Nostalgia… Eureka, Nevada
A hollow-husk girl with streaky makeup
slips into Raine’s Market, pauses to glare
at mounted bear, deer, bobcat heads
not too high above motor oil cans,
Hostess cherry-lard pies, Purina Puppy Chow
in small and medium sacks… a couple of rips.
She’s got $2.73 and reckons it can buy
a plastic-wrapped turkey sandwich,
plus a twenty-ounce Coke, which it can’t.
I drop a twenty on the counter for her grub…
say nothing when the girl keeps my change.
The horizon is neutral-blue, not cobalt
like I want it to be. Thanks to Wally,
my photo-poster’s all over town, my face
plum-red, distorted by his ancient printer
in the Eureka Opera House.
A woman my age recognizes me,
tries to sell me a fake wolf head
set in a prayer wheel… thirty-five bucks…
and she’ll toss in a soda pop for free.
I am the Great Basin’s poet-on-the-road,
with a clean room at the Sundown Lodge.
The fake wolf head’s glass eyes
snare me half an hour later,
so I leave my whiskey
on the bar at the Owl Club,
half-jog back to the store up the street.
Wally says that a skateboarder, Eureka’s first,
got taken down by his ear, by the woman
who sold me the fake wolf head.
Word is that the skateboarder’s mom
says she’s going to have someone arrested
for unnecessary roughness.
At the local museum, I buy a warped blank
greeting card so I can write all this to you.
Poetry collection published 2018
Bluehorse Press Redondo Beach, California
Poem used with permission of the author
Red Shuttleworth was a writer for decades… poetry and drama and some fiction. He is currently the oldest licensed professional boxer… so far as we can reckon.
His first pro bout is scheduled for February 26, 2022, at which time he will break the record for Oldest Active Professional Boxer.
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