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THE POET'S VOICE Cowboy poems By Carol Bjorlie — “THE POET BEHIND THE CELLO” Waddie Mitchell and P.W. Conway are on the gig. Buckaroo poetry lives! I could not copy from their books, but believe me, these guys are on the page! Consider one. Here are poems from Randy Hodges. Texas Braggin’ On a roundup in the spring way back in eighty-two, A Texas man was ridin’ with some northern buckaroos. Now this Lone star cowboy was just what you’d expect, From any Texas puncher with a lick of self respect. He’d say “In Texas everything’s a whole lot better and bigger, The punchers all are punchier and as near as I can figure, The horses all run faster, the cattle all are tougher, The rivers all run wider and the work’s a whole lot rougher.” Well, he commenced to braggin’ everyday of every week Till it riled them buckaroos just to hear him speak. And after talkin’ it over they came to decide, They’d have to somehow damage this braggin’ cowboy’s pride. And since he’d said them Texans were so tough, They’d have to pull a trick to call this puncher’s bluff. So one day while they was fordin’ a river, they happened to come across A bunch of snappin’ turtles a hidin’ in the moss. Well, they put them turtles in his bedroll and thru it back in the wagon, Figured that’d stop his never ending braggin’. So that night when he got his bedroll out and laid it on the ground, Them buckaroos all walked over and they kinda gathered ‘round To watch him stick his feet down in that roll, A thinkin’ it would be a pretty funny show. And sure enough he stuck his feet in and he jerked ’em right back out, And he kinda had a surprised look upon his snout, When he flipped the bedroll open and he yelled out to the crew, “Well, looky there boys... Bedbugs! And little bitty ones too!” City Boys On a big spread in Wyoming Before the break of day That’s where you’ll find him Ridin’ for his pay He loves the life he’s livin’ And he knows no other way And, he’ll be punchin’ cattle Until his dyin’ day chorus: I’ll sing for the cowboy Ridin’ on the range I’ll sing for the traditions That aint never gonna change I’ll sing for the top hands Who’ve stood the test And, I’ll sing for the city boys Who’d love to head out west In a office down on main street In his suit and tie He works hard all week Puttin’ in his nine to fives You know he loves them cowboy movies It’s all that gets him by Cause he longs to be a cowboy And leave that city life behind -chorus- Tonight I’m up here singin’ An old cowboy tune But I wish I was out there ridin’ Underneath that prairie moon But I play this guitar Day after day Singin’ songs and tellin’ stories About the old time ways -chorus- The Glitterbus When the Glitterbus comes around And stops on any street, Folks line up like little kids A-jigglin’ for a seat; The wannabes whistle and shout To get their tickets punched, The has-beens holler on their mobile phones While they’re making dates for lunch. You’ll see it here and there, You’ll see it now and then; But you’ll never know Where the Glitterbus goes, You’ll never know where it’s been. The Glitterbus glimmers and gleams, And it purrs like a well-fed cat. With a welcome sigh it opens up As the driver doffs his hat Letting social climbers claw And elbow through the drags While the sound-byte dogs, they mark the tires And bark in their gossip rags. -chorus- Shiny mirrors are all around Where windows should have been, So the folks inside cannot see out And the outside can’t see in; All the ones who wish they were And the ones who think they are Suspend their smiles in the vanity glass Like teeth in a Mason jar. -Chorus- When the doors are finally closed And the costume crowd’s on board, They form committees and they choose up sides And they give themselves awards, So the has-beens get it back, So the wanna-bes don’t get lost, So everybody’s somebody at last So long as they don’t get off. -Chorus- I have a son who lives in Texas. I have yet to visit and hear cowboy poems. The next time I go to Texas, I WILL hear poetry. Happy Valentin’s Day Y’all! — Carol 24 |RAPID RIVER’S ARTS & CULTURE MAGAZINE Vol. 22, No. 06 — February 2019

BOOKS Malaprop’s presents ‘The Last You Surrender: A novel of WWII’ and ‘Together: A memoir of a marriage and a medical mishap’ this February BY STAFF REPORTS • DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE ‘THE LAST THING YOU SURREN- DER: A NOVEL OF WORLD WAR II’ BY LEONARD PITTS, JR. Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist (Freeman) Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States. An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman’s life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl Harbor, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kind of patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion. Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone’s mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed? Leonard Pitts, Jr., is the author of the novels Grant Park, Freeman, and Before I Forget, as well as two works of nonfiction. He is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. Born and raised in Southern California, Pitts now lives in suburban Washington, DC. ‘TOGETHER: A MEMOIR OF A MARRIAGE AND A MEDICAL MISHAP’ BY JUDY GOLDMAN Reminiscent of Dani Shapiro’s Hourglass, memoirist Judy Goldman paints a portrait of a relationship tested and lives changed in an instant in Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap. Faced with an unknown future when her husband of 40 years becomes paralyzed from the waist down after a botched medical procedure, Goldman must take on the role her husband had always occupied – that of the provider – and as she tries to envision her family’s future, she discovers a new, more resilient version of herself. When Goldman’s husband Henry walks into an outpatient clinic to receive an epidural for his chronic back pain, a procedure that should have taken an hour and a half, he leaves days later in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down and utterly reliant upon his wife. Overnight, Goldman’s world is turned upside down. Though she had always thought of herself as the polite, demure wife opposite her robust and brave husband, she finds herself thrown into a new role as Henry’s advocate, navigating the complex world of hospital policies, indeterminate diagnoses, and bullish doctors. Alternating between the uncertain hours after Henry’s life-changing procedure and the early years of their marriage, Together is an elegant and empathic meditation on partnership, aging, and love. IF YOU GO Malaprop’s Book Sigings: The Last Thing you Surrender: A novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts, Jr. Wednesday, February 6, 6pm Together:A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap. by Judy Goldman. Wednessday, February 13, 6pm Malaprop’s Bookstore / Café 55 Haywood St. • Asheville, NC • (828) 254-6734 • Mon-Sat 9am-9pm • Sun 9am-7pm FEB 2019 PARTIAL LISTING We host numerous Readings & Book clubs, as well as Salons! Visit READINGS & BOOK SIGNINGS Gus Vickery, M.D. presents ‘Authentic Health’ 02/04 - 6pm Lori Leachman, Ph.D. presents ‘The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen’ 02/05 - 6pm Garth Davis, MD presents ‘Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do about It’ 02/11 - 6pm Judy Goldman presents ‘Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap’ 02/13 - 6pm DaMaris Hill presents ‘A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing’ 02/14 - 6pm Susi Gott Séguret presents ‘Child of the Woods: An Appalachian Odyssey’ 02/26 - 6pm Happy Valentine’s Day! 55 Haywood St. (828) 254-6734 • 800-441-9829 Monday-Saturday 9AM to 9PM Sunday 9AM to 7PM Vol. 22, No. 06 — February 2019 RAPID RIVER’S ARTS & CULTURE MAGAZINE | 25