and like the way you've woven the tale into a personal account for Carl Nash. Will you continue with this? A character for each person?

MGM said...

This piece makes me want to start writing again! About something else besides what has hijacked my life for the past four years--my children.

I kept re-reading the line about the "horse cock and onion sandwich" --something about it sounded so strange and drove me to re-read it a few times. The last line of this poem gave me a chill.

Kendra said...

My husband, his father, and his father's father all mined Sunshine...the grandfather died there... when I called Tony in to read this bittersweet piece, I watched his adam's apple work with emotion, and we both observed a moment of silence for those who perished in that fire, both real and imaginary. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful poem/story/idea.