There are those who argue that… because the rich man gets ice
in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are
breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I’ll swear I can’t see it
that way.
—Bat Masterson, last words found in his typewriter, 1921


Wallop. And the spring goes in your step.
Dusk splits its sides like frosted glass. Beneath
a hammer-tested face, you crack a grin,
and hold it, mesmerised, between your teeth.

The first words which you ever hear: Watch out!
as you smell the axes hit the tempered timber,
exacting their revenge. A shattered moon
comes down, and leaves some spells inside your fingers.

If it ain’t fixed, you’ve broke it. That’s the motto.
Words aren’t the last to go; they sit, impatient,
on paper, whilst you cut a final figure,
a shadow of a sprawl. The conversation

ticks in your trap, and peters out. There’s some
who’d call this spasm merely maladjusted.
I say: you step on ice, it always fractures.
You beat your heart until the thing is busted.

The gunsmith types, and hears the last report
unfinished, misses its echo. Maybe so,
but I swear I can’t see it that way.
Life’s cut short,
while a weather-beaten moon swings to and fro.

Cold Calls The Great Provider