peckinpah’s typewriter


I’ve ascribed all sorts of

snakebit tequila

mysticism to it

unearthed from a hot arroyo

placed on a flat stone

in a clearing,

battered keys

deformed reddish with rust,

as if dropped

from purgatory but

still sizzling with stories of

outcast border burn-

outs, last gasp novels written

on the homicidal edge of Barstow

in motel rooms that smell

of weaponized rhetoric & the apocalypse,

the journey of the frayed soul of

Alfredo Garcia into the doomed heart

of the sierra madre where

exiled American nightmares



upon which the betrayal &

gangland slaying of Jesus was

reported on a breathless day of

drifting wind not unlike today-

a group of us standing around it

as if it was the last literary

relic of the industrial age

unearthed in the weeping

desert moonshine of new mexico;

who couldn’t imagine Peckinpah,

with the Billy The Kid nightsweats or

maybe Willa Cather, pecking out

the heartbeat of the archbishop

on its rust-caked idiot savant keys.


Maybe Herr’s dispatches from hell;

Nativity of The Hustler.


John Macker



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