Monday’s Rune: Big Country Swap Meet


Listen: Brack-In Ridge

Reportage from Abilene, Texas.

The parking lot guy collects a five spot.
I joke: five dollars to see my
brother-in-law?
The good ol’ boy
with the best trash and
the biggest damn stash east of the Pecos.
I suppose west of, too.

A cowboy swap meet.
Auto stuff, mostly.
Kind of a thing in a place,
next to a silent (today) drag strip.
I spied more vendors than not.

Gear heads. Rust is the most
favored color and condition.
Many men’s junk—treasures
for another’s home, yard, or garage.
To be sold again one day down the road.

Huge bushy mustachios, semi-clean blue jeans
with stained dirty shirts work, baseball caps
of some kind to cover secret coded bald heads,
hidden lips that barely part
speaking a strange dialect,

What’s the least y’all take?
I’h gotta have ‘at old junk.

Gotta get that much,
‘at’s mah last one,
except fer ones I ain’t sold yet.

Big sky country, gateway to western Texas.
And women looking. And high priced
cars, trucks, scoots, and toys
that been rustin’ for years.
Who knows where?

It’s a tribe thingy.
I like ‘em,
but I don’t get them.
They don’t get me. Seems fair enough.
Still, it’s fun to sit and stare. To look,
and to listen.


Look both ways, be y’all a seller or a buyer.
Mind the gaps for the best deal.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #254 (yodel)

Click on Sammi’s graphic to mosey on over to her blog where you’ll find more 57-word wonders.

Ignorance Ain’t Bliss

When I was a boy,
they told me
which were the good
and bad guys.

School, books, and movies,
taught me Indians were bad guys,
always lost, and
cowboys sang and yodeled.

Now I know
about Little Bighorn
(Indian tribes won)
and the Wounded Knee massacre.

Now I know
cowboys don’t yodel.
Singers singing about them do.


Look both ways for truth in history.
Mind the gaps for prejudicial evidence.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 8)

Click the graphic for the day eight prompt and discussion.

To begin the second week of the NaPoWriMo challenge, I was to give a name to my alter ego. Then I was to provide you with a detailed description of him or her (in my case, his). Finally, I was s’pposed to write in my alter ego’s voice, presumably a poetic piece of some kind. I looked up alter ego because I wasn’t certain what that was. I’m still not sure.

I’ve provided you with two video clips. One to clarify my alter ego’s behavior and attitude (Gus McCrae from the Lonesome Dove miniseries, played by Robert Duvall). It’s close, but not exactly right. So, I added another clip from a Bloomberg interview with Sam Elliot to help with the look, facial hair, and voice. I also added a photo for the uniform and a bushier mustache.


Meet Scratch McGillicuddy, my alter ego. Scratch got his first name playing pool (poorly). His last name was bestowed by his father, but it’s not his real family name. He never uses that. Scratch’s motto is do no harm but take no shit. He has a soft heart that he wants no one to see, and a hard head that everyone sees. Like Gus McCrae, Scratch has an appreciation for the arts, the intelligence of others, all kinds of learning, and he talks and drinks too much.

While McGillicuddy has seen better days and his best is in the past, he is seriously in denial about that and thinks he can do it all as well as always. Scratch is older than he looks, is more physically fit than many think, and admits to selling himself for a bit more than his worth. In many ways, except for his cowboy image, Scratch is an average sized man who hits hard and shoots straight, metaphorically and literally.

He sees things others miss. While his hearing is waning, he loves music. Secretly, he is proud of his physical and emotional scars. Yet, he doesn’t show them off or talk much about what price he paid for them.

*****

Cowboy Down

We’re all gone now, but we ain’t
And we ain’t them Louis L’Amour pokes,
but we are too, in many a memory.
Now, we’re the Larry McMurtry truth.

We’re not the western movie,
but we’re the western hero
and the Liberty Valance, sorry to say.
We don’t drive pickup trucks,
but we ride, smack dab in the middle with you.

We love horses, snakes, and cows,
but we ain’t no farmers nor them
drugstore cowboy goat ropers.

We drink rank coffee and cheap rye whiskey,
and we cause tons a trouble on the double.
We’re on your saddles, in yer picture shows,
and we be a permanent part of yer art.

In Oklahoma we’re gussied up in a dad burn museum.
We’re who y’all pine to be, but you can’t be no more
b’cuz they done bob-warred the dang prairie.
We all been throwed, and some of us been rode.

Don’t be messin’ with our women folk,
now, ya been nicely told.
Hang on to the myth, the cowboy stories,
because it’ll be nowhere on earth, ever again.
Never like it was way back then. Like I said,
We just ain’t here abouts no more. But you are.


Look both ways for the stories of history: the truth, myths, and mysteries.
Mind the gaps, the hats, the spurs, and the boots.
It isn’t what it was, but it was what it is. Make the best of it.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 5)

Today I was to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature.

While I may have skirted the “mythical person/creature” intent of this prompt into a mythical persona, my poem jibes with a contemporary American myth, my real life, and my reading of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove and other books.


The Marlboro Men

Some didn’t smoke nor drink. Some hated horses.
First, for thirty years he was the
as soft as May she,
the lady who smoked, then she transitioned
into a tough, rugged, solitary, successful,
sometimes gay, mythical but authentic cowboy—
the sexiest of the sexist real men to face cancer.

Born with The Magnificent Seven’s memorable music,
growing and coming of age while riding
our cultural waves of the cold war, rock & roll,
civil and women’s rights; adverts were
icons of destiny for the decidedly deceived,
counters for conservative control
of our changing values.

The Big-un, the real one, a cowboy myth
to market coffin nails
and sell cowboy killers
to callow, naive boys who
never did and never will ride a horse
or be close enough to smell a cow.

The idolized hat, saddle, and boots of the Colorado rancher,
a friend to the duke, who took twelve years to
awaken to the wisdom of his being bought
to kill his own kin.

Was the demise of the man, the myth, and the cowboy the lie?
Was the image of what such men meant tarnished
by tobacco’s tar, nicotine, addiction, disease, and death?

Yes!

What men or women deserve to be our exemplars?
Are the anonymous quitters, the rebels, those
who turn and fight for right; are they, the proven people,
our legitimate, proper heroes? Or is true grit bogus?


Look both ways while riding the trails of western myth.
There is a truth to be found, but it’s now more than a hundred years,
and thousands of movies, ads, and commercials later.
Mind the gaps in the lies of marketing and advertising.

***

Too much to gloss: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_Man

Sammi’s Weekender #251 (rune)

Click here for Sammi’s blog and more 96-word wonders.

 


Pulled Curly’s Rune

At first, years ago
when I was a green carrot,
Texans were, it seemed,
wonderful; charming, friendly,
funny-talking folk in spurs
and special wide brim hats,
and mess on their boots;
mysterious, clever, dashing,
men, woman, and children;
lovers of prickly flora
and less flattering fauna; frank
but short of blunt, somber souls.

For forty years I lived among ‘em,
counted myself one,
married another,
raised three more,
befriended many, tolerated more;
a citizen with resident rights,

I’ve noticed fewer hold that mythical
individualistic spirit,
lost in a dangerous land,
well-known as
Houston in New York.


Look both ways when we pine for the past.
Enjoy the stories and the myths, but mind the gaps where rattlers sleep.

Why Houston in New York?

City Slickers movie slice. My point.

Sammi’s Weekender #144: sculpture


Cowboys look like Cooper, Wayne,
Marvin; or tall, thin Stewart. I seen
movies in the 50’s,
High Noon or Liberty Valance with
great songs.

Not s’posed to look like the sculpture.
The horse is right,
but the cowboy rock sittin’ is short,
round-faced with a big ‘stash and
no gun, holdin’ reins
lest Ol’ Buck runs off spooked.

The wrangler wears chaps and a jacket.
Reality ain’t movies, both’s art though.


Drop your blinders and look both ways.
Mind the gaps for, “The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.”