Drunken Pen Writing Note:
Here, at Drunken Pen Writing, we are dedicated to providing the most culturally diverse and original pieces of poetry and fiction that this world has to offer. Many of the stories and poems we post are time honored classics, dating back as far as the early 1800’s. While more modern stories—the tales of our contemporaries—also deck these hallowed halls. And it is in keeping with this tradition that we offer you one of the more disputed poems we could find. We hope it intrigues you (as it did our staff) and provides inspiration and appreciation for the oft overlooked art form known as poetry.
(Excerpt from Journal 17: The Serene Moments of a Troubled Mind by Clarisse McClellan)
Editor’s Note: Daniel Michel Bartimue (1972-2003) is often the topic of heated debate among poets and historians alike, as many academics know. What cannot be disputed, however, is the impact of his work—and moreover, his large array of personal journals—upon the world of literature and popular culture, following his untimely death. Donning an unfortunate truth of many of his literary heroes, it was only after his passing that serious literary minds began examining and recognizing Bartimue’s genius for what it was.
The following piece is, at the time of this publication, the last poem believed to have been written by Bartimue. Much of the poem was damaged in the fire that claimed his house, but there is no doubt that a strong theme of longevity and inspiration is vivid in the remaining stanzas.
UNTITLED 9714: WITH A PEN (Posthumously Titled)
By Daniel Michel Bartimue
[Beginning of poem lost due to fire damage]
…and so I write it with a pen.
It’s all the same,
there in the end—a pause before a grand beginning,
a rushing to sombre finales—tales so “new” (but in all truth)
we know these things were said before
this is why I [illegible] with a pen.
But there are diamonds
that we’ll spend, or eagerly exchang (sic) vehemently,
giving, only to get, so greedily
for a story (eternal glory)
passed to us by historian’s rosey eyes
a key, here then
write it all down with a pen
Because the bleeding s[illegible due to blood stain and fire damage]
…rend, a truthful tone poetically,
and damning visions symphonically (sic)
can fill these (pages or [illegible])
to last a few more lines*.
A truth to end:
Light, we store on,
and pages we lambaste
but trees and stone will outlast,
the flickering of a candle’s breath
and herein [illegible due to fire damage]
one last thing:
Stories may make the sleeping gods,
But poems let us live as kings.
*This preferred word choice is supported by the Bartimue Preservation Society, headed by Drs. Breslow and Weatherhead of Ulthar Messianic University Springfield, and historian Eloise Fitzgerald (Rhodes Scholar and Carnegie Senior Fellow) as the intended word. Other interpretations, such as the Barnum/James interpretation suggest the word written is “times”, while the very unpopular opinion** of Professor Frank H. Padobie suggests the word intended was “lives”.
**Prof. Padobie draws this conclusion from Bartimue Journal 79 (1997) where it states: “Maybe there is something that draws us back? How am I to say? Are reincarnations really that difficult to believe?” Academics note that this is the only passage that mentions reincarnation, and therefore dismiss the idea that this concept was intrinsic enough to Bartimue to enter his more serious work.
- Bartimue, Daniel Michel. Poetry, Vol IX, edited by Robert Walton, Oxford Press, 2009.
- McClellan, Clarisse. Journal 17: The Serene Moments of a Troubled Mind. Scribner’s, 2011