The Ghost of Texas Guinan
“Mr. Guinan, I’ll bet your little girl Texas was born
in the saddle and cut her teeth on a six-gun!” — — Buffalo Bill Cody
Since Texas Guinan had an appetite For wild, her feet detached from Waco's mud, Wound up in Omaha. Auditions had Begun for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Pale horse, pale rider — — hastening sunset. If I keep robbing her of rightful rest, Perhaps her death will never saddle up. The time warp points to 1899. Dawn broke as if it's roping scattered light. A rifle shot by Annie Oakley grabbed Attention — — but to Texas it translates Brash promises of never hearing no. When films were silent, heroism was shown By how much good and evil fought onscreen. Frail victims needed cowboys saving them. But Tex rode roughshod over this belief, Which scored new contracts in 1918. For her they penned “Gun Woman.” She portrayed The cowgirl sent to handle rescuing. Before she mounts Bucephalus bare-backed, She'll buckle up her gunbelt, knowing girls Will take the reins by watching how it's done, Strong knife arms swinging out to sever old Restrictions Hollywood's boys' club imposed. On camera, she'll hand roll smokes between Two fingers, like scout's honor, execute Her own stunts, thank you, and win back the ranch. Refusing to play victims on the screen, Be foiled by bullets, brave like Annie — — but On horseback — —Texas Guinan blazed a trail Through celluloid, always maintained a voice In how she was portrayed, unique this way, A heroine in every interview. As organ music swelled, the silver screen Replayed her derring-do, subtitles on. If I deny The Reaper came to wrest Control at 49, will she wake up? The time warp points to 1933. Westerns are not the way you left them, Tex, When you starred in “My Lady Robin Hood.” Once talkies had caught on, cowgirls were gone. Producers wanted men as brave, rightful Defenders of vast untamed prairie towns. The hour of her untimely death reared up, Then flung her, dazed, distressed, lifetime compressed. Pale horse, pale rider — — uninvited guest. Her spirit hovers over Hollywood, Where she's their only female shooting star.
Greenwich Villager LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a Pushcart Prize, Rhysling Award, Best of the Net, and Dwarf Stars nominee, is a member of SFPA, The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild. Elgin Award winner “A Route Obscure and Lonely,” “Concupiscent Consumption,” “Women Who Were Warned,” FirecrackerAward, Balcones Poetry Prize, Quill and Ink, Paterson Poetry Prize,and IPPY Award nominee “Messengers of the Macabre” [co-written with David Davies], “Apprenticed to the Night” [Beacon Books, 2023] , and “Felones de Se: Poems about Suicide” [Ukiyoto Publishing, 2023] are her latest poetry titles. Twitter. Youtube. Website.
LoSchiavo’s books can be found here:
Messengers of the Macabre: Hallowe’en Poems
Women Who Were Warned