Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ice-Burdened Moonlight

Ice-Burdened Moonlight

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...

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 Collection of Poems by Red Shuttleworth

Ghosts & Birthdays

poems by

Red Shuttleworth

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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vladivostok Novel

Vladivostok Novel

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.