Monday, May 28, 2012

When a Child Draws with Crayons

Crayon Drawing
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 Red Shuttleworth Poetry Chapbook

The Ghost of Ossie Vitt

a one poem chapbook


Red Shuttleworth

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

Blueberry Muffin Sky... Another Swallow of Cherry Coke

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

Jessi Shuttleworth and Scabland Productions: FEBRUARY

Jessi Shuttleworth



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:

Jessi Shuttleworth who has performed in film, television, and on stage, is completing the screenwriting program at American Film Institute.  Jessi Shuttleworth is on IMDb.

Jessi Shuttleworth

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 for updates)

The cast for FEBRUARY includes:













PRODUCTION STAFF (a  partial list) for FEBRUARY:

Executive Producer


Director of Photography

Set Decoration

Key Makeup Artist


Photographs from the Production of FEBRUARY:

Jessi Shuttleworth

Katherine Hiler and Phyllis Somerville

Haley Gasbarro, Jessi Shuttleworth, and Aidan Gasbarro


Latest Update: May 27, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2012

WHAT DESIRE IT WAS: A Chapbook Poetry Anthology

What Desire It Was was published by Bunchgrass Press in a limited edition ( 29 numbered copies).  Each copy was signed by the four included poets.

What Desire It Was features poems by Barry McKinnon, Ciara Shuttleworth, Luke Shuttleworth, and Red Shuttleworth.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Solitary: Andre Malraux's Projected Equilibrium

Solitary: Andre Malraux's Projected Equilibrium

The palm becomes an interior once a fist is made.
This is conversation for large hunting hounds.
Frisson.  Which leads to quoting Doc Holliday,
Benjamin Siegel, and George Patton liberally.
Or the first topless dancer... implanted Carol Doda.
So... I am animal as connoisseur of chewing tobacco,
See's dark chocolate over marzipan, hunting cabins
in remote British Columbia used for playful lust.

Plaster table figurines of Clara Bow as conversation starters:
the finer decorative arts require showmanship... and nudity.
And we mustn't neglect mention of garden fountains
spouting champagne from the nipples of ribald nuns.
Who is to say that this is not the result of testicular
and vaginal requirements... the necessary equilibrium?

Large hunting hounds would rather leap off rocks
onto terrified horseman... than to take part in this.
They would rather the blood of stag or wolf.
At least take me for a three-mile walk,
the near-hound says, even if at the end of a leash.
If there is structure, then, from the hound's angle,
his world is anything but naturally balanced.

Once the fist is opened, we rearrange furniture,
speak in gentle vernacular, allow for the hanging
of our lovers' color-faded family portraits,
and we brush the hound's wiry hair and take him
to the vet's office for biscuits... and vaccinations,
for the natural world wants to beat the crap
out of us with an iron-heavy candelabra.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Solitary: The Inclination

Solitary: The Inclination

Between surveys mailed and emailed
or slipped under my door
by bumblers
(not always Bible thumper bumblers),
I braid a noose to
dangle from the farmhouse roof
for those who show up
less sanguine than a rising full moon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Impulse at Irregular Decorum

Impulse at Irregular Decorum

Praise the man who will not
become a big decorative
wagon wheel on a tight-cropped
tall-tales-of-money lawn.

Far better to have pitchfork...
will travel.  There is darkness
across Home on the Range.

And I have about run
out of contexts to yearn for.
See the glossy black-night streets...
humble rain water upon young

Douglas fir at odds with sidewalk
planters and no-core passersby.

Friday, May 4, 2012

We Are Echoing Down the Train Tracks

We Are Echoing Down the Train Tracks

It's hardly my fault, or my Wolfhound's,
if you have not yet had an unsettling experience.

Amplify your gestures when out in public.
Spit into the palm of anybody who offers a hand.

Just the other afternoon the hound and I practiced,
on train tracks, walking with mouths gape-open.

At the bank teller's window, strike a dramatic pose,
and use a stentorian tone of anguished or enraged voice.

You cannot borrow discontent.  Sugar, yes.
Refuse to shed light.  I like girls who shed clingy dresses.

See, we are on this already depicted-on-video journey.
You smile, not apprehending yet that I am a desperado.

There were years and years when I forced myself
to appear composed.  Imagine yourself as dry ice.

I am in retinal recession.  If I don't wave back to you,
either I don't recognize you as a former fellow passenger

... or you are an asshole.  Or you are the kind of woman
who prefers consideration of her opinions over her breasts.

The country seems less spacious since the 1940 census.
Yet the trains are empty of all but our former selves.

The pictures on the mantel are nightmarish when lifted
and held next to our faces.  We love this activity.

The Wolfhound has to take the lead when we walk.
He thinks it unseemly for me to hog the foreground.

On train tracks, it is best to keep checking the background.
It was this way when I yesterday-saw you for the first time.