Playwright Julie Jensen
Postcard to Julie Jensen
Dear Miss Julie, Gust of arctic wind and I shamble
into an all-night roadside cafe. My casual seizures
of inappropriate rage or amusement are twenty years
north of Vegas and Red Rock. In one booth
a couple of kinds are mutually glazed
with denim 'n leather seduction. Up the aisle
there's a girl with frizzed blonde hair,
blue fingernails, and kippered face,
bred LDS-upright and tamped down,
wickedly perfumed, trembling over coffee...
a character from one of your plays?
The waitress jingles and scuffs toward me
with a dog-eared menu, grins like a rock chuck.
Unshaven for days and not a fraction rich,
I still listen to my lunatic heart.
My waitress has cigarette burns in her voice.
She's stoned, chewing gum. I order
a night's sleep covered with a buffalo robe.
She serves me charred bacon and a gooey
fried egg, says, as if I've invited her to bed,
I don't trust guys in snap shirts and trophy buckles.
She's ice rain on warped corral boards.
Julie, you know the bump
of this country. Love, Red
* This poem is contained in a 2010 Red Shuttleworth chapbook, Drug Store Vaquero (Phoenix: The Basement).