Posted in Artish, Guest Thoughts, The Now

John B Poem

The very last bit of S-Town, an unflinching, brutally straightforward, deeply empathetic and yeah, pretty sad podcast about the enigmatic and beautiful genius John B McLemore, is a chunk of McLemore’s writings delivered by the interviewer and host Brian Reed.

If you make it to the end of this series without shedding a tear, then maybe you’re made of clockwork. When Reed read this sort of epilogue, sort of self-eulogy-ish bit of John B’s writing, I stopped what I was doing, choked up, listened to it over and over, marveled at it, then transcribed it as best I could. It sent me down a lot of Wikipedia pages looking for the references and spellings. Forgive the errors and please offer corrections. With deep respect and admiration:


I have coaxed many infirm clocks back to mellifluous life

Studied Projective geometry and built astrolabes, sundials

Taught myself nineteenth century electroplating, bronzing, patination, micro-machining, horology, learned piano

Read Poe, De Muapassant, Picaccio [?], O’Connor, Witte, Hugo, Balzac, Kafka, Bataille, Gibran

As well as modern works by Mortimer, Hawking, Kunstler, Klein, Jacoby, Heinberg, Hedges, Hitchens and Rhodes

But the best times of my life I realize were the times I spent in the forest and field

I’ve walked in solitude beside my own babbling creek and wondered at the undulations, meanderings and tiny atolls that were occasionally swept into its midst

I’ve spent time in idle palaver with Violets, Lyreleaf Sage, Heliopsis and Monkshood and marveled at the mystery of Monotropa uniflora

I have audited the discourse of the Hickories Oaks and Pines even when no wind was present

I have peregrinated the woods in winter under the watchful guard of vigilant dogs and spent hours entranced by the exquisiteness and delicacy of tiny mosses and molds – entire forests within a few square inches

I’ve also run thrashing and flailing from Yellow Jackets

Before I could commence this discourse I spent a few hours out under the night sky reacquainting myself with the constellations, like old friends

Sometimes I just spend hours playing my records

Sometimes I took my record players and CD players apart just to peek inside and admire the engineering of their incongruous entrails

Sometimes I watch Laverne & Shirley or old movies or Star Trek

Sometimes I sat in the dark and listened to the creaking of the old house

I have lived on this blue orb now for about 17,600 days and when I look around me and see the leaden dispiritedness that envelops so many persons both young and old, I know that if I die tonight, my life has been inestimably better than that of most of my compatriots

Additionally, my absence makes room and leaves resources for others who deserve no less than I have enjoyed

I would hope that all persons reading this can enjoy some of the aspects of life that I have enjoyed as well as those aspects that I never will and will take cognizance of the number of waking days he has remaining and use the prudently

To all that have given so much, much love and respect

  • John B McLemore




Graphic designer / project manager / gardener living in Denver, Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s