Monday, March 28, 2011

Bad Sleep and Attic Trunk Photo's

                                             
TV Generation, a Ciara Shuttleworth painting



Bad Sleep and Attic Trunk Photo's

Dried blood inside a 19th century
girl's locket in an old cowboy movie:
gravity's a cold-hearted carnivore.
Straw bales are stacked against
the wellhouse and it's 29-degrees.
Baby jostles around in bed,
so you tell her to stop fidgeting.
All day it was a mud-spattered
windshield and trips to the vet.
Sometimes life is simply
kicking through thistles.

     * * *

Necklace, owl, moonlight:
sometimes memory comes
at you like crazed automatic
paper towel dispenser:
the girl who intro'd herself
hadn't cut her hair
in a year and it was half
natural ash-blond
and half the henna-red
she dyed it when she felt
old-retriever-blubbery.
You felt dumb at five a.m.
at the motel's front desk
as she tried to talk the clerk
into unlocking the tall gate
to the outdoor pool.
It was raining outside
and all she had on
was a long plaid shirt.
Before your team
caught the bus,
you left a twenty dollar bill
tied with a pink ribbon
on top of her suitcase.

     * * *

Sure, it's black & white,
but would you look
at the icy sweat
dripping off
Billy the Kid's
gun hand.

     * * *

Mice in the recliner,
the mortgage two-months behind,
she sells her man's Ruger .44.
The chestnut blouse barely fits
and the clingy red dress
has loose neckline threads.
She drops two rough slices
of soda bread into the iron skillet.
fries them in last night's burger grease.
Two cups of black coffee
and she sits in the no-floorboard,
back-window-tarped,
1974 Ford Pinto Wagon,
cheers as a rain-soaked coyote
yelps across a crumbling road
fourteen miles from any town.

     * * *

Imagining there's coin for those of wit,
in Jackpot, Nevada, in the bar at Cactus Pete's
to shelter from a hellacious thunderstorm,
you give it your best smile as a platinum blonde,
once nourished on road kill deer, brags,
I was named after the Truckee River.
Truckee.  I was much younger then.

     * * *

Four double-shots of Wild Turkey
and plain regally corked,
you close your eyes and thank luck
that you don't have to drive drunk
to stick to a job at the air bag plant
or the chicken nugget factory.
The TV is on okay,
though once an hour,
the satellite dish
needs to have snow
brushed away.
It's a late night movie:
fields of spring corn,
a woman named Ruby,
a police chief slapping his wife,
Ruby saying something
about the small of marijuana
being in her hair
and she has to fly to a funeral.
Baby fidgets, says commercials
are half of what
you're describing to her.
Sometimes you're a rented car
dropped off at the wrong airport.



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