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.
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…
Aw, thank you, Brian. Just trying to look at life through an actress’ eyes 😉
love it all right down to the accented hands – even though I hate that “spaghetti” appellation
Know what you mean, Paul! I love Italians, and pasta….
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….
What a wonderful comment, Claudia! Yes, everything is romantic in retrospect…
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.
Hee, hee. There is. Oh, the narrow roles allowed women in western movies led to me choosing to be a whore 😉
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!
Oh, thank you! One of those dark, existential westerns…
quite a terrific mental photography ! I love Sergio Leone!
Debbie–thank you! I do, as well, adore Leone…
Wow… I wasn’t expecting a whore, but that is so cowboy-like (steriotypically). Love the sounds.
Hee, hee. Thank you!
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.
Yes! I like to imagine myself in the role of a woman with teeth 😉
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
Bjorn, thank you. Very few and mostly stilted roles for women in these. Had fun with it.
Love the imagery this creates.
Thank you, Kathryn.
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 😉
lots of sensual textures here
Midnight Cowboy — A Quick Review
Thank you…I agree–in a dark kind of way.
Those cowboys did not look like Johnny Depp… think I’d a been a school teacher, happily 🙂
Hahaha–no, they most assuredly did not. Probably did not shower as often, either.
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!
Thank you, Hank. I do have a love of those Italian films…
I could understand the choice, until I read “sepia stained water” and then the role seemed too much of a disappointment!
Hee, hee. Point taken!
loved the comparison of the coins and the spurs
Aw, thank you!
I love the mood you create here
Thank you, Joe. A little dark and jangly, like those spurs 😉
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!
No, Di, the films did not give us much room for being. I am sure real life was more accommodating.