by Rawclyde!


Yuma’s “good morning” skies


the desert goddess’s eyes

barely open now

and awaiting

her nausea to go away

while radiating more n’ more

solar rays

tainted pretty pink, tainted gothic purple

and finally flashing their blue baby blue

all over the place

and the desert goddess moans

“Is this Goonsville or

is this the ghost town called Love?”


(Copyright Clyde Collins 2011)


 A Ghost Town Called Love

poetry collection


by Rawclyde





Oh the repercussions of

what I have done

are haunting me no end

cries out the soul of







He slips the key into his vest

straightens the badge on his chest

throws open the jail-cell door

walks out into the morning sunshine


There are birds chirping

a train hoots  in the distance

a child is at play on the porch

but it’s all just the ghost town moaning


Then a bullet sings thru the air

splinters the wall nex’ his eyelash

a foul burst of dust blurrs his vision

alas, this is not Memory Lane







Sheriff Dart tumbles behind a

rusted chunk of mining works located

just right for the occasion

3 more bullets slice the air


“You shoulda never killed him, Dart!”

it’s a female voice


more lead smites and clangs


“No more excuses, Dart!”





How many lady friends did this feller have anyway?

muses the town sheriff

under the porch now

   digging his elbows into the dirt…






Inside the Bird Cage Saloon VI



GUN 2013

Chapter 20


The double doors are a rattling in the big birdcage above our heads.  The log perch hanging from the arch is swaying.  Giant formidable talons move nervously back n’ forth on the swaying perch.  Of course it’s only my imagination gone beserk.  The bald eagle up there in the dome is a statue made of wood ~ and is still.  Maybe I’m the one having a nervous breakdown.

“Now, baby, now!”

Bang!  Bang!  The slick long-barrel derringer in Wayne Peeintheair’s spastic hand twirls thru the smokey atmosphere of the saloon.  And one of his ears disappears for good measure.  Agent Whapp, to the left o’ me, proves to be an expert marksman!  And nobody else fires a shot ‘cuz she’s so damn scary.  A sullen skull chalked like a mask on her face makes it so.

“So be it!” shouts Ted Newscent, just a guitar player, to the right o’ me.  He covers all of ’em with his 45.  He’s no longer grinning.  His jaw muscles are taunt ~ working overtime ~ as his teeth grind.

The floor is smokin’.  The boys are leavin’.  And the Bird Cage Saloon is burning down.

The bristling cannon-ware of Submissivania (Has she’s grown 5 extra arms aiming all this stuff?) offers encouragement for all AR-15 conglomerates to fold-up and depart.  And so they do.  Some of these tough guys dance a little bit as they seek an exit, for the bullets fling & sing up outta the crackling ammo dump (I presume it’s a secret NRA ammo dump) in the cellar below.

Peeintheair’s four bodyguards have become statues.  “Why don’t you guys move!” bellows my favorite old rock n’ roll star turned Obamasiah deacon.  He waves the barrel of his Colt toward the door.  Submissivania shoots somebody’s hat off ~ more encouragement.

“What the…?”

Peeintheair is doing a jig!  His clown shoes flip flop madly as he pyroots around & around, holding the ear-less side of his head as it spurts blood ‘tween his fingers.  He’s kind of like a twirling lawn sprinkler spraying red dew on the smoking, splintering planks around him.  The expression on his face is that of a grinning circus clown ~ even after having wiped off all his make-up.  He’s got a grin on his face so big his eyes are squeezed shut.  He seems to be in his element.  The racket below is deafening.  A carbon stench pervasive.  Smoke is slithering around him like out-of-body experiences.

“Hell!” snarls Ted.  He waves farewell with his gun & exits in disgust out the back door, grabs his guitar on his way out.  A large section of the floor explodes behind him & flames leap up ~ begin waltzing with our NRA celebrity.

Peeintheair’s bodyguards remain catatonic.  I guess they cannot decide whether they want to defend their looney leader or shoot him.  They haven’t moved a quarter of an inch for maybe five minutes.  One of them has a sawed-off shotgun half pulled out of his coat as if eternally posing for a camera that is not here.  Meanwhile his a-whirl dervish boss starts singing:


“What stops a bad man

with a gun?

What stops a bad man

with a gun?

Maybe nothin’ can stop him

but the rising sun!”


The coat sleeve of one of Peeintheair’s bodyguards catches fire.  This snaps the feller out of his statue-like stillness.  He drops his guns & runs ~ like an Olympic torch-carrier for the front door ~ hollering.  But he doesn’t get too far.  The floor collapses under him in a burst of red sparks.  He tumbles head first into the spluttering tumult of ricocheting bullets below ~ then comes flying out riding a piano-sized fireball that propels him back over our heads across the room.  After that I lose track of this unfortunate individual.  He probably just lies on the floor some where behind a table, perhaps on top of a table, a sizzling charbroiled hamburger…

by Rawclyde!


Reply to Sen. Jeff Flake (R.AZ)…



Hello Senator Jeff Flake ~

In a reply to an e-mail I sent you in regard to gun law, you educated me on S. 480, the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013.  Thank you.  S. 480 sounds like good gun legislation indeed.  However, I wonder, is it enough?

You & I & most everybody support the 2nd Amendment.  But part of this amendment entails “a well-regulated militia.”  Are we “well regulated” enough when a string of senseless mass murders finally culminates in 20 children & their teachers getting slaughtered in their school by an over-armed citizen?  Six-year-old children, 20 of them & their young attractive woman educaters are too many heart-throbs killed, Senator.  This cannot be tolerated.  Your electoral base, I believe, might be shrinking here.

I, being neither Republican or Democrat but an independent voter, would like to risk a suggestion that you and your fellow Republican senators reach across the aisle & help the Democrats tidy-up their own efforts at common-sense gun regulation ~ and regulate firearms just as severely as privately-owned motor vehicles are regulated via licensing, registration & insurance.  I am afraid you will be hounded until a clampdown like this occurs in regards to the ownership & bearing of firearms.

When the Newtown disaster occurred, I was a winter guest in the home of a married couple, one of whom, the wife, is a first-grade teacher.  This is probably why I have thought so much about Congress’s recent gun-law efforts.  She was pretty wild in her day, but now, as a public-school teacher of lst graders, she works entirely too hard to not have in her domain of labor the back-up of adequate gun regulation & safety.

Thank you, sir, for taking the time to consider my thoughts on this matter.

Respectfully yours ~




Photo: Tim McCoy & Bannock Indians 1922


Reply from Sen. Jeff Flake (R.AZ)


E-mail April 9, 2013

Dear Rawclyde!

Thank you for contacting me about gun control legislation.

In the wake of the tragic December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a surge in the introduction of congressional legislation attempting to address gun violence. A ban on assault weapons, restrictions on ammunition and magazines, and increased background check requirements have all been proposed.

As you may know, I support the Second Amendment, and I do not believe our society needs more laws restricting gun ownership. What we really need is to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, while ensuring that those who break existing laws are fully prosecuted.

To that end, I do not support universal background checks, which would be extremely costly, create further delays for those eligible to buy guns, and apply to private transfers between family members, friends, neighbors, and even firearms passed down through wills. I do support making the existing background check system more effective in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. For example, many states and federal agencies are not providing the required disqualifying records of individuals barred from buying guns to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which checks the names and records of would-be gun buyers to determine if they may possess a firearm. For this reason, I am an original cosponsor of S. 480, the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013, which would require states and federal agencies to report individuals  involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, those incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case, and those found not guilty by reason of insanity – among others.  NICS. S. 480 was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on March 6, 2013. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where it is awaiting further action.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website, which may be found at flake.senate.gov.


Jeff Flake

United States Senator


Photo:  Kelo Henderson “Pyramid of the Sun God” 1965


At the Downtown Prescott Inn…

Prescott AZ 1910

Downtown Prescott Inn, Prescott AZ, 1910…


GUN 2013

Chapter 9


Submissivania eyeballs me over her morning coffee.  Two green pools of bottomless desire beckon me to be what I am not.  I am not young.  So I look away & comment on the weather.

“Indeed it is Spring,” replies Submissivania.

Prescott is budding everywhere.  We witnessed the last of the winter snow a few days after our arrival about a month ago.  Now Spring is on the prowl.

Downtown Prescott is nestled in the hills down which trickles Granite Creek.  The city is an old mining and cattle town ~ with some suburbs now ~ the major tumor on the side of its head being Prescott Valley.    The city of Prescott has vehemently, protectively, adopted as its own the forest it ravaged in the early days.  Thumb Butte, a towering outcrop of blunt rock west of downtown, is the city signpost.  Granite Mountain, a much bigger rock and a mountain-lion lair, stoically eternally grimaces yonder northwest.

The vivacious damsel & I have rooms across the hall from each other on the topmost 3rd floor of the Downtown Prescott Inn. This inn has the characteristics of an old miner whose Stairway to Heaven is made of thick slabs of ornate wood.  This inn is quite an establishment in my estimation ~ enough so that I’m going broke staying here.  It doesn’t take much to make me go broke.  My only income, presently, is a meager stipend of Social Security that I began receiving this long-gone winter.

Out on our 3rd-floor balcony Submissivania & I lean against the rail & drink the free brew from the main lobby.  We got a nice view up here.  Submissivania commences in wrapping me around her little finger by saying, “Rawclyde, when are you going to start wearing your new hat?  Aren’t you tired of that old one yet?”

“By n’ by,” wistfully crow I, gazing at Thumb Butte out yonder…



Thumb Butte, Prescott AZ, photo by Franz Rosenberger


Quite a gal…

courtesy of Evelina Galli 2


GUN 2013

Chapter 7


Submissivania Whapp, it turns out, is not only a pretty woman.  She’s become an accomplished pony rider over the years in a secret canyon of the urban sprawl of Los Angeles.  And she’s become the best-selling author of the world’s most sought after erotica in the late-night glow of her bedroom computer.  And she’s a top-gun corporate executive on week days.  And she’s the youngest of the White House’s favorite secret agents ~ 24 years old.  And she hasn’t moved out of her parent’s sprawling suburban-ranch home yet.

Ms. Whapp lets go these autobiographicals as she massages my neck & shoulders.  This massaging endeavor of hers causes me to swiftly recover from my swoons.  Now her close proximity is elevating me to a clairvoyant height I’ve never obtained before in a Greyhound bus seat.  Her flowery scent, her warm breath, the congenial display of valley and hillock within licking distance lifts my consciousness out of a muck that it’s been languishing in for I don’t know how many years.  The clairvoyance I’m experiencing is startling.  I actually witness angels grouped around the exterior of the bus protecting it from traffic accidents as it speeds along the highway.  My religiousity soars as Ms. Whapp’s hands, saintly lampoons, knead all cares and worries out of my teetering over-the-hill body.  I’m an ecstatic old timer ~ downright near experiencing levitation.

We roll past stacks of cotton on cotton farms, into the desert town of Gila Bend, and park for a hamburger and a coke.  We’ve got 20 minutes.

While we scarf-up the delicacies at Carl’s Jr. I tell Submissivania, “This is where I sold books out of a truck once upon a time.  Right here, right here where we’re sitting.”

“Really, Rawclyde, you’re so funny!” bubbles my favorite secret-agent partner.

“Right here in this very spot, before this hamburger joint was ever here,” I tell her.  “I sold a little book of lyrics written by old Hank Williams to a school teacher one day.  A half hour later another school teacher come by all excited and buy a fat biography of Pancho Villa.”

“That’s hilarious, Rawclyde!” giggles Submissivania.

I got the feeling that this pretty woman is patronizing the old man.  Which, in actuality, is okay with me.  She slyly looks around, sticks a french fry into a puddle of catchup on her tray, pops it into her mouth.  I take another bite of my burger, gulp down some coke.  The burger isn’t too bad.

“I called that old truck ~ Rawclyde’s Book Mule.”

“Oh Rawclyde!  How cute!”





Going Greyhound



GUN 2013

Chapter 5


At the Palm Street Station, a few miles this side of the Mexican border, a few others & I stand in the dark waiting for the trolley when ~ when nothing happens.  Except that eventually the trolley comes by & we all get on.

The trolley ride is uneventful ~ except that I am surrounded by hungry Mexicans.  None of them have guns.  El lone gringo is not molested.  Sometimes I become fascinated by this group of people who daily commute across the border to work or otherwise carry on.  They’re so, so earnest.  The young women, of course, fascinate me the most.  From where does such stoic & penetrating beauty come?  The only answer I can fathom:  it comes from below the border.

At 12th & Imperial, I get off, walk across the street to the little Greyhound Bus veranda,  show Security my back-pack & wait for the Greyhound.  The sun moseys up into the sky & I contemplate the colossus public library, fresh built, not yet open, a little ways up the street.  I’m proud of San Diego for planting such a fancy edifice to knowledge on the southeast edge of downtown rather than locating it in a distant suburb.

Years ago, I’d driven half-human junior-high-school ghetto-rodents in school buses outta this area to the swank suburb of La Jolla, for the Voluntary Ethnic Transfer Program.  Now those kids are men and women.  Bless ’em.

And here comes our bus.  Some Black & Asian Americans & me wait some more.  The driver, a skinny old White man in uniform & with rock-star-length white hair under his Capt’n cap, steps out of the bus & does his chores, one after another, an endless string of ’em.  Finally we are allowed to deposit our bags into the belly of the beast.  The driver finishes up some more chores.  He takes our tickets.  We climb aboard and wait some more.  Then at last, at last, the old codger climbs behind the wheel, says garbled things on the loud speaker and we roll outta town ~ get waylaid in El Cajon where more folks board and we wait some more.  Then we head up over the mountains & down into the chartreuse desert ~ a-glide to Arizona.

Sooner or later when you ride Greyhound the pretty woman gets on the bus.  This time it happens in Yuma.  She come walking across the shopping-center parking lot arm-n-arm with her stud ~ a Hispanic skin-head in a baseball cap & t-shirt.  They look smug and happy and we all know what they’ve been doing.  The young lady jiggles along in a sleeveless low-neckline tight black-denim fit.  She looks pretty good from a distance.  She looks even better bobbing alone up the aisle ~ slender & long & pale & freckled & strands of long red-hair falling out of a sloppy bun ~ here come da’ White Girl!

She sits directly across the aisle from me.  I rip off the glue and avert my eyes ~ look out my own window at a quaint Jack In The Box across the street & think, “Oh my oh my.”

Once the bus gets out of Yuma, the desert landscape gets significantly enthralling, the sacred feminine entity gets significantly relaxed, and I find myself to be a dirty old man glancing there & here & staring there, in Picture Book Heaven.

Then the plot thickens ~ like a brick slammed up against the side of the head.  It absolutely knocks me out ~ when her warm thigh bumps into the suddenly no longer empty seat next to me & a voice girlishly bubbles & perks next my ear, “Are you Rawclyde?”

I turn my head and boom ~ I’m out.  The blackout is complete.  Apparently I can’t handle pretty women in my old age.  I don’t know how long this blackout lasts.  When I come to, her hand is squeezing my knee & she is worriedly asking me, “Are you okay?”

“No, I am not okay,” growl I.  “And, yes, I am Rawclyde!”

“Glad to meet you.”  She holds out her hand.

Limply I grab it.  My head is spinning.

Her delicate fingers are warm and cool.  Point-blankly & with outlandishly green green eyes she says, “I’m Submissivania Whapp, your partner on this mission.”  When she smiles, her teeth magnificently ricochet the desert light from outside our galloping coach.  With a roll of her eyeballs she adds,  “I’m the White House’s other favorite secret agent.”

She has knocked me out again.

~ by Rawclyde!


To Senator Jeff Flake AZ…


Hello Senator Jeff Flake ~

In the wake of the Newtown tragedy of 20 first-grade children and their educators slain by an assault-weapon wielding mentally-ill young man ~ something must be done.  I believe we have no choice.  This is why I urge you to become involved in the legislation of, at least, smaller magazine clips and thorough background checks for the purchase of guns, especially at gun shows.

Also, I think it would be beneficial, for Republican congress members and for our public schools, if you were to insist on the hiring of and providing federal dollars for more school resource officers, preferably armed, in our public schools.

I voted as an Independent in Yuma, 2012.  I served in the U.S. Army, 1980-84…

Which brings to mind, Sir, I believe our soldiers in Afghanistan would like to see Chuck Hagel commence his Secretary of Defense duties ASAP.  Your co-operation in regards to this appointment would be much appreciated…

Good day, Sir.

Yours truly ~

P.S. Good luck with your Sequestration debacle…