Jack’s a John – blankverse for dVerse


In shadows of what’s yet to come – he hides
intentions of the kills he will commit.
He walks the streets alone – a handsome man,
in alleys where the ladies are for sale,
his fingers priestlike but a rippers mind.

His deeds will harrow us for centuries,
the echoes of his silent steps – are heard
as Jack still hunts the street for other girls
Today, he’s called a john – he rips the souls
of tortured women far from home

Since Jack’s a john – distinguished man
as man of honor, he will leave his home
and kiss his loving wife and say goodbye
a carnivore who hunts the streets
to ravish daughters of his neighborhood

Today Tony has us to write blankverse in dVerse. I used a traditional pentameter. It’s funny once you get hooked on blankverse it’s very hard to stop. The picture comes from Angela’s Visdare prompt, and I saw the ellusive Jack the ripper in the picture, and wanted to draw a paralell to the johns still roaming the streets.

March 27, 2014

69 responses to “Jack’s a John – blankverse for dVerse

  1. ugh… it’s terrible.. both…jack’s and john’s… esp. playing the loving husband and secretly hunting the streets… when i was in london i went on a night tour where they also told us a bit about jack the ripper… terrible stories…

  2. I LOVE the photo, and the way you describe Jack. ‘Fingers priestlike but a rippers mind’. Your poem has a very nice flow to it.

  3. This must be the most perfect title ever. So enticing! Björn, you are a master at painting a poem, and I love that you pull two writing challenges together. A scary subject but also beautiful in its darkness.

  4. Yes, some of these monsters have a wife, and sometimes children. I like the parallel with today’s johns. A powerful reminder that Jack the Ripper is not just a story of the past. Björn, I admire you use of blank verse. I still struggle with rhythm.

    • I think the johns today do kill… they kill spirit directly and indirectly.. I think the Swedish law that make the johns criminals is the only way to go… It has effects.. though we still have it.

  5. Good piece, Bjorn. These men are mentally sick and need help. But they won’t seek it; so unless they’re arrested and forced to, they probably won’t get it. They just go on ruining lives.

  6. oh i am sure there are jacks still around….playing the family man during the day and at night, well…i would agree on how they take spirit by keeping the cycle going….

  7. Yes, Bjorn. Still such a huge issue. Human trafficking is such an evil crime, but the crime would end if we could only stop the johns.

  8. A stunning piece of blank verse, writhing with dark rhythms, brother. It seems that the world’s oldest profession will continue to demand blood sacrifices, does it not?

  9. I like the transformation from jack to John, but still the same ripper of minds and young girls, yikes ~ Scary theme but well done Bjorn ~

  10. Nice profiling of the Ripper. I’m thinking what it would be like if all criminal profiles were done in poetic form!

  11. I really enjoyed this poem Bjorn, I have always had an interest in Jack the Ripper and often thought it sad in a way that his true identity was never clearly established as he has gone through history as a mystery and whatever his deeds the credit has never gone to the man whoever he was.

  12. Your poem points out that sometimes it can be the family man in the community who is the john. Your poem sent me to checking out the ‘sex trafficking’ statutes that exist in my state. Indeed they are strong ones. I think sometimes we are guilty of thinking there is a particular profile for these johns of today. We may be surprised. And…oh, buying sex is definitely a crime here as well. Both the buyer and the seller can be jailed….

  13. I never doubted that you’d rise to the challenge, Bjorn, and you didn’t disappoint. The dark subject makes an interesting contrast with the smoothness of your rhythm in this poem.

  14. This is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Pinning together violence towards women in the sex trade over a period of centuries – a famous long ago case intertwined with the demeaning brutality against women in the neighbourhood – is a brilliant juxtaposition of this atrocity that seems to have no end. Good writing!

  15. Many exist now, today..or are in their earlier years..if only we could find them, prevent them from taking lives out of hand and destroying them…what event tomorrow will trigger the beginning of someone’s rampage? Socially, a real issue; poetically, a raw moving piece.

  16. what you have said above happens to every where and it is an open secret. what i once was thinking as a safe neighborhood is now similar to your above poem………….

  17. Oooh Yes! He lives the double life, looked upon as a ‘Gent’.
    How many men like him have there been over the years; the ones who appear on the outside ordinary yet are monsters in another guise. But these days, those evil ones get caught. But, ‘Ripper’, will forever be unknown, a John indeed.
    I think many are hopeful modern forensics will uncover who this man was; I guess it’s too late but the truth may come out one day and close this mystery. Who knows…

  18. “in alleys where the ladies are for sale”… how depressing and ironic it is to have “ladies” “for sale.” ..Shudders.
    I like how you made a character sketch of sorts, and drew a juxtaposition of how cleaned up man of society he seems against the how awful the reality of his behavior and character underneath is.

  19. So fascinating, Jack the Ripper. I read a novel years back (The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes) after reading a recommendation by Ernest Hemingway, and suffice it to say: it peaked my interest in a big way. Very unsettling. I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy. Great poem, this. I love your description of his fingers as priestlike.

  20. Wow that was so deep!!! I love how you bring out the chilling contrast in murderers and evil people in general. They hide behind perfect charades and do despicable deeds which they know the world will never attribute to them. It says alot about humans and their twisted hearts.

  21. Probably not politically correct to get all scientific on another poetry blog..but interestingly in the US..serial killings have gone down..about 300% since the early 2000’s since the advent of widely available and accessible broad band access to porn…

    It seems that the porn industry may have put the stake through the heart..of the flesh and blood world..of John’s and even the Ted Bundy’s of the world..and moved it into

    a vicarious one…

    And of course crime is going down to…the fringe benefits…of technology..perhaps out weight the crime….

    of prison..in screen..and seat….:)

  22. this is not the first time i find rhythm in your piece. chilling facts! yes and to say each time they give me shivers as i mother a four old year girl

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