Gone West

Month: November, 2012

The Doctor Gipsy

We were children in that July when the Doctor Gipsy came to visit. He arrived behind the wheel of a white  Imperial automobile that reflected a sky of tangerine and blue . He wore a smooth hat, a Stetson, and a fine worsted suit, maybe charcoal flannel, with a vest  and a black foulard tie pinned by a big raw pearl.

We gathered about him like wonder-eyed crows around a handmirror.

The Doctor Gipsy taught us to play the games of poker that summer with real money and, at the end of each day, gave back half of what he had taken from us. He kept playing with us in this arrangement until, of course, we soon had no more money with which to play. Whereupon the Doctor Gipsy said, “Well, boys, I believe you’ve learned about all that I can teach you about this.” There were no more poker games with the Doctor after that. He drove away in his Imperial on a cool Sunday evening, but he let us keep the deck.

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There Be Two Trains Running


There be two trains running

and you know it’s not for fun.

Mistaken identity

Border town bulbs burn

3 a.m.

Estrella suena

.38 Buckled leather

Forged visas fingered

“Quando dinero muchacha?”

Estrella suena

Cottonwoods unleash

their seed along

the creek

In the canyon

Burros choke their lust.

For christ’s sake

keep your hips still.

Don’t forget you’re just passing

forged visas.

Estrella suena

.38 Buckled leather

Buckled knees

Sticky sheets.

Japanese knife, a gift

Slips quick

into the fingers

coming up from sleep

Humoso sueno

Murder’s in the air.

Chipped tooth grin

Barbed wire on the border

Rein in.

The blood comes quick.

You want me to show you

how it’s done?

On the thigh,

not the wrist.