Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BLUE BOOK, A Red Shuttleworh Poetry Chapbook

Blue Book

Eight Poems

Red Shuttleworth

Eight poems from a recent Red Shuttleworth series composed in longhand in 28-year-old Drake University examination blue books are presented in a new chapbook, Blue Book, published by Bunchgrass Press in a limited edition.

One of the rediscovered 28-year-old  Drake University
exam blue books used by Red Shuttleworth to compose new poems.

The poems included in Blue Book are:

Soren Kierkegaard

Sigmund Freud (On America)

Gary Cooper

Harry Truman

Salvador Dali

Joseph Beuys

Only for the Gone


South of the Snake River

South of the Snake River

Red Shuttleworth
Visiting Writer, Drake University, Spring Semester 1987

Monday, May 18, 2015

South of the Snake River

South of the Snake River

Early May... you slow-drive Lyons Ferry Road,
drought not so evident.  Windows rolled down,
you look-'n-listen for ancient Nez Perce  ponies.
Double-wide farmhouses... shower-damp road,
aged bloodshot eyes in the rear view mirror.

You park the car, walk a crushed rock road.
Head-down, you scrawl and organize
--jerky penmanship--  simple toolbox words.
Daydream-tangible, the sky turns choppy-grey.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sunlight-Scatter... Saturday

Sunlight-Scatter... Saturday

This overarching happiness
is a fresh-painted red truck on gravel...
an empty cattle trailer rattling behind it.
All that rust shaken off and windblown.

Tomorrow I shall get up at four a.m.,
drive to Walla Walla, listen to Russell
sing Blue Wing over and over again.
Tomorrow: snapshots of drought country,
lines in a red-as-lifeblood notebook.

It will be Sunday tomorrow...
like day-old roadside shell casings.
This happiness will be chalky memory.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov

Furious, devil-growl thunder to a threadbare east,
cartoonish voices on crackle-patriotic television....

Kiev: May Day afternoon.  Your yellow-rose house
casts a pale shadow for the drunk and fevered.
They're selling potatoes, painted rugs, old shoes,
manuscript ashes on a street of broken stones.

In Moscow they peddle CD's of Joe Stalin singing...
"Suliko," We're alone... among the thorns of the bush.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Only for the Gone

Only for the Gone

The physical weight of a daydream:
Basho's decay-to-dust walking stick.

So it is that you establish
two children in a winter procession
carrying ancient bronzed toddler shoes.

The inner life: slumped over-and-into fried eggs
at a roadside cafe, you're way too old for funerals.

Abundance: a crush-heavy sky over desert.
Someday, We used to live around there.

Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol

Set warm and face-down in the earth,
heart still beating, you were abandoned...
pain-twisted like a Ukrainian curved pine.
Laughter: the weight and heat of your fire:

light and darkest night... spilled ale...
rum cake.  Heaven never gets fleshed-out.

Vladimir Putin brings wild blue orchids
to your grave.  Big-gesture tsars are lost
forever in the scrawl of secretaries...
dead souls... gap-tooth nightmare grins.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sunset on Mars

Sunset on Mars (NASA photograph)

Sunset on Mars

You awaken to mountains without tree line...
death-breeze... slow-settling red-ocher grit-veils.
Sadness grounded, you slow-roll toward eternity...
a water-gone Mars... burnt chocolate on cinnamon. 

Distant metallic scuffle of large Martian mammals,
armor against thick body plate?  No... it's wind...
an amethyst sky, a blinding pewter-blue sun
at horizon... broiled.  This is palpable dust-to-dust.