poetryrepairs 16,11:127

EMILY STRAUSS : Shooting Wild Horses
EMILY STRAUSS : Hollywood Heat: 1960

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Shooting Wild Horses

“... 26 wild horses were found shot at point-blank range on a remote mountainside of Southern Greece...motive unknown”
on the island of Pelops, son of Tantalus, once venerated at the temple of Olympia with ritual sacrifices, a donkey burned whole on a stone alter at night before the carcass was offered to Zeus at dawn with the sun rising over the Taygetes Range and wild horses roam these peaks near Corinthia, home to Pan of flutes and shepherds, running free, wary of pastures and open fields, running together, leaping stone fences, evading men desperate to find solace in hard times the last herds of wild Pindos horses struggling on dry slopes, watchful, thirsty lured to stone troughs after a hard winter so eager they miss the slight movement of a hand with a glint of metal too late they fall screaming left among the rocks, found by tourists hiking the ancient trails, blood seeping everywhere.

poetryrepairs #230 15,11:127

Hollywood Heat: 1960

a typical coffee shop— the scene opens at the counter where you begin and end: 'this way, honey' the Roi-tans at the register in their heavy box next to the Peppermint Patties dirty glass-fronted display case the next shelf down: Rolaids, Bayer aspirin, Dentyne gum then Indian maiden doll figures, at the bottom, dusty stuffed animals, souvenir post cards “Los Angeles Queen of Cities”. (Mexican bean works the dishes out back eats rice and tortillas from a small sack.) 'coffee' (a statement) Take a greasy vinyl menu thick white coffee mug scratched plastic water glass pepper shaker clogged, never used (unscrew the lid) fork with bent tines, empty catsup bottle with rusty top. Add a waitress with frilly hair and apron, older heavy-set with a beady stare both suspicious and tired pink lipstick beyond her thin lips. 'what'll it be today?' She doesn't bother writing orders wipes the table with a gray cloth piles five platters on her arms offers endless re-fills of stale coffee. 'warm today, huh' (another statement) Now sit and push your eggs with a thick biscuit, with four slices of salty bacon, mug half- filled with cream, Wonder bread toast, grape jelly. (Mexican dishboy hauls away plates, stares at a mess of breakfast he hates.) The final scene: approach the same register with a bill for $5.47, only the total written, take a toothpick with a spin of the dial, a mint, a Rolaids just in case, and a cigar. 'see ya next time' Step out into the heat of Hollywood. (Mexican bean car passes unseen, gabachos ignore the dark-eyed queen.)

poetryrepairs #230 15,11:127


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EMILY STRAUSS has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. STRAUSS’ poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world is generally Emily’s framework; she also considers the stories of people and places around her and personal histories.

EMILY STRAUSS is a semi-retired teacher living in California.