January 2008

Horses are part of life in Los Angeles. At different points along Sunset Blvd., the horse trails curve down to meet the traffic. Horses amble by- cowboy hats- even I have a cowboy hat. I probably look ridiculous wearing it. I’ve wanted to be a cowboy since childhood, but I’ll probably only ever qualify as a “Dude.” Remember when Country music was called “C&W?” Country & Western. I live in the West (for now). I play the Dobro. I listen to Country music. Does that make me “Country?” I doubt it.
Here is a poem by James Wright:

A Blessing
by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


Central Park

One November on a nervous amble
in the chilly dusk, we stop, turn, and fall.
The corresponding flurry of dry leaves
sweeps over us, spreadeagled as we are,
drenched in the early attitudes of lovers.
Leaves alone inhabit the charged space
between us, hint and crackle underneath,
behind, around, creeping into an ear
(dangerously), across the refusing
crook of arm and sluggish knee, against
brow and eyelid and the sweat, resting there.
Lips left bare for motion or meeting, we
will stir at the chosen moment and reach
for newer terrain under all these clothes.
When our backs arch and stiffen and shudder
we will shake off the ministering leaves,
and as if in agreement with each other
our bodies will mash the life out of them.