Saturday, August 6, 2011

Emergency Room Check-In, Check-Out, Go Back In

Red Shuttleworth
1974 or 1976


Emergency Room Check-In, Check-Out, Go Back In

Someone's wife in a make-up mask, raccoon-eyed.
She uses a kerchief to wipe fried chicken grease
off her lips and hands, Fence posts  just rolled
lanky off the truck in front of us, ya know.

          ***

Alley rats and a burning high desert wind:
Arnold sleeps beside a blue-eyed cow dog
in a cardboard refrigerator box behind the Sears store.
Desolation-slime of the lungs... people should
brush their teeth before leaving behind
half-drunk soda pop cans 'n'bottles.
Their kids in rags, but they got money
for super sizing and salt-rimmed booze.

          ***

Sister's wedding was as much fun,
a ritzy-blue urn full of human ashes
out a car window at drunk-sixty.
He was using two waiting room chairs,
one for his butt, one for the foot
he'd dropped a twenty pound barbell on.

          ***

At the no-silence-ever tavern across the street
from the hospital, some cops were playing
pool for short stacks of dimes and quarters,
hot for the barmaid in the skinny white dress,
For what... to discover Kleenex in her
Victoria's Secret push-up bra?

          ***

As I walked down the streets of Ephrata....
Curt fractured his thinker cave years back
in a wreck with a green-broke horse.
Tonight he's playing a toy drum
with a couple of toothbrushes.
He's a regular: Got spiders in my socks.
Black widows.  Brown recluses.
Need some tweezers.  Need tweezers real quick.




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