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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Red Shuttleworth: from Dog Heart Sleeps Mostly in the Pickup


: photo by Mary Donato (gneissgirl), 16 November 2013

Pass the Wild Turkey.
Everyone got unspent excuses.
Now it's Wagontire, Oregon,
population seven...
bitter stock water
for a bath out back
of the ramshackle,
shingles-to-the-wind motel.
In the sagebrush distance:
sun-parched ranch-family graves.
These are good times:
You don't own enough
rope to hang yourself.

Red Shuttleworth: "Pass the Wild Turkey...", from Dog Heart Sleeps Mostly in the Pickup (a verse novella) (Bunchgrass Press, Columbia Basin, Oregon, 2013)

Truck 4151: photo by Mary Donato (gneissgirl), 2 January 2009

Another old truck: photo by Mary Donato (gneissgirl), 20 January 2009

Idaho high desert: photo by Mary Donato (gneissgirl), 14 November 2013


Jonathan Chant said...

Very cool. Burns nicely this cold Sunday afternoon.



Yep, "These are good times" -- let 'em roll, right out through those borderlands, clear to that Idaho high desert.

Wooden Boy said...

Perfect close with those last lines. Good times indeed.

Poet Red Shuttleworth said...

Thank you so much, Tom, thank you! Wish we were in Wagontire and it was summer and we were having a cheeseburger and sodie pop at that little roadside cafe... talking to that old buckaroo who years ago briefly thought he was buying the place. No microwave ovens in that place! And the steaks were cut thick... even though pretty tough on the day that I ordered one. Yeah, Tom, I wish we were all kids again... giving or receiving roses.

Red Shuttleworth

TC said...

I was just about to say I could not think of four people I'd rather spend a cold desert night stranded in a pickup with than the present assembled company... until I remembered trying to spend a night, some thirty years ago, in the cab of a truck with three other humans in the middle of the California high desert.

Finally I opted for a pallet on the hard dirt, rattlers and tarantulas be damned.

This time around it's been, well, somewhat more elevated, if not also elevating, one might say, thanks to the artistry of Red and Mary Donato (gneissgirl).

A few views of the real place:

Daybreak, US 395, sagebrush and sky near Wagontire, Oregon

"...hardly a wide spot on US 395 between Burns and Lakeview..."

Wagontire 50 years ago

Wagontire's nearest brush with history seems to have occurred twenty years ago, when the New York Times rode through... on a bicycle.

Everyone Stops at Wagontire (Pop. 2)

ACravan said...

Red Shuttleworth's appearances in this space never fail to amaze and delight me. Curtis

TC said...

Me likewise, Curtis.