Untitled Country Review (ISSN 2152-7903), published quarterly during 2010-2013, features poetry, book reviews, photography, and short works of non-fiction. Thank you for visiting.

Issue 5: David Chorlton

The Righteous

            The righteous love to kill for their faith.
                                    --Charles Simic

My friend in California called again
last week to tell
me that the Devil was living
in his house. I imagined
the unwelcome guest with his feet up
on the couch, sipping
margaritas through a straw
and badmouthing the saints. The problem
was his obvious
intelligence and the conviction

in his arguments
against God. The tone
in my friend’s voice
was fearful and resigned. I tried

to tell him not to worry, that the Devil
was really here in Arizona
where serious arguments end
in gunfire, as demanded by tradition.
You can see the handlebar moustaches

on billboards east of Tucson
selling the Gunfight
at the OK Corral as the most famous
thirty seconds of our history. They have

been stretched to more than a century
and always end in applause.
It’s been happening for so long
we can’t distinguish theatre from life
when neither outlaws nor believers
load with blanks.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in1978. He has several collections, but takes special pleasure in a very short poem that appears beside John Clare and others in BIRDS, an anthology from the British Museum.

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