June 9, 2011

Ebony Apples Rolling Downhill, by Red Shuttleworth

Today, I wanted to highlight the work of Red Shuttleworth.  He is not only a kickass poet, but also he's a great friend to and advocate for poets and writer.  Red, you rock! 

Ebony Apples Rolling Downhill
by Red Shuttleworth

Who's to blame for a jealous mouth?
Days of awkward blood. I scramble
up out of bed and run until I fall:
abandoned copper mines, barren coulees,
tiny bars of paper-wrapped soap
liberated from 3rd rate motels, you
weeping snot onto rock concert T-shirts....

You're like some hairless steer....
always needin' shade.

They issued a week's worth of gauze
at the county hospital. On that somber note,
you thought a gold nose stud was an answer.
The question of rust is as difficult to deliver
as it is to grasp. Yet... you do have
lovely peach skin and a beautiful
I-Sure-Am-Stumped smile.

Dusk... clumps of asphalt where
the AAA map indicates a road.
We're out of ice cubes, sugar.
It gets muggy once the car is loaded.
One method of cooling down
is to wander a small town,
saying, turn-by-turn,
Good lawn... Bad lawn.

Parked on Cemetery Road:
sunflower seeds and small talk.
Rattlers don't carry much blubber.
You either feel lukewarm or hinge-busted.
Wild Turkey ought to be in soda pop machines.
How many cadavers go into making the Northern Lights?
We stare at a dark pasture...
sold on the tactic of never opening
first class mail from out of town.

Red and Kate Shuttleworth, and their Irish Wolfhound, Wolfie, live in Washington in the Columbia Basin, not too close to Moses Lake. Their daughter Ciara is also a great poet.

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