speaks without a drawl.
He can’t lasso his verses in
– no flick of wrist
no quick tug at the line –
even when they stray beyond his range.
Nor does he write love poems
lonesome round the campfire
late at night.
During his long hours in the saddle
inspiration never keeps him company;
and after public readings to a rowdy
saloon audience of gambling men
and good time gals, he don’t collect
The cowboy poet lays it on the line
strictly for cash. He never writes free verse
but wants a large down-payment for materials;
then doesn’t show or take your calls
for weeks. When finally he swaggers in,
he squats down on one heel, pencil
in hand, writes half a haiku, words
and messed up pages strewn around.
He needs tea by the mug-full, and eats
your last Hob Nob; moseys out to take a leak
then says he’s low on couplets, but reckons
he might know where he can get some
cheap. He heads off west, into the sonnet
that is sunset, promising to be back
Friday at the latest, or next week,
to finish off the job.
From Rain Dog No 13 (September 2007)