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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Woman Can Ride - Featured Reader with Mad Poets

On September 11,2010, I was a featured poet for the Mad Poet's Society's Autumn Madness reading. I am also published in Mad Poets Review, Volume 23, NECK. I chose to read a few of my favorite observational pieces, A Woman Can Ride is one of them. And it is a true story...
I was on a road trip with one of my friends. Two girls from the east coast sauntered into a country-western bar someplace in Kentucky. Sawdust and peanut-shells littered the floor of a huge warehouse looking establishment. Dead center, as if the prize of the place, was a mechanical steal bull, it seemed right out of the movie Urban Cowboy. The scene was propped with Garth Brooks singing, cowboys drinking,some handsome, all waiting for their turn to ride. The rest of the story is written in my poem. Read it or watch it, you choose and share my blog with a friend.

A Woman Can Ride

I was alone in a bar in Kentucky.
Me, some cowboys and a steel bull.
I can do it, I can ride a blanket covered
steel barrel. I want to be thrown to the
mattress-covered floor. I wanted to beat
the timer and prove the host wrong,
a girl from Philadelphia wants to ride a bull.

Intently I watched the locals ride--
hips swaying, arm controlled over head,
eyes hidden under a black cowboy hat,
tight worn wrangler jeans adorned with
a license plate belt, pearly-snaps stripped shirt,
soft leather ropers caked in dirt from the barn.
They rode. One man after another. And barely held on.

It made me happy to think I could achieve
an unbelievable ride on a bull, although mechanical.
I straddled my friend, rope wrapped around my fist,
and told them to turn it on. It was slow at first,
making sweet love to a hardened steel hull and then
in rhythmic rotations, a steel guitar purred in the background,
threw me to the stained mattress ground. I picked myself
up and found my beer and drank it all from the bottle.
And attested to their riding expertise. I studied.

I signed up again with a catch in my voice. I was
going to ride the bull. I felt an inner happiness.
Again, I find myself with reddened palm and sweat.
My thighs clamped tight, I could blend into the fight.
I am alive more than my friend, he was giving me the
experience of the ride. I became the wind, feather light,
a flag swaying, my spine disconnecting,
my bruised legs denting the body of my journey.
The music ended and I was still on.
I laughed because this woman rode the bull.

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem! But more importantly, did you wear the red cowboy boots when you rode the bull? :-)


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