The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger died this morning

A driedup worm on El Paso concrete

Happened in a child’s bed.

There was a pillow & a blanket.

There was a scar around the neck

Not the scar of a failed hanging

But shirtcollar too small.

The Gunslinger was more Cagney

Than Fonda.

Hammered cowboyboots heelshaved and leaky.

The spurs rusted.

Gun missing.

And no wife outside wept and no whores

Drank rye

And the cardplayers

Never missed a hand.

The Gunslinger said twenty-eight men he shot & killed

In Reno just to see them dance.

The Gunslinger possessed  

Thanatic Magnetism

Said an old whore in Cali

She refused to believe his Irish redhair

Was gone

Nobody in the hotel knew his name

The dead Gunslinger.

To the grave the Gunslinger was


In nothing but purple Yfronts.

Anthony James Bergman

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