Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Ticket to Insomnia
Before the birth of February, in the nation of Delay
and Crack-up, where folks hunker down hard
on 7-acre slots of knuckle-break volcanic rock,
snow-wind on sun-scorched front porch recliners,
why not plan a bike-ride summer (a thunderstorm-
June fantasia of rattlesnakes coiled on yellow lines)?
Why not buy a creaky can't-be-tuned black Fender
pawn shop guitar (Don't Leave Home Without It)?
Why not, this very night (to hell with summer),
gargle and gulp a schooner of mildewed moon juice
milked from ice fog a week ago. You're eye-level
with an urn of pulverized bone... life's constituent minerals.
Note: Ticket to Insomnia, by Red Shuttleworth, has been issued as a limited edition (44 signed copies) poetry broadsheet (printed on 32-pound ivory antique laid paper) from Bunchgrass Press (Columbia Basin, WA).
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Your head scrubbed raw
by restless grief-sleep,
you shuffle into porch-lit fog:
icy ground... patches of startle-hour snow.
It's dead-dog mid-winter.
The brighter stars have cut-'n-run.
Coyotes refuse your howl.
You listen to a gravity-bent
farmyard cat fight.
This shrub steppe is so weary
of holding you up to the moon
like a chalky middle finger.
You are swept lonesome.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Within the Previous Silence
All that clamor at the front door
merely a faint wind... no dog ghost.
The inactivity of mourning, bourbon,
your boots crunching old snow,
your false voice false-saying a poem
of wood-grasp, bone-chip-scatter...
or burial in blind-clutch volcanic dirt.
Each winter has brought dismay.
Dust from stars to tickle
or fall scratchy into an eye.
You cannot whistle or budge
to yourself any dispatched love.
What the hound left behind:
one unopened bottle of Guinness,
three hardly nibbled rawhide bones,
an unsent Jackpot, Nevada, postcard,
the name Wolf clawed into a carpet
with untrimmed nails that last month.
If tonight lasts much longer
your girlfriend will mistake you
for a men's store mannequin
sound-engineered to berate
every disinterested fuckhead god
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Lately you are a thick black plastic tarp
held over an open grave
with a rickety wooden extension ladder.
Newspaper evenings and darkness clings
to room corners with not a sigh or groan
from an empty denim-bottom fluffy dog bed.
To be adrift
on the green waters of melancholy....
Unfit for company, to pass time you bang
a gravedigger shovel against the side of your own head.
All the mistakes of trust --someone else's trust in you--
transmogrify into cheap-house theatre smiles.
The purple in photographs of bone cancer cells is pretty...
the hue of 1960's prom dresses... or of aged dog collars...
or of stars finger-painted by weary daycare-stalled children.
Everyone is in bed. It is now socially safe
to hand-feed nuggets of large breed lamb & rice
kibble into your whiskey-dribbling mouth.
Monday, January 21, 2013
No Resurrection from Cremains
What provision did you hold
or paper bundles of blood and biopsy results...
or friendship frail as thin cotton...
or radiation treatment anesthetics?
And then the drive through ice fog
without your friend... no more all-nighters
of poetry, imaginary secret star maps,
two-day-old steak sandwiches
sliced to shreds to share-out
in a stainless steel bowl.
Stainless steel hospital gurney,
Ezekial 37:3, in-fucking-deed,
when tumored bones crumble
and fold into one another.
Empty paw prints in last week's snow,
And no more rants
at pantywaist cocksucker
literati magazine editors...
no... and there ain't no howling
at this Wolfhound moon...
no, not after the ol' two-syringe kill-trick...
Propofol and Euthanol.
So much for the beauty of rhyme.
You walk your friend's plastic-sacked
five-pounds of furnace-whitened
bone chips around the living room,
set them on his overstuffed leather chair,
on his dog bed, atop the TV cabinet,
walk Wolfie, off the leash, after Bulleit,
down his favorite night trail...
avoid the ready grave.
Professional weepers not needed...
this damned amateur is doing okay.
Red and Wolfie Shuttleworth
Thursday, January 10, 2013
During the Winter of 2011-2012 Red Shuttleworth, attended by his Irish Wolfhound, Wolfie, wrote his 150+ Winter Chronograph sequence of poems.
The best of Winter Chronograph (33 poems selected by poet / painter Ciara Shuttleworth) is now available, in a limited edition of 44, as a chapbook. Several of the poems have been revised.
Special thanks go to Cristen Hemingway Jaynes for first publishing "Winter Chronograph: 90" in chum, a literary journal.
If you would like a copy of Winter Chronograph, write or email Red Shuttleworth.
(May 15, 2007 - January 4, 2013)
a participant in the writing
of Winter Chronograph