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RONNIE GOODYER

 
 

Starkweather

 

 

Just ‘cos people are different an’ all

that doesn’t mean y’ can’t TALK to ‘em,

or listen ‘n that. That’s no hard thing.

 

Starkweather at nineteen,

James Dean with Caril Ann,

garbage man with a bow-legged girlfriend.

Unprepossessing, red hair and a rifle.

 

Shot the parents, choked the child.

Three corpses and an open door.

In the wind, seven days, seven bodies,

Lincoln, Nebraska to Douglas, Wyoming.

 

Dead were all god-damned sons-of-bitches,

All-seeing, all-hating, all the power

that persecution brings, welled up in

the selfishness of the shotgun.

 

Starkweather at twenty,

ten notches and relief from the fire,

practised the meanness in the world,

no place with people he knowed,

snapped his head back, smiling.

 

 

 

 



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