Phil Estes

The Lusty Men (1952)

Jo has been gone too long that I should not
Feel this way anymore. “But you can’t control

These sorts of things, ______,” my friends always say.
To mourn anything is tough when you don’t remember

Mourning’s subject. Jo will take Harv’s shit-stained cock
Into her mouth. I will watch an old movie

About a pretty good rodeo man in love
With a young woman from afar—she’s hitched also

To a young gun with talent: a bull rider.
The difference between the hero and me: the hero

Is played by Robert Mitchum and he’s talented;
The young bull rider respects him to a degree.

Thank God the lovers of bull riders don’t write much
Poetry. I don’t want to hear about him Jo,

How he’s like water or some shit: he freezes
In buckets and likes your hair cut short like

A boy’s. I grabbed a little bit of hair once
When mounting you from behind, like I’d tie you

Into a ball of legs. You screamed and that’s it,
I didn’t see your body until September.

You said I was passive; I don’t know I guess,
But Robert Mitchum as hero knows better—

He helps the kid and dies for it—gored, finally,
By a bull. He bleeds from the ass honestly,

Not because his lines about poor Idaho
People are far too tight to not act or feel

Cliché; just before our hero dies
He says: “Love each other” to the young woman, young gun,

And I know I will, but I don’t want to yet.
The stronger man died. He is a ghost on the wall.

Poem's Score: -2.10459649123

Phil Estes' poems have appeared recently in Diagram, Hobart (Web), Interrupture, and Lungfull! He lives in Tulsa, OK and curates Bumpkinitis, a reading series.


For July 2013,
Everyday Genius is pleased to present poems that were rated below 0.4 on the "Poetry Assessor"—a tool that "is designed to determine whether a poem has the characteristics of a professional poem, or, alternatively, an amateur poem.
We publish the poems here, with their scores, not to confirm the Assessor's judgment, but to allow human readers to decide for themselves.

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