Saturday, August 30, 2014

BEAT OF CROW WING: A Red Shuttleworth Poetry Chapbook



Beat of Crow Wing

poems

Red Shuttleworth


Beat of Crow Wing, a Red Shuttleworth poetry chapbook, published by Bunchgrass Press in a limited edition, presents nine poems:

Voice Over
Brain-at-Whirl
Horizon / Illusion
Window / Ghosts
Thin Saturday Morning
Don't Mind the Wait
Animal / History Will...
Chance / Striking a Pose
and
Darkness / Wine


Red Shuttleworth
(East of Ely, Nevada, August 1999)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Maurice Maeterlinck

Maurice Maeterlinck

Maurice Maeterlinck

Here in glad-darkness...
Maeterlinck is distracted.
Moonlit garden: a slender dancing nymph
in see-through muslin... astonishing leaps.
Seagull shriek.  The dancer vanishes.
Head shake, Maeterlinck smiles
at distant granite walls...
his after-life monastery,
Here in glad-darkness:
red poppy, scent of roses,
shadows of joy, shadows of sorrow....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

W.C. Fields

W.C. Fields

W.C. Fields

You must've survived
a whore-'n-buggy crash,
you lacquered, lost fingernail!
The house at 2015 DeMille Drive
is up for grabs... seven-million dollars.
Fields is sitting hundreds of half-boxed
books: cracked-spine Stephen Crane...
stacks of duplicate Conrads and Dickens.

Took me dozens of moons to croak
once the nurses took the bottled goods.
Acting?  Send your two-year-old boy
over to drown in my lilies and fish pond.
You'll sure have emotional recall.
Ask Tony Quinn about that truth.

Dead, I sit gaseous in underwear,
wait for tourists, loose day-trippers
with five-buck Maps-to-the Stars.
I mourn for myself, my marriage,
my taken-away sons, grandkids,
all their doggies, and I miss laughter.
Thanks for askin', lumpy ass cheek.




Darkness / Wine



Darkness / Wine

Added fluorescent
music... buzz
of lovers' equilibrium:

The self-promise
of eventual
escape...
freedom...
merely a blown
light bulb.

Previously
translated:
pine branches
whipping a house....

Chance / Striking a Pose



Chance / Striking a Pose

The future...
an old devotion...
blue polyurethane
stars.

A radio-sturdy
before-sunrise
Christer voice...
lonesome
gas station.

Peaches-the-Wolfhound
half out
a back window...
drooling

Stars like Jesus...
or Jim Morrison
in after-life burlap...
a Revelation.


Animal / History Will...



Animal / History Will...

Inner Mongolia

in sepia:
like a luscious
Vegas-facsimile
trend-hotel.

Best to
postcard
lovers.

On balance
delirium 
goes a long way
when amplified.

Best for

lovers:
postcards.

Horde / horsemen

explain history.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Horizon / Illusion



Horizon / Illusion

Chores
at first snow:

finally answer
a postcard
from Edgar Allan Poe,

Glue's
in-the-works
rather than blood.

Arguably...
we're in an age
of rubes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

WHAT'LL WE DO THERE?: A Red Shuttleworth Chapbook



What'll We Do There?

poems

Red Shuttleworth


What'll We Do There? is a five-poem Red Shuttleworth limited edition Bunchgrass Press chapbook.

Four of the poems in the chapbook are from autumn of 2011... revisited/revised beyond recognition:

Soon... White Autumn Leaves
Ol' Tumbler for the Neon-Somewhere-Else
Poem for October 14, 2011
and
What'll We Do There?

Since these poems are now on paper, in a chapbook, they are no longer available on the blog.

The fifth poem in the chapbook, Darkness in Particular, is new and was recently posted on this blog... where it remains temporarily available to readers.

Note on the title:
A year before Wolfie, our Irish Wolfhound (of five and a half years) was diagnosed with fatal osteosarcoma, we chanced into a brief talk about death, about the possibilities of an after-life that he and I might share.  Wolfie assumed that there is such a place and that we would continue our existence on such a plane.  But he had concerns, asking (as would, perhaps, a three-year-old child), What'll we do there?  As was my habit during Wolfie's life, I opened a notebook to catch his words.  The poem that arrived from the title had absolutely nothing to do, at least so far as I could tell, with Wolfie's question.

Note on the cover photograph:
A couple of weeks ago, at the urging of my wife, Kate, we drove ninety miles to a pull-off-the-road place east of Washtucna, Washington, on the north side of state highway #26.  It is the site of a recurring dream I have of our beloved, lost-to-bone-cancer Wolfie.  In my dream, it is night and raining and there is a greenish hue to that world, and Wolfie asks,  What is this place? And, Where am I?  I rise out of this recurring dream in anguish... filled with irrational guilt and rational loss.  Kate and I did not perceive anything of-or-from Wolfie at that lonesome rest stop for weary truckers rolling from Moscow, Idaho to Seattle... not a sign of him at all.  But, looking north up a hill, looking at Mullan Road, a 19th century unpaved road between military forts for the cavalry, I remembered the several times that, halfway to or from Moscow to visit my daughter, Ciara, and my son, Luke, we walked Mullan Road, Wolfie and me, walked uphill and looked back down at the beautiful, still-rough 'n hard cow country that borders the Columbia Basin and the Palouse.  Wolfie always enjoyed that walk.  After I snapped the photograph that is on the cover of this chapbook, I walked uphill on Mullan Road with our current Irish Wolfhound, Peaches, walked it in living, loving, forever-memory of Wolfie. Although the photograph seems right for the included poems, the poems are not about Wolfie... not consciously, no. 

  Red Shuttleworth
(2010)


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Voice Over



Voice Over

Only a handful
gaze at their own
voices replacing
other voices.

Young...
I wanted
small-experience
watersheds...

slender girls.

Leaf-green
voices were okay...
if soft.


Darkness in Particular



Darkness in Particular

Weeks of dense wildfire haze...
black cotton night sky.
Undertaker dream: lightning-denuded trees,
handle-shatter 1977 Louisville Sluggers....
Irregular circles of wind-flattened alfalfa.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stanley "The Michigan Assassin" Ketchel

Stanley "The Michigan Assassin" Ketchel vs. Billy Papke

Stanley The Michigan Assassin Ketchel

Ketchel, dapper in a three-piece Irish wool suit,
shadow boxes on the far side of a card table.
A 25-flickering-candles double-decker
white cake glows from  atop the table.
It's my birthday!  It's September 14,
or it's whatever date you want it to be.
But I am forever turning twenty-five.

Thud-thud-thud of a worked-hard heavy bag...
whack-whack-whack of a speed bag....
Back turned to a health ranch door,
fried eggs-'n-bacon on a big plate,
rye 'n opium far, far away... and a jealous
ranch hand, Walter Dipley, shoots me over
a dishwater blonde Goldy I didn't sexy-notice.

Greatest Middleweight of All Time,
so great that Hemingway wrote about me...
me... I even knocked down Jack Johnson
in a Heavyweight bout for fun 'n profit.
No way was Jack, dear pal of mine, gonna
let me win, but we had rematches planned.
Lesson: don't count on nothin', even on a birthday. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Leroy Jones

Leroy Jones
(Las Vegas, NV, 1975, while a sparring partner
for Ron Lyle: photo by Red Shuttleworth)


Leroy Jones

The big man, 6'5", over 300 pounds,
is rag-polishing a 1973 powder blue
Mercury Cougar XR-7, Don't talk
what you totally don't know, not to me.
Only Larry Holmes could stop me,
with a thumb to an eye, detached retina,
at Ceasar's in Vegas... real deliberate.

If you talk boxing, say I was naturally big.
The trunk of the Cougar flies steamy-open:
platters of porterhouse steaks, mashed potatoes.
No glutton, I never ate more than my fill.
Jones wipes a window smudge with a rag,
Man, I love to keep my ride together.
The fight game?  I was mountain-big,
flowed like a tidal wave of sorrow.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lucia Anna Joyce

Lucia Anna Joyce

Lucia Anna Joyce

There are no more books...
to dance through, no meticulous typing
by father's secretaries...
lover-Beckett and Miss Boyle,
no clack-clack-typewriter-clack.

Today's dance is pink,
chrysanthemum dancing...
leaps beyond mental alcoves.
And black yarn, too, and a quarter moon...
old voices as handcuffs and chattering cameras.

That is the dancing after squawk-squawk-squawk
psychiatry.. and death... yes chain-link of death...
death as abbreviated Italian Trieste-spoken...
danced and never written down... starlight-danced. 

Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin

The country he is hiking is unlike
any he or any man has walked before.
Flocks of mansion-size bluebirds
fill the sky and sing loving hymns.
The sun-burst, high-grass land
enjoys warm, clear-blue lakes.
He is singular in a verdant paradise
cheated out of some goof-happy
god without Hollywood back-story.
Bruce Chatwin comes upon
a rough stone bench under a maple,
sets down an old wood-frame rucksack,
pulls out a crimson Moleskine,
opens it, wonders what to use
for today's outlandish cosmic date.
Chatwin is alone with his walking...
his exploration of Time-After.

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE RECLUSE: A RED SHUTTLEWORTH CHAPBOOK



The Recluse

Five Poems

Red Shuttleworth


The Recluse, a limited edition Red Shuttleworth chapbook from Bunchgrass Press, contains five poems:

The Recluse #39
Try and You'll See
The Recluse #41
Seven Decades
and
The Recluse #97



East of Washtucna, Washington, Looking North at Mullan Road



Red Shuttleworth

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell

As if Heaven is a fog-bound outdoor
Pacific Northwest coastal studio,
Robert Motherwell is painting.
Before him is an enormous canvas,
primed creamy-cocoa brown,
The delicious energy of random chance
is not so random, not when you paint
on automatic... from within yourself,
from the generous part of your soul.
With supple wrist flex, Motherwell
issues bursts of black brush strokes.
The final frame is rumbling sky...
an eternity for flight... to reach joy.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

It's frivolity and fragments 
until we find wolves in sheep's wool!
We learn by shearing... that intimacy.
Pavlov is in a frigid, icicles-aplenty laboratory.
Here and there a metal box with a screen door,
inside a wretched squirrel or gopher.
Pavlov is leading around a leashed stuffed borzoi
set upon a four-wheel thin pine board.
The great white dog has a rawhide cord at each ear.
Natural selection of the species... ho, ho, ho!
He pulls the cord at the left ear and the dog barks.
Humanists and Marxists and microscopes....
Pavlov pulls the other cord and the hound drools.
Oh, you drawing room twits... har... har... har!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan

Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan

Mary Louise Cecilia Texas Guinan

Howdy, suckers!  Yeah, it's me, the renowned,
Texas Guinan, Born-in-Waco, Silver Screen Cowgirl!
Lights slow-rise on a speakeasy, mirror, long bar,
velvet-top tables.... Texas Guinan, parts her mink coat,
tosses away a huge white Stetson, shows-off,
Never gonna be somebody's nice, sweet ol' lady.

You see my picture shows? "Girl of the Rancho" 
or "Two Gun Girl"? She hold up showgirl breasts,
drawls, Next round's on me or your name ain't Fred.

Preachers preached against me... stool-pigeons
with hate-filled prayers. I made millions...
Prohibition saloons... gave near-all to the poor.
It was raging amoeba-shits that killed me...
in Vancouver, Canada... so far from the Red River.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thomas Edward Lawrence

Thomas Edward Lawrence
(photo by Lowell Thomas, 1919)

Thomas Edward Lawrence

Speed is everything... is essence.
Too fast... disintegration.
Too slow... teacher with a seating chart.

Colonel Lawrence, dressed
in Sunday attire, khaki pants,
half-buttoned, grease-splotched
white shirt, is tinkering
with a Brough Superior Motorcycle.

Funny thing about death,
one's numerous works are gnats...
there to be swatted left or right.
And the kingdoms I made
for my Arab friends... sweet
water wells fraternally poisoned
or filled with history's sand.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mongke Khan

Mongke Khan

Mongke Khan

If ashes of burnt bone
can reveal the future,
what need is there of prayer?
Mongke Khan is a'horseback...
a great grassy plain all around.
If no sword, no arrow, no knife
can kill an eternal man, it is by fever.
Mongke Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan,
laughs and smiles, wheels his Mongolian horse.
I freed men from superstition with blood,
ran my horses through Kiev-on-fire.
My people sacked the last Caliphate,
butchered Baghdad... left blood-mud.
I lived half a hundred years.
Mongke Khan reins-in his horse,
considers thin clouds... a pale moon,
Perhaps the fever that killed me
signaled a world growing old.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Joseph Conrad "Mule" Sprinz

Joseph Conrad "Mule" Sprinz

Joseph Conrad Mule Sprinz

Lost most of my upper lip that day.
Plus five teeth.  Fractured my jaw.
Goodyear Blimp and a baseball
dropping at over 125-miles per hour.
Joe Sprinz is in his one-car garage
in San Francisco's Sunset District...
a heaven of baseball bats, balls,
catcher's mitts on wall shelves.
He flips a ball up, snags it,
Bet you can't tell this ball is resewn.
Baseball was my Depression job.
I could extend a cracked bat's
life with carpet tacks and athletic tape.

Why did I catch a baseball dropped
1,500 feet by Lefty O'Doul from a blimp
at the '39 Golden Gate World's Fair?
The other San Francisco Seals,
both tough guy Ferris Fain
and Joe's brother, Dom DiMaggio,
sidled away, leaving me alone
as the blimp hovered.  I could've
refused to catch the ball...
and I did catch it... on my birthday.
I was hitting .312 mid-season.
I could have run-'n-shirked... 
but God hates a coward! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Edith Minturn "Edie" Sedgwick

Edith Minturn "Edie" Sedgwick

Edith Minturn Edie Sedgwick

An old time, iron-beds-painted-white,
madhouse ward, but with a missing fourth wall.
Outside is Southern California... ranch land.
Edie is in black leotards... a simple gold top.
I was a Superstar... the original Youth-quaker.
Hyperkinetic, Edie performs a druggy hop-'n-dance.
Where is my stuffed rhinoceros?  I miss him!

I am a Sedgwick.  A Sedgwick was beside
George Washington.  Probably not beside George
when he screwed the wife of one of his neighbors. 
Hundreds upon hundreds of cotton balls
fall from the ceiling.  Edie juggles a couple,
In my death world, I have a leopard skin coat,
a leopard skin skirt, and a leopard skin bra.
Men in suits.  Suits?  I dodge windbags!
I am now beyond the power of gloom!

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol and Archie
(by Jack Mitchell)

Andy Warhol

Death does not mandate a return
to dressing department store mannequins.
Warhol looks around... aluminum foil walls.

He opens a cardboard box, takes out
old Polaroids, magazines, a rabbit's foot,
And you can, despite dying from absurdity,
dehydration after gall bladder surgery,
be as famous, or more famous, than before.

Warhol sets up two cheap home movie cameras,
one to film himself... and the other one to film
the first camera as it films him.  He goes back
to the cardboard box, sits and pensively stares,
finds a hand mirror in the box, looks at himself,
Death does not get rid of acne.  And I suspect
that my cameras don't really have film.  






Saturday, August 9, 2014

Anna Serge Odnovalenko Napoli

Anna Serge Odnovalenko Napoli
(Amsterdam, September 28, 1974)

Anna Serge Odnovalenko Napoli

The boat gently rocks in calm canal water.
Mrs. Napoli, over-scented with Chanel #5,
closes a James Beard cookbook,
I quit cigarettes cold-turkey at age sixty...
yet lung cancer hit and killed at eighty-three.

It is a cold, showery Amsterdam day.
It's not only what you do or say.
It's also who you know... what you own...
birth heritage... and I am of Russian nobility.
I knew Arthur and Marilyn... in Connecticut.
I knew David Bourdon and Andy Warhol,
knew everyone at Time Inc. and at Conde Nast,
knew Norman Mailer, Jimmy Baldwin....
I owned a boutique hotel in Brighton,
the house in Marseilles, Gallery Esme
in Manhattan, had a table at Elaine's. 

Rain starts to whip across the canal.
My love, singular, was my first husband,
a flier shot down in '43 over the Pacific.
At least my afterlife is not constipated
with ex husbands going broke or to jail.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

A couple of black dogs with fire-brown eyes
are playing soccer with an empty paint can.
Munch is working in his outdoor studio.

It is a quiet summer Sunday in Kragero.
At twenty yards, a wild-haired redhead
is sitting naked in a pool of leaf-dappled light.
Munch scarcely acknowledges her presence.
He is painting an enormous fragmentary sun.

One of the dogs knocks the can off Munch's leg,
Easy, good Strindberg, easy, good dog!
Munch circles a thumb on his palette,
sniffs at the sky-blue paint now on it.
How to know if one is really dead...
or if one is passing time in a madhouse?

Barbara Woolworth Hutton

Barbara Woolworth Hutton

Barbara Woolworth Hutton

Heiress? I inherited my mother's suicide.
Heiress? I received my son's plane crash.
Miss Hutton shifts, adjusts her diamonds,
smooths-down her ice-white party dress.

It is night... 64-degrees... little noise
rises from the street up to her suite,
decorated in Kennedy Era Gothic,
at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Miss Hutton pops an orange Seconal,
Even after death I require barbiturates.
She lightly rubs iron-grey front teeth,
Millions... and uncared-for teeth.

Women measure each other's value
by the quality of man they are able
to fetch, snare into marriage, and retain.
I loved all too often... seven marriages,
gave away multiple fortunes.
Miss Hutton dry-gulps another Seconal.
Cary Grant must have loved me.
Yes... he took no money at divorce.




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson

Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson

Lewis Robert Hack Wilson

The old time Cubs lid on his head
is sweat stained, saloon-frayed.
Course you don't, Hack chuckles,
It'd be stupid to brawl with me.

I could knock runners in.
Geez, I was 5'6" and 195 muscle-pounds.
Or I could knock a man down hard.
Set the Runs Batted In record in 1930.

Death-heavier than in playing days,
booze-lard over bundled gone-slack muscle,
Hack's eternity is a Prohibition Baltimore
sawdust-floor barroom.  He is wiping down
a game-used maple bat with a rye-soaked
bar towel, cleaning off dirt and pine tar.

Thing about drinkin'...
because I was born to drink,
it's a rockin'-ladder life.
You know you're gonna fall,
because booze is always about fallin'.
I died: the son named after me
refused to claim my corpse.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thomas MacGreevy

Thomas MacGreevy

Thomas MacGreevy

Wheelbarrows of consistent prosody.
That was life... aside from ever-scramble
for rent and food... poems as marble
chess pieces.  And death?  A wait
damp-here and frosty-there for Beckett,
paintings to praise, rain to critique,
Principle is in quiet rebellion.

Gaius "Caligula" Germanicus

Youth on Horseback or Caligula
(British Museum)

Gaius Caligula Germanicus

Frigid eternal night on the far side of the moon...
a perfectly round crater, a Roman palace.
Caligula sits a dust-dappled white stallion,
Even from here, I keep up with events.

Back end of the palace, small amphitheater...
Caligula's four ex-wives shackled tight
to glow-white pillars, wearily moan.
Caligula, a'horseback, sings anti-war ditties,
rides up and down mountainous mounds
of French seashells, every so often
dismounting in order to mount one 
of his three naked, painted silver, sisters,
Agrippina the Younger, Drusilla, or Julia Livilla.

Episodically restored to human existence,
I return to Earth as a bugger-the-deans,
roll-in-a-tub-of-coins junior college president.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin... Embalmed

Vladimir Lenin

Sealed for eternity in a railroad car,
Lenin, peach-hued skin of the poorly embalmed,
shrugs and jerks within a rough-cut cheap woolen suit,
eats stiff-fingered from a cold bowl of Siberian pork pelmeni,
I came to abolish the village idiot, yet....
I always arrive in the Month of Magenta.
And I never materialize... only as an echo of false hope.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Marcus Claudius "Gothicus Maximus" Tacitus

Marcus Claudius "Gothicus Maximus" Tacitus
Emperor 275-276 A.D.

Marcus Claudius Gothicus Maximus Tacitus

When the wind is up, wandering, often lost
(I-miss-you-California) backpackers,
near the golden mountains of Cappadocia,
hear the fever-raves (sepsis) of Tacitus,
rants against succubi in gaudy silks,
spectres from fairy chimneys in the rocks.

Fictive descendant of Tacitus, the historian,
he war-dances with sword in darkness
against the absence of Caligula's moon tonight.

There in Tyana, now called Kemerhisar,
Tacitus stumbles into random homes,
I am Teacher... God of the long view,
Deified in all Divine Depth....
Learn: the whole, light and shade,
 is but scrawl, a doodle on calf hide.



Wolfie Shuttleworth

Wolfie Shuttleworth

Wolfie Shuttleworth

January-white... dense ice fog rolls
and twists across a wet blacktop road.
Dreamland-anguish.  Wolfhound in Deadland.
His boyish, cheery pre-school voice,
Where am I?  I don't know this place.
You recognize this wide road...
west of Dusty, broad north side gravel
shoulder for drunks and truckers to doze,
for a man to walk a road-weary hound.
Wolfie sits, stares up at you in Deadland,
waits, suggests as he always suggested,
Hey, I know where we can drive to...
a grassy fun field to run forever in.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Seven Decades

Red Shuttleworth
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
April 16, 2016



Seven Decades

There was a journal kept in 1968.

I thought of it as a brother.
We attended lectures on art,
paraded drunk for the oppressed,
dated a blonde marble girl
whose father kept hundreds
of discarded tires in their yard...
and we ran through Marin rain
saying we were Pony Express horses.

Raggedy years... seven decades:
it's a blurry coastline,
I am often in my darkest room.
The years of seven decades
advance... blindfolded.