Fragments from the Desk of an Esteemed Poet

Fragments from the Desk of the Esteemed Poet,
J. Humbert Riddle, Lately Deceased…
By Causes Unknown

Editor’s Preface:
The reader might be confused by this Riddle poem. So, a few notes.
I found these “Fragments” intact in one of the dark recesses of Riddle’s desk,
And, though I dug, was unable to find the other “Fragments,” assuming of course
That more to this strange piece exist. Riddle, apparently, had arranged these “Fragments”
Himself, and odder still, scratched in the title you just read. How he knew he was about
To die, and “By Causes Unknown,” might just be the central mystery
Of this poem.

Fragment 12

I am a sick man.
I am a poet whose poem
You’re reading right now you
Are and I am a sick man,
A sick poet-man I am…

Mumbling at a bolted down
Desk while bars bar the way
To sunshine and I tremor to
Tremor to hear lunatic wails
Weeping through the walls
That bar me and that bind
Me to cells bored deep

Fragment 32

I am a sick man.
I am a sick
Man I am a
Sick poet-man I

Fragment 2

Dressed to the nines in
White washed rooms that reek
Of madness and measles
That dot the walls and
Whisper that whisper to
Me I on dry nights with
Thunder calling my name out

I am an I am
A sick man am
I am? A
Poet-man I am.

23 thoughts on “Fragments from the Desk of an Esteemed Poet

  1. rum blue July 23, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    You just became my favorite poet. I cannot tell you how rapidly my heart was beating while reading this, knowing full-well that I had just discovered a new poet to make me swoon. I can hardly wait to read more of you.


    • The Literary Doc July 23, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you so much for these kind words! I really appreciate it. Do you also post regularly? I’d love to follow your work as well.


      • rum blue July 23, 2015 / 11:06 pm

        I’m all over the place. I open and delete blogs like a madwoman. I’m presently open in three locales, but the most recent addition is

        Don’t ever feel like you need to “return the favor,” though. I will read you because I genuinely love poetry, not because I expect something in return. And when I say I love poetry, I mean it; it’s my cocaine.

        So who are your favorite poets? I’m an Anne Sexton girl, all the way.


  2. Mary July 23, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    I want to learn more. You have whetted my appetite.


  3. X July 23, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Ha. I like that you put the first fragment last, so we got to see the full on madness- and then maybe back when it was just beginning to take hold. Intriguing way of storytelling. Definitely an interesting find from OpenLinkNight.


  4. Sanaa Rizvi July 23, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    This has left me speechless in awe.. I must know more!!


    • The Literary Doc July 23, 2015 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks! This is the first of many J. Humbert Riddle poems. I’ll post more in the future.


  5. Grace July 23, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    I appreciate learning more of the poet and fragments is an eyeopener ~ Just maybe we poets are a bit on the crazy side ~

    Very nice to meet you ~


    • The Literary Doc July 24, 2015 / 7:07 pm

      Thanks for your input – and I’ll be publishing more of the fragments soon.


  6. Linda Kruschke July 24, 2015 / 12:04 am

    Interesting. I like the Editor’s Preface in particular. Peace, Linda


  7. Glenn Buttkus July 24, 2015 / 12:32 am

    the Riddle Saga will play or post backward perhaps, as we seem to be privy to the epilogue before the body of the piece, a chaotic life well written, & barely lived. Fragmenting facts is a brilliant device for peaking reader’s curiosity. Reads like Rowling’s H. Potter, or notes from unfinished Dr. Seuss, like 30’s pulp adventures, like Spillane’s margin notes; very cool.


  8. thotpurge July 24, 2015 / 12:42 am

    Saddens me to read this.. wondering what the other fragments say. Wish one could reach out more to people in despair.


    • The Literary Doc July 24, 2015 / 7:04 pm

      I’ll definitely keep that in mind. And I’m planning on publishing more of the fragments soon.


  9. Alex Dissing July 24, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    This one just flowed right off the tongue! Well done.


  10. Abhra July 24, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    Very interesting effect of repetition – I love the effect you created. The evidences of inner struggle is beautiful.


  11. Grace Black July 25, 2015 / 1:40 pm

    Much to read between the lines here. Thanks for sharing!


  12. katiemiafrederick July 25, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Sleepless 40 days.. nails driving
    through a head.. metal mirrors
    thick windows. below are
    roofs..will dampening
    a need to jump..
    before it is too
    late to escape..
    oh the stories
    of living death
    of so-called
    are the dreams
    one wants..
    no place
    of Soul…:(

    And oh.. by the
    way.. nice to
    meet you..
    i am the
    dude in
    the world
    and i
    can prove
    it now..
    and enough
    positive energy
    to blow the frigging roof
    off in loving and living life..
    the lessons
    the dark
    of the
    DO TEACH..


  13. C.C. July 25, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    This is fascinating. Read it a couple times and found myself smiling by the end…very well-done.


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