Red with his trainer, Isaac Jones – image: courtesy of Red Shuttleworth

Nostalgia… Eureka, Nevada

Hollow-skinned girl with streaky makeup
slips into Raine’s Market, stops to look
to the mounted bear, to the deer, to the heads of bobcats
not too high above the engine oil cans,
Hostess Cherry Lard Pies, Purina Puppy Chow
in small and medium bags… some tears.
She has $2.73 and feels he can buy
a turkey sandwich wrapped in plastic,
plus a twenty-ounce Coke, which he can’t.
I put a twenty on the counter for his food…
don’t say anything when the girl keeps my change.

The horizon is neutral blue, not cobalt
as I want it to be. Thanks Wally,
my photo-poster is all over town, my face
plum red, distorted by its old printer
at the Eureka Opera.
A woman my age recognizes me,
try to sell me a fake wolf head
put in a prayer wheel…thirty-five dollars…
and she’ll add a soda for free.
I am the itinerant poet of the Grand Bassin,
with a clean room at Sundown Lodge.
The glass eyes of the fake wolf head
trap me half an hour later,
so I leave my whiskey
at the bar of the Owl Club,
half-jog to the store up the street.

Wally says a skateboarder, Eureka’s first,
was taken by his ear, by the woman
who sold me the fake wolf head.
It is said that the skateboarder’s mother
says she’s gonna get somebody arrested
for unnecessary roughness.
At the local museum, I buy a distorted blank
greeting card so that I can write you all this.

Return
Poetry collection published in 2018
Bluehorse Press Redondo Beach, California
Poem used with permission of the author


red shuttle has been a writer for decades…poetry and drama and a bit of fiction. He is currently the oldest licensed professional boxer… as far as we can tell.


His first professional fight is scheduled for February 26, 2022, when he will break the record for oldest active professional boxer.


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