PROLAPSE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON by Baxter Black

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PROLAPSE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
by Baxter Black

It came from outta nowhere,
like a prolapse in the night.
Which, in fact is what it was, my friends,
the cow vet’s scourge and plight.
That pudgy pink projectile
from those monster movie scenes
Like some whopping giant burrito
filled with attitude and beans.

I was soon laid down behind it
on a hillside in the muck
While the cowboy shined his high beams
from his perch there in the truck.
His rope stretched from the bumper
to her front legs tied in haste.
As I wallowed in the darkness
like a frog, stripped to the waist.

It was bigger than a tree trunk.
It was slick as old chow mein.
It was heavy as a carpet
someone left out in the rain.
I tried to gain some purchase
as I pressed my fist in tight,
It was thrashing like a porpoise
and was putting up a fight.

I got it in a hammerlock.
It was like a rabid dog.
I wrapped my legs around it
like a monkey on a log.
I pushed until my shoulder
disappeared inside the mass
As I scrambled for a foothold
in the mud and frozen grass.

But alas, with one huge effort
she expelled me from her grip.
I shot out like a cannon,
rolled and did a double flip.
But I grabbed her tail in passing
and with strength born out of war,
I dove at the appendage
like some punch drunk matador.

I lifted her hind quarters,
and I swung her side to side,
Then, like smart men do,
I used my head to push it back inside!
It was dark there for a second,
it was hard to catch my breath
But there she lay, my patient
I had saved from certain death.

The cowboy rolled his window down, said,
“Doc, are you alright?”
He gunned the engine several times.
The headlights got real bright.
“I’ve seen a prolapse done before
but never quite like that!”
“Oh, they taught us that in vet school…
But I think it ate my hat.”

© Baxter Black, used with permission

You must watch Baxter Black performing this poem. Find one video from the Heber Valley Music and Cowboy Gathering and another video here.

Poet and writer Rod Miller, in “Fine Lines and Wrinkles,” an essay at CowboyPoetry.com, writes, “Alliteration, assonance, consonance, and a completely off-kilter view of the world are apparent in these fine, wrinkled lines from ‘Prolapse from the Black Lagoon’ by Baxter Black. (Note that even his name uses alliteration and assonance.)”

In his official bio, where he is described as “a cowboy poet, former large animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses,” Baxter Black comments, “My audience is my inspiration. Every cowboy, rancher, vet, farmer, feed salesman, ag teacher, cowman and rodeo hand has a story to tell, and they tell it to me. I Baxterize it and tell it back to ‘em! It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”

He recites Bruce Kiskaddon’s “They Can Take It” on the new MASTERS: VOLUME THREE CD from CowboyPoetry.com and S. Omar Barker’s “Cowboy Saying” on MASTERS: VOLUME TWO.

This message comes from Baxter’s office, a policy announcement:

Since Baxter Black is no longer doing live performances, there are inquiries about others using his material in their performances. His policy is that anyone is welcome use his material in appropriate occasions, including non-profit or paid-for performances. He requests that the poems or stories be performed the way they are written, allowing for editing of length if needed. Please give the author credit.”

His office adds that no one, for any reason, has permission to include his work “on cds, books, or dvds…or to try to sell it in any manner, including online.”

This version of “Prolapse from the Black Lagoon” comes from Poems Worth Saving, Baxter Black’s 2013 collection of 164 poems and stories. Find more about Baxter Black at CowboyPoetry.com,  on Facebook; and find much more, including a weekly column, at
BaxterBlack.com.

This photograph is courtesy of Baxter Black.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem with this post, but request permission for any other use—except recitation.)

Rick Huff’s “Best of the West Reviews,” Winter, 2017

 

Rick Huff reviews Western music and cowboy poetry releases in his “Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews” column in The Western Way from the Western Music Association and in other publications.

Rick Huff considers Western music books and recordings; cowboy poetry books, chapbooks, and recordings;  and relevant videos for review. For other materials, please query first: bestofthewest@swcp.com.

Please be sure to include complete contact information, price (plus postage) and order address information.

From Rick Huff, February, 2012:

Policy of the Column: It should be understood by artists sending material that it is being done for review consideration. Submitting such material does not ensure that it will be reviewed. Also, predominantly religious material is not accepted for review in the column. If further clarification is needed, contact Rick Huff, PO Box 8442, Albuquerque, NM 87198-8442.

Find other recent reviews here and hundreds of previous reviews on CowboyPoetry.com.

Find current and past reviews published in The Western Way at the Western Music Association site.

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Selections from “Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews,” Winter, 2017, below:

•  Baxter Black  SCRAMBLED WISDOM ALMOST ISN’T IS…IS IT
• 
Terry Nash A GOOD RIDE
•  Rod Miller  RAWHIDE ROBINSON RIDES A DROMEDARY
• 
Bob Marshall SCREEN DOOR 

 

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11-17-Baxter Black- Scrambled Wisdom [Almost Isn't Is, Is It]

SCRAMBLED WISDOM ALMOST ISN’T IS…IS IT
by Baxter Black

If the various computer auto-corrects through which it will run actually allow Baxter Black’s title for his latest book to remain unmolested without major reprogramming, it’ll be a miracle!  Or as Black puts at one point in the book: “Anlkadhtlid;s;apoliet eto tpnongljeryrypp (and this applies to typing, too)!”

Here we have a collection of mini-essays and some poems, each with an afterthought (or Baxterthought?)…such as “if life gives you llamas, make llamanade” and “if three out of four people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean one out of five enjoys it” and “(when) Horace Greeley said ‘go west, young man’…three hundred people in San Francisco drowned.”  You get the picture, and boy what a picture.  The book is dedicated to the late Pat Richardson, and some of his pearls are strung in as well.

There’s a good measure of education here on the perils, strangeness, wonder, wackiness and indispensability of the agricultural life.  Therefore, might we say Black’s lives matter?  Occasionally some of it will be best appreciated by his target audience and some of his traditional targets are again in his cross-hairs, but when he pitches haymakers, he’s just feeding the herd.  Recommended, but then when would something from BB not be?

Book (162 pages) – baxterblack.com

©2017, Rick Huff

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11-17-Terry Nash-A Good Ride

A GOOD RIDE
by Terry Nash

First, Terry Nash is, beyond a doubt, one of the best Cowboy Poets writing or delivering today.  I have always found his releases to be worth both your time and investment.

Badger Clark’s “Ridin’” was put to music as a song some years back. For this album, guitarist Ken Dravis helps to create a different but equally suitable mounting for Nash’s enthusiastic take on it.  Beyond the Clark cover, others include works of Kiskaddon (“The Lost Flannins”), Donnie Wynkoop (the hilarious “Fords [Snake Attack]”) and Buck Ramsey (“Bad Job”).  Original picks are “Homesteader,” a fresh version of his wonderful work “A Cowman’s Lot,” an ‘object’ lesson (the object being cow poop) called “Blurred Vision,” “December Stragglers” and what could be called a modern-day “moral of the story” story “Skype (#don’tgetthispoundsignstuff).”

I’ve said this in other reviews, but it holds true.  This particular CD is one of those you might consider using when defining or illustrating what cowboy poetry is or should be. Fourteen tracks.  Highly recommended.

CD:  $18 ppd from Terry Nash, 1278 N Road, Loma, CO 81524 or visit terrynashcowboypoet.com

©2017, Rick Huff

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Rawhide Robinson Rides a Dromedary

RAWHIDE ROBINSON RIDES A DROMEDARY
by Rod Miller

Billed as “the true tale of a wild west camel caballero,” it may be best described as a true “tail” of one!  To be sure, many facts of the historic, ill-fated Army camel gambit in the Arizona desert are faithfully relayed through this story…along with plenty about 19th Century sailing on the high seas!  But remember, Rod Miller’s Rawhide Robinson is also part Pecos Bill!

I will say with this dromedary lope, Rawhide may have found his stride.  His tall tales are integrated more sparingly than in his first outing and he’s hooked more to historical doings than he was in his second.  Filmmaker Joe Camp (of Benji fame) took a dip into the camel trough in his 1976 comedy Hawmps, coming about as close as Hollywood ever does to relating the real story of something.  In Miller’s version, Rawhide Robinson is officially hornswoggled into sailing over the salty seas to roundup and transport the contrary animals back to Arizona.  Adventure ensues.  Back in America, mule packers claim camels are no match for their charges, resulting in an epic desert test.  What happens in the end?  Hint:  Maybe because Rawhide Robinson wasn’t really there is why the #!*^#ing plan never worked!  Enjoy!

Trade Paperback:  (290 pages) $25.95  www.rawhiderobinson.com

©2017, Rick Huff

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11-17-Bob Marshall-Screen Door

SCREEN DOOR
by Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall’s newest release is an enjoyable, solid mix of Contemporary Western and Country tracks  Ten top Austin-area session people participated, including former WMA artist/now Reckless Kelly leader Cody Braun.  When you’re aiming to secure Texas radio airplay, this is all to the good.  But anyone doing it should know there is an Austin formula sound…and some of it has crept in here.

Picks from among the Marshall creations include the bluesy swinger “Hole In My Rope,” “He Talks To God,” “Rodeo Queen Deluxe” and “It’s Gonna Get Western.”  Add to them Marshall’s fine cover of the Donnie Blanz/Ed Bruce song “You Just Can’t See Him From The Road.”

Bob Marshall is a strong enough performer to garner airplay and fans wherever he can, and he certainly can’t be blamed for looking for both wherever they can be had.  He’s another example of the need to build a commercial base from which serious Western artists can work.  Thirteen tracks.  Recommended.

CD: $20 postpaid, www.bobmarshallband.com.

 

DECEMBER by Rod Miller

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“Cold Gather” © 2016, Mark Kohler
http://www.markkohlerstudio.com; http://www.instagram.com/markkohlerstudio

DECEMBER
by Rod Miller

No…
I don’t wear no white hat—
it’s only fallen snow;
blankets both my shoulders,
caps boots, stirrup to toe.
Horse’s eyelash frosted,
his maneline salted white.
Tracks made by his horseshoes
soon disappear from sight.

But…
The wind, it ain’t blowin’
and this cold I can stand—
bow my back, cowboy up,
and ride on for the brand.
Do the job I’m paid for.
Ain’t no need to pout.
Snow’ll melt come springtime,
like whiskers, grass’ll sprout.

Still…
A fire sure would feel good;
a cup of coffee, hot;
sougans in the bunkhouse
rolled out on ropeweb cot.
I’ll get home ’bout midnight.
Can’t wait to feel that bed.
Slim’ll wake and tell me
I can sleep when I’m dead.

Then…
Ride again at first light,
never mind snow and cold—
shake flakes off m’ back and
forget I’m too damn old.

© 2016, Rod Miller, used with permission

Utah’s Rod Miller excels as an essayist, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, poet, and more. He told us that this poem was “…inspired by season and circumstance.”

He has received the Western Writers of America’s prestigious Spur Award three times: for his poetry, short fiction, and a novel.

See his insightful and entertaining articles about writing and reciting cowboy poetry (and more of his poetry) at CowboyPoetry.com.

Subscribe to Rod Miller’s blog.

This outstanding painting, “Cold Gather,” is by award-winning artist Mark Kohler, known for his watercolors and oils. He states on his web site, “I have a passion for the American West, and for the last 18 years I’ve dedicated my God-given talent to one goal: documenting the independent spirit and pride that the modern working cowboy has inherited from his predecessors. It is uniquely American and worthy of preservation.”

Mark Kohler also has a beautiful new book, Going West, which, he describes, “Like my first book, ‘Working Cowboys,’ it records the amazing experiences I have had chronicling the American West.”

Visit his website, markkohlerstudio.com; find him on Instagram; and on Facebook.