Sunday, December 30, 2012
For half-inch cubes of cheddar cheese,
the Wolfhound lumbers, nearly three-legged
by my side... no wind... twenty-three degrees:
we have no need for first light in this moonlight
on thin snow over ice.
We are talking best times:
puppy-ripped Tony Lama boots, pissing rugs,
chewing mail, dragging ragged blankets
through the house, barking at UPS drivers,
hard-'n-fast sweaty three-miles runs
through sagebrush, the blood-song folk music
of coyotes, bribe-biscuits at the veterinarian's....
I am explaining how Marc Chagall's blue
is different from Pollock's car-paint blue.
The Wolfhound lurches, huffs, steps wooden
around the trunks of non-native pines
that did not make it on this shrub steppe.
The Wolfhound pauses to listen
to an hour-late train bound for Seattle.
I speak of dining cars: butter-fried eggs,
marmalade on whole wheat golden toast,
orange juice in crystal goblets,
motion-dazzled passengers just awake
from dreams of a'horseback ancestors.
The Wolfhound listens to me,
because that's part of his provisional job,
something to pass crumpled time with...
before he flies into a moonless, eternal night.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
A Few Days...
The hours braid and snap... dawn after night.
You watch the middle-aged Wolfhound's eyes
medication-glaze, his thoughts thick and unsaid.
The biscuits appear stacked against him now.
You gently massage his cancerous left wrist,
that front leg and its new knob, ask him,
What do you make of au currant girls
who add blonde streaks to brown hair?
The Wolfhound has always enjoyed
your lame questions. The winter-hard
ground out back has a four-foot deep hole.
You open the refrigerator, slowly unwrap
aluminum-foiled slices of roast beef,
watch as he struggles upright...
a study of will over pain and dopey-brain.
He stumbles at you, dislocated,
a bit of wild happiness yet in his heart...
some appetite left to gulp sliced cow,
a touch of Irish canine bravado
to mock your fear for him.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Ghosts & Birthdays
A new collection of poems by Red Shuttleworth, Ghosts & Birthdays, is available from the publisher, Humanitas Media Publishing... and from other online sources (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book sellers).
Many of the poems in this book first saw publication in distinguished literary journals, including Aethlon, Blue Mesa Review, Chattahoochee Review, Concho River Review, Interim,
Los Angeles Review, and Suisun Valley Review.
The poems in Ghosts & Birthdays offer penetrating, sometimes visceral, sometimes poignant elegies to a variety of heroes and villains, including Mikhail Lermontov, Gustav Klimt, Wyatt Earp, Georgia O'Keefe, Sergei Yesenin, Hank Williams, Albert Camus, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Sonny Liston, Ted Williams, Elvis Presley, Kay Boyle, and Hunter S. Thompson.
A prolific poet and playwright, Red Shuttleworth is a three-time recipient of the Spur Award for Poetry from Western Writers of America, for Johnny Ringo in 2013, Roadside Attractions in 2011, and for Western Settings in 2001.
The cover of Ghosts & Birthdays features a painting of Marilyn Monroe by Red Shuttleworth's poet-painter daughter, Ciara Shuttleworth.
Feeble Breeze and Freezing Mist
A glass of fat-free milk
on its kitchen-table side...
like a memory room-corner curled...
and brown hound eyes whisper,
Stop slouching around the house.
In a dim room,
you bend and cut time
into crinkled aluminum strips
to frame stained-glass...
toward a homemade
saint who never was...
never will be.
All the clocks are bashed-in.
Someone will have to phone
when night fades into light.
Do not offer the hound
an alibi for your enormous
as a cracked crystal dish
of stale butterscotch candies.
No... instead offer a better-days
Western snap shirt, bunched
to make a small pillow.
The Price of Cheerful
January clouds arrive a week early,
to soak-up the blood
on mileage markers.
Rubber swords and hula hoops:
you are too old to be a tricked dog.
Also: no one remembers
ahead of time
being lost in one's own basement.
Snow... and you blow your nose
into an anguish handkerchief,
not yet bundled homeward
in funeral rags.
Which brings us to stories
of rust-stained tubs
in studio apartments
for those who've rolled
at least one SUV.
January clouds say,
I tried. I waited for you.
Later... silence comes
after a huge flat screen TV
flutters off a wall
like a hyper-sonic butterfly.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
The Droll Impossible
Some night when snow is way up
against the door, they'll remember
your madcap motion. You believe so.
Panic-wishes, like for six more
months of wild life, are sawed down
as easily as rotted barn wood boards.
You see the grave hand-dug for you,
the bottle of Kessler's whiskey they will pour
over your cancer-broken Wolfhound carcass.
Life, friends, is ethereal...a plain calico
dream, a dream-sunset in distant foothills.
In last weeks, your porous leg bones creak.
Only by chance, by a random cup of stardust,
will you see your beloved humans again,
perhaps in a cosmic mirror of rosy-pale marble.
You are doped-up, slant-down on hound bed.
You are belly-full of steak, and know you have
given heart enough so that they may weep honestly.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Autumn Chronograph: 90
Autumn bangs a chair off a door at snowy four a.m.,
an end to clarity beyond the doped-up, dozing
Wolfhound with a bone cancer left ankle.
He will not sing in April, not for love or burger.
What do you expect from December, indulgence?
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The woods on either July side of Painter Hill Road
are ripe-green, hunter green, lime-memory green.
It is Connecticut: summer-drunk houses, Yale
men, tolerated celebrities, new mud-murky ponds.
The boy is ushered into a rectangular room.
Wicker furniture. An elephant's foot stool
that will sell at Christies for thousands
when the next century cuts into life's dance.
Tonight the boy, nine, has a babysitter.
She is sixteen... in khaki shorts, blue polo shirt.
Her mother serves coconut cookies... milk.
It is the hour the sun slow-falls on copperheads.
The babysitter opens the elephant's foot stool:
week old copies : The Wall Street Journal.
The boy stares at the newspapers until
the girl laughs, slams the foot's lid down.
The boy's mother and stepfather
are taking Arthur and Marilyn to dinner
to make up for blurted curses when the boy
was caught ruining poolside oak furniture.
Your parents, the babysitter applies lipstick,
are not really your real parents.
Her lips are Sunday school colonial-crimson.
Marilyn and Arthur are so... forgiving.
The babysitter's mother looks in, smiles.
The babysitter's name is Hope or Faith...
or Eleanor. The father fishes in Canada
or Africa. He sells Cadillacs or stocks.
Babysitter Hope wants to swim in the pond.
Have you ever gone swimming so alone
you can see yourself from a far off star?
The boy realizes he is mouth-open chewing.
Babysitter Faith's eyes are green bones.
You aren't scared of water are you?
She has the only flashlight... faint amber
on the water, You're not from important blood.
The boy thinks her voice raindrops
on crystal. He pulls jockey shorts higher,
inches into the pond, onto pebbles, fist-rocks.
The darkness thickens on his lemony fear.
The boy imagines he will walk his springer-mutt
up the abandoned fern-besotted road the next day.
Babysitter Eleanor-Faith-Hope two-hands his head
underwater. How dare you misbehave at Marilyn's?
He shivers stretched on wicker under blankets.
The babysitter is beside him, her arms tight
around his skinny chest. The trees outside are black.
The elephant foot has four neatly trimmed toenails.
When the boy is collected, his mother gushes
as if someone's bleeding has been arrested.
His stepfather smells like a schoolboy's ill-used
chemistry set, A month's savings in concrete shoes!
Patches of memory come thicket-torn to the boy:
the stepfather's Hudson Hornet, Hope's pearly skin,
his mother's East 73rd Street post-divorce apartment.
One shack-trapped August, the boy will be sixty...
in a flash-blast thunderstorm, watching headlights
on a desert road, listening for something certain,
like the clatter-bang of a bad-shocks GMC pick-up
bouncing over a cattle guard far from Connecticut.
Ethereal wedding aisle, foreign stamps to hobby-glue
on a wastebasket, Junior League money-stubble charity
work in Bethlehem or New Haven: Hope will be memory,
false or elaborate... her arms around his drowning.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Paper money not worth burning, she is dumb
with cold her feet meat slabs. Three days ago
the Red Army in Perm. Fires. This Tatar
taking gold from her father to save her.
He saves her for a field of ripped clothes.
They are north of Vladivostok. The Tatar
dances drunk on his horse, digs gold
from the teeth of the dead. Some he sliced open.
No bath. The Tatar says, You cabbage-stink
pussy. She walks behind his horse
to the docks: Vladivostok. The Red Army
weeks or days behind holding executions.
The ship's captain gives the Tatar passage
for two. You must only kill by permission.
The Tatar grins-maniacal. In the Sea of Japan
men are stabbed, hefted overboard: no-moon sea.
The Tatar owns a fine lady's leather purse
for ears, fingers, tongues, parts private.
He slaps her each dawn so that she might
appreciate each day. And she prays.
The ship leaks. It is made from rust.
Water rationed by teaspoons. The Tatar
advises, Suck the bones clean...
chew long, and longer the rat's bones.
She prays. All there is: heart-punch-loss.
Dreams of Perm... her mother... her dead brother
hanging butcher-shop skinned.... the Reds.
It is 1922 like Siberian wind upon Vladivostok.
Of two-hundred, three-dozen step onto land.
The Philippines. The Tatar buys her a brush,
laughs at her louse-filled waist-length
strawberry-blonde hair... saws it off with a knife.
Dear Reader, no more louse-crawl pages...
maggot-filled bodies. No. Only sweet silence...
fog... San Francisco... a hospital bed... a baby
daughter the Tatar names Anna.
Anna is reading her unpublished Vladivostok novel
to Andy Warhol. New York: sooty 1960 summer.
I don't think, Andy squirms over a silkscreen,
bodice rippers are happy soul songs.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Tiflis (Tibilisi), a Painting by Mikhail Lermontov
After a duel pine needles handfuls
of pine needles are thrust into a shoulder wound.
Princess L. presently marries for money
takes a fast carriage back to Saint Petersburg
or... the events happen in reverse.
Drowns years later (sequined organdy)
under the weight of her horse.
Then the horror the statue
of empty eyes
& traffic & slammed brakes.
No pine needles for the passengers
trapped bloody & deafened
by 19th century Tbilisi music.
This is how it begins & ends.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Scatter the Routes
When this pre-dawn poem-portrait is forgotten.
when the Bowie-torn shirt of yesterday is burned
out back with pine branches and rotted alfalfa bales...
when the luckiest stars have sparked across the enduring sky,
when the last cafe waitress has grappled for what can substitute
for love, let me fade like crushed rock into bad-crop-year ground.
All the great dead poets offer marble-white smiles.
All the mistresses of colonels and poets and fragile boys
offer dipped-in-chocolate kisses... but not here and not today.
All the great dead poets walk transparent through my sage steppe,
sing choked-off salty poems of pistols and unfaithful lovers:
good goddamned grief, Lermontov, you don't pull the trigger...
only daydream --in the middle of a duel-- that the paintings,
merely a handful, and the poems, will make some difference?
Oh, the sunlit morning gunsmoke and the fuzzy green distant trees...
and no desire to return to that small cottage, its pens, its filthy socks,
its empty vodka bottles, its fallen, syphilitic princess waiting for you....
So I am drinking toward dawn on an American Thanksgiving Day
when the soul-diseased prepare to annually feast-an-insult
at the Mohawk, the Lakota, the Paiute, the Apache...
with turkeys washed in their own blood, pus, piss, and shit.
I am drinking like Yesenin, like Berryman, and I am
just as Caligula-mad as Lowell, but with half the gift
to make words into bitter salt to burn the nation's greed
for Black Friday bargains and flail-later-debt
to cigarette-stench bankers and hope-faded Romneyites.
I am drinking... singing lust-transparent songs
of low-cut prom gowns, homecoming queen breasts...
songs to crippled-fish rivers, songs of film noir and Western
movie blondes with cigarette-sexy, husky voices
silenced long, long-fucking-ago by the canned laughter
of church ladies and their thorn-eyed flaccid-dick husbands,
silenced by the steamed fat-boy shirts at evangelical TV
who hallucinate a seventy-foot-high Jesus taking notes
on whose been good and who's been bad.
The gardens of the poor offer no relief.
There's been a hellish drought.
The gravy has dried flies in it.
Today's turkey, greasy drumstick and dry white meat,
offers indoor pioneer West land-office business,
in emergency rooms... from Hilton Head
to Dodge City, from Glenwod Springs to Hollywood,
heart attack pumpkin pies with canned-stroke whipped cream.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The six-pack of poems in Homage acknowledges the four and a half decades of influence certain writers have had on my poetry.
To some measure, these homage poems (to Samuel Beckett, John Berryman, Johannes Bobrowski, Dag Hammarskjold, Randall Jarrell, Yasunari Kawabata, and Ivan Turgenev) are exercises, though I hope they rise above that.
A great number of other writers have influenced me as much, or more, than those I try to honor with my poems in this small collection. My first influence, in the summer of 1967, as I wrote my first poem, was William Butler Yeats. The trigger for that first poem was a beautiful woman who ran nude, when the fog was thick, on San Francisco's Ocean Beach. I thought, way back then, that I could write a poem worthy of her.... She was my first Muse.
I heard many a glad Samuel Beckett anecdote from his friend Kay Boyle and plenty of disconcerting, bittersweet, sometimes hilarious stories about John Berryman from William Dickey (Berryman's student at the Iowa Writers Workshop). I am grateful.
~ Red Shuttleworth
Thursday, October 11, 2012
To the Contrary
To the Contrary is a limited edition chapbook of Red Shuttleworth poems.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Columbia Basin Dust, Wildfire Smoke, Volcanic Ash Storm
Air's so bad...
saw a pack
each one dragging
an oxygen tank.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Autumn Chronograph: 21
Dry-green timber flames-up to sparse clouds not fifty
miles otherward from your tilt. You find your bottle-
thirsty self in the wrong bar: loiter-ditch young women...
penciled eyebrows, boob tattoos of emergency room faces.
To them you are no more than old age bone-scars.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
a limited edition
chapbook anthology of new poems
Barbara Brinson Curiel
Adrian C. Louis
Barbara Brinson Curiel teaches in the departments of Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English at Humboldt State University. She is the author of Speak to Me From Dreams, a collection of poems. Curiel is a Fellow of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latino poets.
Adrian C. Louis has published eleven books of poetry, including the recently released collection, Savage Sunsets. His novel Skins was made into a feature film. Louis teaches English at Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Red Shuttleworth's latest play, High Plains Fandango, was produced this past February by State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of two poetry books, Western Settings and Johnny Ringo, and over two dozen poetry chapbooks.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Before the Antique Milky Way Vanishes
Now light years into my anecdotage,
the path is confected from the breath of angels...
off-season ghosts in Old West towns,
moonlight on tea cups in shuttered souvenir shops.
Somewhere a man cardiac-lurches from his gas mower,
leaves window light to glare on crystal-green grass.
Somewhere a woman stares up at a hoaxy smile
on a billboard, pleased with stolen motel towels.
Hubble will soon teach us we live on a mirror-flat
heart-shaped cosmos, dotted with full lipsticked lips...
frigid kisses here and hotter-'n-fire kisses there.
My spastic throwing hand grips eternity's doorknob.
Bourbon night, heaven-gallop stardust horses!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Ciara Shuttleworth & Red Shuttleworth
toast LOS ANGELES REVIEW
and editor Kelly Davio
Issue #13 of Los Angeles Review includes poems by Ciara Shuttleworth and Red Shuttleworth... Ciara's five-page "Seven Years in San Francisco" and Red's "Elvis Presley.
Both Ciara and Red have poems in previous issues of Los Angeles Review.
Ciara has also published poems in Concho River Review, Cutthroat, Minnetonka Review, The New Yorker, and other journals. Ciara has a poem in the recently released second edition of Heather Sellers' text for creative writing students, The Practice of Writing, and she has a poem in the new edition of The Norton Introduction to Literature.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A Limited Edition Bunchgrass Press Chapbook Anthology
A Limited Edition Bunchgrass Press Chapbook Anthology
J.V. Brummels, Luke Shuttleworth,
Red Shuttleworth, and Paul Zarzyski
(photo by Kenton Rowe Photography)
Monday, August 20, 2012
In addition to the title poem, Red Shuttleworth's Rambling Apparition contains four other poems.
This chapbook from Bunchgrass Press is printed on 32-pound ivory antique laid paper in a limited edition.
John Berryman, in Dream Song 45, wrote, "He stared at ruin. Ruin stared right back."
Sunday, August 19, 2012
One of These Days
A Chapbook Mini-Anthology of New Writing
John Dofflemyer is author of Proclaiming Space and the editor of Dry Crik Review. He is regularly featured at the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.
Morgan Harlow's first collection of poetry, Midwest Ritual Burning, was recently released.
Nuno Santos (memoirist, fictioneer, dramatist, translator) lives in Portugal. He studied at New York University and has been associated with Naked Angels, a New York theatre company.
Red Shuttleworth is a three-time Spur Award-winner for Poetry (Western Settings, Roadside Attractions, and Johnny Ringo). Red's most recent full collection of poems, Ghosts & Birthdays,
published by Humanitas Media Publishing, is available on Amazon.
published by Humanitas Media Publishing, is available on Amazon.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Facebook & Mark Zuckerberg + Greed = SPAM
Desperate to maintain corporate viability with investors and shareholders, vacant of any idea or tactic beyond selling ads, Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg) has resorted to a dizzying barrage of pop-up ads, particularly for games (the turf of morons) on users' profile and news feed pages.
Zuckerberg, a master of pedophile tactics, believes that users will not leave Facebook over advertising irritations and privacy invasion. Zuckerberg puts users in mind of the sort of guy who shows up uninvited to social events, who paws (greasy, sweaty palms) through family albums... who wipes his boogers across the family pictures of others... who then scoots to a nearby bathroom to masturbate. This is the sort of guy Mark Zuckerberg is.
What to do? Let Facebook advertisers know that you think Mark Zuckerberg is a creepy, stinky, voyeur-pig who is stealing their money.
Get in touch with the Federal Communications Commission and complain. Facebook is a communications company. Would you tolerate ads during your telephone conversations?
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Clean Dry Light
built on millionaire's whims,
mildewed nineteenth century
landscapes concealed behind
pale blue Venetian blinds,
washed-out maids too broke
to cope with rain-eyed daughters
crusted by flash bulb shadows...
the easy money from surgeons
who snip colon polyps by day.
See the stones in the kettle's
boiling creek water. See the price
of butcher's twine increase. See
the puckered face of the man
who owned the small record store,
who owned the dark and mousy
movie house, the clock repair shop:
Never seen IT coming, no more
than a child's chalk drawing
sees midnight headlights
flaring 'tween middle-of-the-road
Valentine's hearts and roses.
What do I do in the daytime?
The barmaid palms her
stretched and distressed
Omak Stampede T-shirt,
adjusts the too large
push-up bra underneath,
echoes my question.
I sleep, by my fucking self,
and look for my inner glossy.
Old horses and carrots,
grandmas patching together
memorial quilts, kids walking in
and out of electric doors until
junior bankers give chase,
novelty outfits that sell soft
plastic fake-vomit puddles
to place on teacher's desks,
See the bronze sun-drop horizon,
no clouds to twitch the vision.
There's drought on the American tongue.
There's keyboard dust in the eyes
of friends and readers.
An owl sets itself on a power pole,
casts a gold-going-crimson pair of eyes
at a future we have come to believe
can be caught with cameras
at a safe pastry-sweet distance.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Flaming Cliffs... Orpimental Sunrise
In northern Georgia, in the Caucasus, in a village
a mile from a bulldozed arsenic factory, in Black Valley,
children cough and cough, hawk-up golden phlegm...
pigment to paint the blonde hair of a Hollywood starlet.
You are not there, no. You have just dreamed
the Flaming Cliffs of Mongolia... horsemen westward,
a half million of them for blood and Moscow dumplings.
You have dreamed orpiment crystal crafted
into skull pendants encased in gold... museum pieces
too deadly for proms, weddings, honeymoons, funerals...
You have dreamed and now you stare into a posthole
not quite deep enough for cedar posts if they are cedar.
Somewhere you have never been and will never go:
a soft rain muddies an arsenic dump... not far
from a flooded mine where water rises softly
to caress jade-green walls that rise toward sunlight yellow.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
a poetry chapbook by
No Rain, a new poetry chapbook by Red Shuttleworth, contains poems previously published in Suisun Valley Review and Roundup! (an anthology edited by Paul Andrew Hutton for La Frontera Publications in 2010).
No Rain is a limited (24 copies) edition chapbook for friends and collectors.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The Silver State
Red Shuttleworth's newest poetry chapbook, The Silver State, is available in a limited (26 copies) edition. The six-poem collection contains "In Deep Bourbon Cover" (first published in chum), "Casino Oatmeal," "This Was Wild Horse Country," "The Heart Gnaws on Itself," "Old Silver... Aged Stars over Nevada... the Usual Bluff," and "Ghost Town Hotel."
Monday, July 9, 2012
an eight poem suite
Red Shuttleworth's Thanatos, an eight poem suite, is temporarily available in a limited edition of 33. The cover features a Ciara Shuttleworth painting. Along with the poems are photographs and crayon sketches by Red Shuttleworth.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A Hurrah from Germany
Distinguished literary and fine arts critic Dr. Jens-Peter Becker has posted an essay, This Place of Memory, on his blog (http://loomings-jay.blogspot.de/ ) about the poetry of Red Shuttleworth.
If you can read German, or can trudge your way through Google's mangled translation of German to English, Dr. Becker's essay will delight you... if you like Red Shuttleworth's poetry.
Dr. Jens-Peter Becker
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Beef State
Red Shuttleworth's The Beef State,
a limited edition chapbook
from Bunchgrass Press,
presents nine Nebraska poems.
a limited edition chapbook
from Bunchgrass Press,
presents nine Nebraska poems.
Friday, June 22, 2012
When Facebook users "Like" a product or page, Facebook often enough transmits, through the News Feed, that user's "Like" as an ad...without paying the user for the endorsement.
If this happens to you, why not get an attorney and sue Facebook? You deserve to be compensated when Facebook sells your name and/or image to an advertiser.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
Red Shuttleworth's epic poem, Johnny Ringo, is available as a paperback (from Amazon).
"In poetry that burns with the cold fire of truth, Red Shuttleworth
traces the life of Johnny Ringo, a notorious Old West outlaw
who left a trail of blood and misery. I am haunted by
Shuttleworth's authentic voice of violence, insanity, despair.
Johnny Ringo is a chilling achievement, finely wrought,
and an unblinking look at one of the most compelling characters
of the true west. Johnny Ringo is transcendent.
- Max McCoy, author of Damnation Road
(Two-Time Spur Award Recipient)
Monday, May 28, 2012
by Gui Faria
When a Child Draws with Crayons
Early-up old men sit outside a feed store,
chew half-smoked cigars, watch a darkness turn gray.
In the ramshackle cafe across the dirt road,
a waitress aprons-up, puts on a new,
if cheap, ebony Stetson, looks outside
at a battered '76 GMC pick-up
as an aged rancher backs it onto a patch
of broken beer bottles.
When a child
draws with crayons, the moon hangs in the sky
longer than it ever has, stops gnawing its own
fingernails and toenails, stays full for weeks
and smiles upon the lucky-to-be-living.
The waitress begins filling coffee mugs
as the early-up old men som'bitch-asshole this
and cocksucker that, as they complain about doctors,
the cost of prescriptions that half-way hold-off
artery clogs. The waitress slow-warms bacon grease
in a couple of fry pans... brags how she's going to drop
egg shells in a certain someone's scrambled ranch eggs.
When a child draws with crayons, Denim Blue,
Sunset Orange, Caribbean Green, the moon spins
so slow that it shows its secret side, the one with pools
of diamonds, the one with dancing lady bugs,
the side with forests of four-leaf clover trees.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Ghost of Ossie Vitt
a one poem chapbook
In the course of working on a book-length manuscript of poems based on the "Happy Birthday" and "Ghost of..." poems, plus the bio-sketch poems from the Brief Lives chapbook, it seemed that the Ossie Vitt poem was not going to make the cut... for various reasons. But I like the poem....
So... The Ghost of Ossie Vitt is now available as a limited edition (44 numbered and signed copies) chapbook.
Decades ago, poet / watercolorist Jim Hubert and I went down to Palo Alto to visit Kenneth Patchen's widow, Miriam. She showed us a few homemade, with beautiful painted covers, chapbooks that Patchen made from sheets of thin cardboard... the kind inserted at the backs of shirts by dry cleaning stores. I believe that Miriam Patchen sold or donated her collection of Kenneth Patchen's homemade books to Stanford University.
In this ugly epoch of ebooks and ejournals put out by inelegant folks, literary phonies, it makes a kind of sense to rebel and put out, even by self-publication occasionally, a chapbook using good paper... if only for a few friends.
Having a blog is a kind of cave-in to au currant technology, yes. So I am not without literary guilt.
Ossie Vitt was a man of a far different age. He was a tough old man when I met him. He'd played on the Tigers with Ty Cobb. Cobb and Vitt were old school baseball men. By 1940, the boys who would be The Greatest Generation were too soft and spoiled for the likes of Ossie Vitt and Ty Cobb. Vitt's 1940 Cleveland Indians, including future Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, whined to ownership about Vitt being a hard-ass manager, one quick to blame, one who never praised. When I met Vitt, as a student at the San Francisco Examiner Baseball School around 1959, I taunted him about the Indians firing him. He growled back... about my deplorable fielding. Good days. The poem, the chapbook arrive out of memory. Rest in Peace, Ossie Vitt.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Wolfie Shuttleworth (2008-2013)
Blueberry Muffin Sky... Another Swallow of Cherry Coke
You're counting oncoming cars and trucks:
thirty-three between Soap Lake and Ephrata.
How easy to swerve across a center line
while mulling over how coyotes
quickly acquire a taste for sick llama.
The only yellow canine eyes ahead
are between royal-blue clouds.
The state is privatizing the sale of booze.
Coming soon to Safeway: long stemmed
white roses between bottles of Wild Turkey.
That's what you suggest to the clerk
who wonders why, at age seventy,
you give a crap if the Hershey bars are fresh.
At Ace Hardware the breasty young blonde,
who helps you find a package of D-rings,
says she can't go home tonight, My mom's
there with her new boyfriend who works
sometimes at the auto parts store.
It's human to seek borders...
to treat memories as if they are plastic
toys to be thrown off walls.
You like the idea of making memories,
so you offer what you hope can pass
as a dangerous famished-coyote smile
to the hardware girl... something close
to a three-chord country-guitar song.
The hound behind you in the back seat,
enormous head out the car window,
will never attend a funeral, a wedding,
or walk into Safeway and gaze,
pissed-off, at the syrup-romance
paperbacks written by hacks
of the fat former schoolmarm variety...
while considering the 14% jump
in the price of brown rice in two months.
Counting oncoming cars and trucks
in the reverse direction, you drive slower
so that the numbers increase.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Scabland Productions is a New York film production company dedicated to telling singular stories about characters with grit, backbone, and depth. Scabland Productions collaborates with film artists to create cinematic visions that are revealing, raw, and honest.
The web site for Scabland Productions is: www.scablandproductions.com
There is also a Scabland Productions page on Facebook.
Jessi Shuttleworth has performed in film, television, and on stage. You can read about Shuttleworth on IMDb.
Jessi Shuttleworth is the youngest daughter of poet/playwright Red Shuttleworth.
The first film from Scabland Productions, FEBRUARY, filmed in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and in sagebrush-and-rock central Washington, premiered at the 2015 Sedona International Film Festival.
(check www.scablandproductions.com for updates)
PRODUCTION STAFF (a partial list) for FEBRUARY:
Director of Photography
Key Makeup Artist
Director of Photography
Key Makeup Artist
Photographs from the Production of FEBRUARY:
Latest Update: February 26, 2015