Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pretty Boy Floyd

Woody Guthrie sang about him. Larry McMurtry, author of The Last Picture Show, and Diana Ossana co-authored a novel about him, entitled 'Pretty Boy Floyd', of course. I just finished it and here I sit feeling sad about his death. Some men can do that to you, bad or good. I do highly recommend the novel. I didn't expect to like it, especially, but I like McMurtry, so I read it. I couldn't put it down.

Pretty Boy Floyd went to the top of the Most Wanted List after Dillenger was killed, but he was still considered a Robin Hood, loved by three women and the people who met him. Click on his name in the post title to read more about his life. I'm posting this to see if a poem comes about him. If one does for you, I'd love to see it.

(a poem in progress--another draft up)

Pretty Boy Floyd

Flies still buzz-bomb that spot
where the G men gunned you down.
Hungry, tired, frost on your clothes.
Like bagging a whipped deer.

The grass never greens
in the place where you fell
and your blood, they say, tints
the bushes with red every Spring.

You tipped your hat to robbed ladies
offered candy to babies, but
two-timed women waited till
their nails grew and curled
for one more glimpse
of those pretty boy looks.

The Okies still claim your ghost
roams the hills, gun under one arm.
You croon out dreams of bigger
bank rolls, sweet loving kisses
and picket-fenced white houses
doused far too soon.

4 comments:

AlexG said...

some years ago John Ericson playd him on screen.

Pris said...

Hi Alex
I'm glad you found my blog! Thanks for commenting. I read in the preface to the book that McMurtry and the woman co-author had also done a screenplay for a movie about him, them decided to write the book. I would guess it's the same movie you refer to, but I never heard about it when it was out. Reading the book, he was a much simpler man than the other robbers of his time. It sounds strange to say, but there was a core of kindness that comes through in the same man who killed and robbed. His killings, according to the book, were when he was shot at and, in one robbery, he even bought two suckers to give to two crying children.

tammy said...

Pris, this is a wonderful poem. I'm interested in reading this book, too. Although, seems I never have time to read (with a 21 month old son) but books on cd are a blessing (I listen to them while sitting in traffic on my way to work).

Pris said...

Hi Tammy
I'm glad you like the poem. I'm still doing a few nits in the last stanza..more rhthym type things than content.

Hope you can find time for the book or can find it on CD. It IS fascinating.