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5-2 Poetry Month, Day 12 – Jenny Brown by Peter Ivey

There once was a man from Nantucket…

Sorry, that’s a limerick, not a poem. I used to know the difference. A long time ago, in the Age of Aquarius or a couple decades after, when I discovered poetry. Naturally, in high school we were tortured and misdirected by all the classics. My teacher Mrs. Smith loved Bobby Burns. She could call him Bobby because they connected on a close personal level. Burns was okay, but I didn’t get it until I read Sylvia Plath and her poem “Cut” and many others since. I connected with Plath, though my own poetic voice is my own, I owe Syl, I can call her that, and Mrs. Smith as my gateway into poetry.

Why am I mentioning this? Because April is National Poetry month, and buddy Gerald So asked if I’d promote his 30 Days of The 5-2, his site featuring precarious poems of crimes and criminals. He also asked if I could focus on one, what a task. One did catch my eye — Jenny Brown by Peter Ivey.


Who knows about Jenny Brown,
That woman who went missing
On the other side of town,

Walking across Essex Square,
To catch the bus at the deli,
And meet her sister there,

Who knows about Laura Lee,
That lady who went missing
Down by Essex and Eastern Quay,

Whistling her way past the water,
Her arm clutching a gift
To give to her daughter,

Who knows about Heidi Jones,
That girl who disappeared
While on her way back home—

Somebody knows, and somebody lied,
About the underground homicide,
And nobody sees, and nobody knows,
The monster who stalks our lovers so;

Reduced to a few lines on page six,
A girl’s shade lingers,
And the clock ticks, and ticks.


Based on true events of a string of missing women, Peter manages to tie to the hopelessness of the disappearances to the speculation of murder, and finally the realization of our limited significance of our death on the mortal world. There’s an unfortunate saying in journalism, if it bleeds it reads. For a moment, while reading, we connect and are reminded.

You can listen to Gerald So read “Jenny Brown” here.

Since we’re talking poems, I’d like to share one with you, that I posted years ago here my website, hidden in the deep recesses.

The Runaway (Luka III)

Thanks Gerald for inviting me to your blog tour of 30 days of The 5-2.