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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.

Too iconoclastic, too lowbrow or just too disturbing?

Blog Posted:1/4/2014 9:53:00 PM
This poem went over like the proverbial lead balloon for the most part, except for a couple of comments. It has a lot of views, though, so quite a few people read it. I wrote it as a satire (darkly as through a mirror) on the secular fictional characters that have overtaken the celebration of our religious holidays, but apparently it has offended some, even though I have taken it so far over the top that I don't know how it can be taken seriously. Or perhaps I have offended the nednecks, in which case I tender my apologies to you with a plea for mitigation in that I needed a foil for my satire's plot, so that's why I threw you under the bus. Alternatively, you actually believe in these characters, in which case fuggedaboutit!

White Trash Santa

T'were the night after Christmas, and the house wuz all dark
Not much money for 'lectric in the ol' trailer park
Ma waitin' tables at the club on the base
Just me and my sisters alone in the place

A big ol' blue norther, t'were a hard winter storm
We's all snuggled up close, jist tryin' ta stay warm
The trailer's as cold as that monkey of brass
Cause they come out that mornin' and turnt off the gas

I shore kinda hated to get out of that bed
But ol' Mother Nature made me git up, instead
I'd gotta go out if I wanted a leak
'Cause the toilet had bin all plugged up fer a week

Outside it 'peered warmer, which wuz a suprise
As I peed on the tree, sumpin lit up the skies
Them lights shined down on the yard, and I froze
Shore prayed it warn't one of them weird UFO's

As I stood thar turnin' round and around
There wuz white stuff fallin' and coatin' the ground
I grabbed a big buncha it up in my mitts
I thunk it wuz snow, but turnt out it were grits

I heered a big motor runnin' up overhead
And down come a monster truck painted all red
It bounced on the front 'n' bounced on the back
Then the driver clumb down 'n' grabbed a tow sack

He wuz white-haired 'n' husky, with red overalls
With ZZ Top whiskers 'n' blood-shot eyeballs
A red John Deere work cap wuz perched on his nut
And a WalMart white T-shirt half-covered his gut

He look like he just come offen the farm
'Cept fer them tattoos of elves on his arm
As I stood around there jist like a complete hick
He sez, “Boy ain't you gonna say crap to St. Nick?”

“Yes siree Bob”, sez I, “I got sumpin to say.
I'd shore like ta know where you wuz yesterday.
The toilet's stopped up and we's all out of heat.
Ain't got no money and they's nuthin' to eat.”

“Boy, I wanted ta make it on time”, he then said.
He look kinda sheepish, and hung down his head.
“But I stopped at a bar when I finished my rounds.
And run into St. Paddy at the Hare and the Hounds."

"Ya know that he's the very best pal of St. Nick.
But there's none who can put 'em away like that Mick.
And the next thing ya know, we's over at Chances
Where that Tooth Fairy is doin' ten-dollar lap dances.”

“The Tooth Fairy a stripper? That done give me the chills!”
“Yessir”, sez he, “Where ya think she gits all them bills?”
“Jist a minute”, I goes. “Where's the reindeer and sleigh?”
He turnt even redder, and then looked away.

“Well, we had a poker game goin', I thunk I would win.
I wuz holdin' four aces and bet everthang in.”
There was a palpable silence, a terrible hush.
“Then that damn Easter Bunny laid down a straight flush.”

“Well, I cut cards with a redneck and won me that truck
But as for the reindeer, they wuz squat outta luck
They throwed a big barbeque, and cooked 'em up slow
But I must say them reindeer's good eatin', ya know?”

No Dasher, no Dancer, no Prancer and Vixen!
No Comet, no Cupid, no Donner and Blitzen!
For hung on that red-painted monster truck's nose
Wuz eight pairs of antlers, lined up in two rows.

“Anyway, I brung vittles for you and the girls.”
And out of the sack pulled six freshly skint squirrels.
“I jist bagged 'em thar in yer neighbor's back yard
Fry 'em up well, boy, with plenty of lard.”

I goes, “Them squirrels is really fine eating fer shore,
But ta git past tomorrow, we's gonna need more.”
Sez he,“Well, I's a bit short on cash fer today.”
And he give me six lottery numbers to play.

Then up drives my ma with bad blood in her eye
Draws out her six-shooter, jist primed to let fly.
Then lowers her arm down and commences to bawl
Sez, “I love you, you bastard, you tol' me you'd call!”

He sez, “Boy, looks like it's not healthy to linger
Sticks out his mitt and commands “Just pull on my finger.
The truck is fer you, son. I bid ya goodnight.”
And on a column of wind, he plumb riz out of sight.

I feels fevered and flushed as I stands there in awe
And I reckons this redneck St. Nick wuz my paw.
A voice far-off hollers, “Merry Christmas, now, y'all!
Then adds, “Don't fret none baby, jist wait fer my call!”
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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 7:41:00 AM
    Sorry Roy; I don't celebrate Christmas so I kind of skip over x-mas poems as they are in no short supply this time of year. But I think yours is funny. It's not like you wrote it for an elementary school play or something. lol

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    Thomas Avatar F. J. Thomas Date: 1/7/2014 7:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ....but then again I like Andrea's poetry too so maybe that's why I like it lol
  1. Date: 1/6/2014 10:05:00 AM
    Ha....I think it's great!

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  1. Date: 1/5/2014 6:37:00 PM
    hey I am here to say to you again. it is MY kind of poem!!! But my taste is not always that of the typical souper, my friend!!! and you are so right, The Night Before Xmas is almost always parodied when I see it used as the basis of a poem.

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  1. Date: 1/5/2014 9:52:00 AM
    I never expected this poem to be placed, BTW. I did hope for comments. In terms of self-criticism, "The Night Before Christmas" is probably the most parodied Christmas poem out there, so that alone should take it out of contention rather than the content itself. When I read this at a Christmas gathering, people were literally roaring, so I hoped it would be appreciated here as well. In any case, it WAS a new story about Santa and it did have the meter. The "don't trash Santa" criterion was unexpected, I suppose. Call it art or not, but part of art is to surprise and shock people out of their well-rutted paradigms, so that was part of my purpose as well.

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    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 1/9/2014 7:05:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You are sweet Roy, I did worry over the judging in this one. And I'm so glad I didn't hurt your feeling! I have one where Santa talks of hookers! & one where he's Jimmy Carter? & one of the reindeer is Nixon?
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/5/2014 12:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Well, time to clast some other icons anyway. Hmmm. Always wondered about those "nephews" of Donald Duck. Gladstone Duck? Nahhh, too obvious.
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/5/2014 12:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    No hurt. Love you, Debbie. You are my beacon (or beaconess, as Giorgio would say). ;)
    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 1/5/2014 11:38:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    As I did say it is a good poem, it just didn't appeal to me, sorry for any hurt..
  1. Date: 1/5/2014 9:35:00 AM
    oh oh, I just read what Debs said below. I sure made a wrong decision then by using my drunk santa poem.

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    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 1/5/2014 11:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    yes I let they pedophile santa go as well, to tell you the truth I almost let the one about passing gas go, I love the Santa of legend GOOD Santa, why you be good and still have an adventure?
  1. Date: 1/5/2014 9:33:00 AM
    hmm, maybe mine did not place either. I had not even noticed this one was judged already, and I had MY Santa be a drunk! I think your use of red neck speech was a delight. You put a lot of work into this, and I think you should do as Cyndi suggests: try to put it into a magazine that does humor for Christmas time! You know already how much I liked this poem!

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  1. Date: 1/5/2014 8:45:00 AM
    I think that sometimes a contest can be for inspiration only. I was inspired by Craig's typewriter contest to write a poem about Plath. Now, it didn't fit what he was REALLY looking for, and I knew that. But the birth of a poem is always a good thing, yes? So I wrote the poem FOR HIM, but not FOR HIS CONTEST. To me, the poem was a sweat fest, I mean I slaved over this thing. It was a work of love, came from some wild place deep in my heart. When I die, it is the poem I'd want people to read, not because it is great, but because it contains so much of myself, in those lines. I like this poem. It is ribald. But tastes do differ. And you should send this out, for publication.

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/5/2014 10:35:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Cyndi. Publishing is not one of my goals, except on websites. I remember Craig's contest well. I submitted a poem about one of my childhood favorites, Archy the Cockroach. His creator, Don Marquis was fantastic, but practically unknown today. I know that many of you seek publishing, and I find no fault in that, but I always remember this quote from Don Marquis: “Publishing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.”
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/5/2014 8:47:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Seriously, come Spring, check for humour poem magazines -- they will be looking for their Christmas poems around March, I think.
  1. Date: 1/4/2014 11:14:00 PM
    I think its a great poem, Roy. I got so busy with my Christmas projects that had no time for writing or reading and got very behind on the Soap. Keep on writing your fine poetry. Love, Joyce

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  1. Date: 1/4/2014 10:28:00 PM
    I thought about putting up a blog about why I judged the way I did, then I thought, no need to explain it's simply a matte of my taste. But, maybe it would have been better if I had soup mailed you. There were about a half dozen very negative portrayals of Santa Claus. I didn't mean for anyone to 'trash' Santa Claus. All I meant for folks to do is take him on an other adventure other than Christmas eve OR on Christmas eve, just not a repeat of the The Night Before Christmas.

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    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 1/4/2014 10:32:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Though I don't believe Jesus was Christ & I kind of do believe people can rise to a more Godly state [closer to God] like Saints & Budha's. I love the concept of Jesus & the concept of ST. Nicholas so I didn't place any negative images of Santa. It is a well written verse. Just not a good verse for this judge?

My Past Blog Posts

Non-Christian Poetry Contest Update
Date Posted: 10/19/2014 9:05:00 AM
New Contest - Religious Poetry: Non-Christian
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 6:40:00 AM
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 10:57:00 AM
The Pedicure Virgin
Date Posted: 9/11/2014 8:19:00 PM
How to make an image out of a long poem
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 12:58:00 PM
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
Kudos on the Miltonic Sonnet Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 4:06:00 PM
Limerick Contest
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 7:56:00 PM
Roy's Ramblings - The Final Invention
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 9:42:00 AM
Contest Enhancements I'd Like to See
Date Posted: 4/24/2014 10:12:00 AM
Age Test
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 8:44:00 PM

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