Cowboy Recipe

Cowboy Recipe

Short fellows with bunched knuckles and brown sputum,

wrapping leather thongs around the pommel,

and tightening it around their fists.

Thumbs and forefingers fore and aft on their hats.

Chewing.  Nodding.  Eyes on the horizon.

They’re out of the gate in a flash of pearl snaps and gingham.

Blocked and creased hats bobbing.  Palms waving.

Perhaps a feather in the brim spinning…  spinning…

beneath backing, bellowing, twisting, stomping, humped nightmares

of beef.

Raking the slats with their horns,

and cracking the rails with their kick,

these browsing Gods live to pitch waving evangelists.

Great hocks of bone and gristle,

with hooves hard as manhole covers,

and nostrils steaming through stiff bristles,

hairy rumps, and small, mean red eyes –

they jab horn into testicle and abdomen,

and snap arms, legs and ribs.

All of which equals more bumps to rub up against your gal with.

“It’s all about gettin’ yur butt kicked for eight seconds,

and a belt buckle for your hernia,

and a chance to plow the earth with your chin,

to whack the dust off your hat,

and to land in manure…”


turn to look back at the bull…

and then spit.

                                                 – by Carl Nelson

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