Mudlark No. 41 (2010)

With a Six-Shooter on the Chisholm Trail

Picture him in a long shot
leaning into his gallop
toward Cheyenne,
his legendry expansive as the sky and the plain,
palpable as the tumbleweed and the butte,
ingenuous, contrived,
a collaboration, in the American grain,
of folks and entrepreneurs.
Picture him.
He is a star.
Is it true that myths contain doctrines?
Hypotheses? Catharses?
Are engendered by whatever agitates the psyche?
Whatever is inimical to domesticity? Tranquility?
Picture him.
He is a prevailing saga,
a culture hero since movies began.
Antisocial beside his campfire.
Insular as his saddlebags,
his rope, his chaps.
As the range.
Unenlightened as the bunkhouse night.

Oliver Rice | Mudlark No. 41 (2010)
Contents | A Restitution