Thursday, June 2, 2011

Georgia O'Keefe (1913)

Georgia O'Keefe  (1913)

Just above the too-hot weight of low Texas sky,
there are bone-white bones, a steer skull
with a kindly smile.  Her Amarillo students
ask, Why do you dress like a man?
Alone, outside her rooms-by-the-week hotel,
she fights the impulse to dance the rhythm
of the wind.  A trainload of cattle jerks
and groans eastward.  Why do I like to kiss
the boys, tongue and hard, but decline turnabout?
And if the smoke from a lone cowboy's
campfire in Duro Canyon is golden-blackness,
heaven is a flower flattened between
textbook pages.  Loneliness is so lovely,
black vultures across Texas flat ground.

The poem is from Red Shuttleworth's Ghosts & Birthdays (Humanitas Media Publishing, 2012). Ghosts & Birthdays, available on Amazon, presents bio-sketch poems on Julius Caesar,  Wyatt Earp, Gertrude Stein, Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, Sonny Liston, Kay Boyle, Hunter S. Thompson, and many others.

Red Shuttleworth's Ghosts & Birthdays
is available on Amazon

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