Midnight of the Spaghetti Western

The rolls the piano plays spin a dialogue
scripted between greed and pathos,
existential angst scaled over
horse lather and cattle
wearing new brands.  The real west
was rougher and more honest
than this.  Still, there is room for me here,
a foil to your bad intentions
or a mirror to your good,
in one of three voices
allowed women here.

I am the whore, choosing that role
over the schoolteacher
I could have been,
sipping sepia-stained water
you buy me as whiskey,
playing tipsy while dressed
as no woman in Colorado
ever was then,
anachronistic lipstick lining my smile.

The jangle of coins in your pocket
matches the rattle of spurs
on your boots.

I will listen to the chime and go
the direction you nudge,
following metal, melted and smithed
by accented hands.


About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Midnight of the Spaghetti Western

  1. brian miller says:

    The real west
    was rougher and more honest
    than this….true that…damn, choosing the life of whore over school teacher and the zoom in on the ching of spurs and coin….i like…intriguing submission there in the end as well…cool write susan…

  2. love it all right down to the accented hands – even though I hate that “spaghetti” appellation

  3. claudia says:

    haha…i would’ve chosen to play the whore over the schoolteacher as well…smiles…cool perspective here susan…and yeah…the real west was probably more honest..think it was a tough life and we sometimes color it romantic with our sentimental glasses….

  4. Mary says:

    I was struck too by the choice of the whore over the school teacher. I think I would rather be the bar maid than either. LOL. (And hope to stay out of the bar-room brawls) Actually I doubt there were too many teachers at first in the OLD west, few women even….thus the whores. (ha) And ah, there is something about the rattle of spurs on the boots.

  5. howanxious says:

    that is nice. seemed as if I was watching a movie; even though I haven’t watched any with the cowboys so far. but the way you assigned the role of whore… great writing!

  6. quite a terrific mental photography ! I love Sergio Leone!

  7. Laurie Kolp says:

    Wow… I wasn’t expecting a whore, but that is so cowboy-like (steriotypically). Love the sounds.

  8. shanyns says:

    Susan! You have written a really wonderful piece here. Loved the roll you took as well. I always chose her too – with a derringer or a little toothpick knife.

  9. Oh that was wonderful… only schoolteacher I recall from western movies is the one in Butch Cassidy and Sundance kid… and she could be worth playing I think 🙂 But that’s not Leone

    Loved the way you took this Susan

  10. Love the imagery this creates.

  11. Trent Lewin says:

    There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend: those with their head in the noose and those who do the cutting. It’s my head in the noose. (Yeah. But I do the cutting). I don’t know what the wild west was really like. But what I do know is that I like this poem and this thought. And I love those old westerns… The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a towering masterpiece in my opinion. It probably says something about the movie, the time and my perceptions that I don’t much consider the portrayal of women in those movies. But next time I watch them, I certainly will.

    • Wonderful comment, as always, Trent. Enjoy those movies anyway–they are so good, despite their stilted roles for women. Crap, so many roles for women are stilted still in movies, I assure you I am not just picking on one genre here. Does that stop me from loving movies–hell no, it does not 😉

  12. margaret says:

    Those cowboys did not look like Johnny Depp… think I’d a been a school teacher, happily 🙂

  13. kaykuala says:

    The Italian flicks put new life in westerns. The offerings of the Clint Eastwoods kinds were awesome. Cowboy films came back roaring at that time. Thanks for the memories Susan!.Great write!


  14. Rowan Taw says:

    I could understand the choice, until I read “sepia stained water” and then the role seemed too much of a disappointment!

  15. wolfsrosebud says:

    loved the comparison of the coins and the spurs

  16. jomul7 says:

    I love the mood you create here

  17. School teacher or whore… they didn’t really have much of a choice in roles in those westerns did they…in reality I’ll bet women had much tougher and poignant role to play in the old west!

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