Jar Jar Agonistes

Jar Jar Agonistes

Jar Jar Agonistes (2006)

Gollum is way better.
I evoke birthday blight and snakes
to haul home. I stoke vitriol
and hollow men to guess the price

of my money pit. Sad to be
pitied more than Lieberman or
other juggling carpetbaggers. I seem
a nasty senator, a recycling

smattering of acting and idiot
clowning. Executable. Embedded
face down in a chemical treatment plant
to erase all screentime tribulation.

Decline the first glass coffin.
Meesa never asked to be born
or a racist Barney. I’m a rubber schema
and uncomfortable comic relief.

I must be expunged from all prints.
Even my death will annoy you.


This is a “Google poem” — a found text compiled by bits of search phrase strings from Google searches of agonistes and jar jar.

Wikipedia explains the term:

The word Agonistes, found as an epithet following a person’s name, means “the struggler” or “the combatant.” It is most often an allusion to John Milton‘s 1671 verse tragedy Samson Agonistes, which recounts the end of Samson’s life, when he is a blind captive of the Philistines (famous line: “Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves”). The struggle that “Samson Agonistes” centers upon is the effort of Samson to renew his faith in God’s support.

Probably the most famous post-Miltonic use of Agonistes is by T.S. Eliot, who titled one of his dramas Sweeney Agonistes, where Sweeney, who appeared in several of Eliot’s poems, represents the materialistic and shallow modern man. Another well-known example is Garry Wills’ 1969 political book Nixon Agonistes, discussing embattled president Richard Nixon.

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3 thoughts on “Jar Jar Agonistes

  1. And then there’s Richard McKenna’s* “Casey Agonistes”, about a Pookah** in a TB Ward mid-20th Century. Which opens like this:

    You can’t just plain die. You got to do it by the book.

    That’s how come I’m here in this TB ward with nine other recruits. Basic training to die.

    You do it by stages. First a big ward, you walk around and go out and they call you mister. Then, if you got what it takes, a promotion to this isolation ward and they call you charles. You can’t go nowhere, you meet the masks, and you get the feel of being dead.

    *No you’re thinking of Terrence McKenna — different guy (yeah,, you could say that…) and no… that Richard Crenna, who’s possibly last apperance was as the love interest of the Mom of Amy in Judging Amy and who’s first was “Luke” on the Real McCoys. If they gave out chairs to actors like the do to professors, who would hold the Walter Brennan chair today?

    ** Think Harvey, only this one is a bear.
    Now here’s something good. A bear is an animal that children dream of — even before they see one in “real life”. Even better… remember something from one of your recent dreams? ok. Now remember something that “happened to you” last week. Any noticeable difference in the memories except the way you have them cataloged?

  2. Addendum (and then some…)
    I suppose there’s a doctoral dissertation in here somewhere. How dictator’s get elected and yadda yadda bla bla blah. And yet another dissertation: Does a bureacratic dictator hold the reins?

    I know; been that way for all my time.
    til forever, on it goes through the circle, fast and slow,I know; it cant stop, I wonder.
    (Apologies to John Fogerty)

    If they gave out chairs to supreme court justices like they do to professors who would hold the Binks chair today?

    I wonder.

  3. If they gave out chairs to supreme court justices like they do to professors who would hold the Binks chair today?

    I’ll play. Hmmm…

    My “fantasy” pick: Snagglepuss. If a case gets too dicey, he can always recuse himself with, “Exit — stage left.”

    My “reality” pick: Courtney Love. Say what you will, she does know her way around a courtroom. Besides, what does justice cry out for if not more performance art?

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