Murder Ballads


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Mark Sebastian Jordan has worn many hats in his day: radio DJ, businessman, actor, innkeeper, playwright, museum docent, theatrical director, improv comedian, reporter, composer, convenience store clerk, music critic, TV ghost expert, historian, and storyteller. But before all these things, the thread running through his life has always been poetry. He knew for sure that he was a poet when he read Walt Whitman’s Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking at age 14 and found himself at one with the boy in the poem, the “singer of a thousand songs” abruptly thrust into a life of creativity by his first understanding of sorrow and loss. Despite a few tries, he has not been able to stop writing poetry ever since. He lives in the rural central highlands of Ohio, where he operates the Malabar Farm Hostel for Hostelling International, a not-for-profit organization which promotes world peace and understanding through affordable travel.

“Murder Ballads” is a collection of American crime poems, covering subjects such as The Black Dahlia, the Kingsbury Run Torso Murders, and the life of Celia Rose.


…All my selves watch from the wings,
Locked in cells that see no morning.
Speak we now cryptic, coptic,
Subdued, erotic; but the doctor
Has drained the chemistry set,
And the nurses smoke my cigarettes.
Every word they drop in passing
Is a bullet whose autobiography
No one should have to read…



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