Untitled Prose Poem Sequence

Richard Parks


And when we rise again we'll mosey past the tumbleweed and debris down dusty drives we call our lives. Memories taken in symmetry, sepia-soaked in the saloonday sun (or look further and farther past your Kodak horizons—a cold Confederate night broods on). America's destiny, what's waiting to manifest, may I say stood the test of time? Weed out the seal and sew some new flag, what others may dread, but "Don't tread on me," disperse the many dead and flee.

Our barrelhouse reverie sleeps soundly by the bleeding heart of the matter. Of fact there's black and white, fit to print everyday. "Continue," he says, "continue on your way...Nothing to see here!" Some other six-shooter showdowned him to the ground. Count, "One, two, three"—Sam claims another, and, smiling, keeps shoving them on towards each other.


He spat out a chew by some cherimoya tree and turned his gaze to the sunset, reflecting the gold dust that clung like rust to the vines of his grizzly beard. Shadows creaked across the canyons of his hands that had held a rawhide whip with the very same grip that Ahab held his mainsheet. With these he dusted off his chaps like to the sound of sandpaper, and grabbed a pint of rye from his pouch.

Burning black through juniper and Joshua tree, his silhouette struck fear in the hearts of the nobler native trader. He wore a hunk of turquoise on a string tied loosely 'round his great neck, and it swung like some ancient pendulum in the hot desert wind as he sipped the sour mash, a deep cool to his inner core.


And as light retreats beneath the crown of the mesa, man takes to simple mosey in contemplation of the first colors of the night. Neither road seems right, but more a want to wander through the fog and mist that obscures his sight. Boots bolster his otherwise self-sufficient navigation, a mission for so much of his unknown, nothing he can call "home."

It's the gravel that he grinds, what beats out the pitter–patter of his travel and the mosey of his mind. Just as thinking goes, the sound silver clinking of spurs in time makes a rhyme to his reason he need not find. Ringing in or roping cattle, the same battle persists as he roams these mists. And over and over, the silver insists...


Echoes of the whinnies and wheezes of our exalted boa–constricted country countess remind him once more that barrooms make strange bedfellows. Feather go flying, spiraling out the door, caught in the sunstreaked solution of a room all aglow, the lady of the house hacks up another flaming whoop and stomps her feet on the floor. Glasses shakin', and the bourbon brethren standing by would sooner reflect on the sky than heed a consumptive cry.

"Aw, that's jes ole Miss Minnie. She'll be fine!" And sip the whiskey rye, strange look in your eye. Gentle cowpoke of our poolroom rites, rather rot away in bed all day with Trish and Daisy May. Another casualty of late, capital business ways.

Spending five and dimes spilt from hefty bags of cash, here you'll find the cowboy kind, their reveling both convalescent and coquette, spent in dank corridors like to hide from the sun.


Obese bankers strut in on red carpets, wearing white whiskers trimmed with tiny combs and starched collars, flanked by others donning derbies or else pinstriped suits in this hacienda sun. They step lightly on the streets where they meet, lest their shoe–shining feet be smudged by their own dirty deeds.

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd!" With names like Henry and William they set up shop in the West, like colossal parasitic domes, the operatic is an automatic in North America's untamed zones. And they can't do it on their own.

Pigeonholed by their own progenitorship or otherwise brought in with the surging westward tide, we see covered–wagon trains blanket white what's left of a more terra cotta–tinged land. Oh well, forget the fiesta, seek out the rest of your kind and keep 'em comin'.

Former community newspaper editor Richard Parks is a parttime poet, parttime production assistant, and occasional self–loathing bedroom musician whose entire body of creative work you could stack on a goodish–sized wheat wafer and eat, awkwardly, for a mid–morning meal. You should. It tastes like liver. He has recent work in (at? on?) elimae and he lives in these United States of America.