I just found a poem by John Detro, who wrote a article about the death of my famous sister, the artist, Christine Rosamond Benton. Thinking the Carmel Pinecone was a real newspaper, and John was a real newspaperman, I sent him my sixty page report my friend Michael Harkins and I compiled. He showed it to Jacci Belford, who showed it to my late sister, Vicki Presco, and she had her son, Shamus Dundon call me, and confront me on the idea Rosamond could have been murdered. I told Shamus my detective friend told me, this…
“Now that we have proven they lied, we have to consider all possibitlites – incluiding murder!”
I told Shamus because he was placed, and placed himself in many places at the time of his famous aunt’s death, the question of murder – is real! We were not saying Rosamond was murdered. But, because people are lying – it looks suspiciously like a cover-up!
The question arose….Why didn’t a real news reporter cover the death of Rosamond. Monterey has a real newspaper. What would that coverage look – and sound like? How come there was not T.V. News coverage? Why didn’t a camera crew got out to Rocky Point and film the place Christine Rosamond was – swept off the beach by a “rogue wave”. If said reporters had gone to Rocky Point, they would discover – there is no beach! How then did she end up in the water?
How ironic that Detro’s poem in called ‘Bag of Wind’ because…the wind was disappeared that day. How come John didn’t call me – and not call Belford?
Bag Of Wind
That fat old geek talks to evergreens. That bald windbag pees against the computer lab. He blobs about the campus like a joke on himself. I might take his class for laughs. They say he really believes dead people sing and certain women glimmer. They say he sobs.
John Detro died on June 26 in Carmel, California. He was sixty. A poet and a respected jazz reporter for the Carmel Pine Cone, John was well loved by almost everyone he touched, either in person or through his work. He was a devout Catholic, and his theology was evident in his books of poetry, including St. Joseph’s Blues (St. Andrews Press). His poem “Bag of Wind” appeared in the October 1995 issue of The Sun.
John and I weren’t particularly close friends. We shared an apartment for nine months before he died because rents are so high in this part of California. We were both writers, and I’d thought that would make us compatible. Not so. But it isn’t easy living with someone under the best of circumstances.
John smoked himself to death. At one point, he was given two to five years to live if he stopped smoking. He didn’t. It hurts to see someone as talented as John throw his life away. I suppose, as a recovering alcoholic, he thought smoking was an acceptable alternative to drinking. Ironic, considering that smoking kills far more people every year than any other drug. This fact has been tolerated thanks to the huge amounts of tax revenue tobacco sales bring to all levels of government, along with the graft politicians accept from tobacco companies. We need more passionate discourse on this problem, which won’t go away, no matter how much the tobacco companies wish that it would.
Robert BatesMonterey, California
JOHN DETRO is a poet and jazz columnist living in Monterey, California. His latest book of poetry is St. Joseph’s Blues (St. Andrews Press).
— From October 1995