Honestly, who can stand to sit and watch
another dusty western? Who can stand to suffer
an umpteenth posse of wide-brimmed bullshit
riding into town to swing open the saloon doors
of our 21st century lives? Who in these parts can stomach more
howdy partner okey dokey I reckon yessum yonder spit?
Or stand the laissez-faire foreplay of player-piano men
squinting through close-ups
whether the fat sun burns high noon or not?
Yee-haw. It’s the outhouse gang:
infested with tough guys clad in denim and chaps
who take ten-gallon, tough-guy craps on entire towns
that genuflect to sinners then cast out their saints.
Memo to two guys who stare into each other’s eyes,
twitching dirty fingers, itching to draw—
wake us up when you are dead,
when the dadgum curtain drops
on this comme-ci comme-ça corral,
on the good, the bad, and the unbearably boring,
when us adults can finally sweep Silly the Kid
and his tumbleweed credos into our great cultural compost.
Looky here, four-of-a-kind is just four dipshits
playing cards. And you know what beats a Royal Flush?
A Flying Fuck, if we care enough to at last lay down our bluff.
Can we finally walk out of this film,
even when the cowboys outnumber us?
Will they stick up every stagecoach
packed tight with anti-macho cargo?
Will they rustle us range cattle hoofing
toward the horizon? Toward the warm world
beyond men, beyond six-shooter logic,
beyond slapped sunsets that swing from a rope?
Know that before we take one step
a man with steely blue eyes will hang
a welcoming star on our chest. We’ll be deputized
and lawfully stride in the rhythmic ring of spurs.
Ain’t that something—we’re moving up.
He’ll hand us the keys to the jail,
a toothpick for our mouths, a desk for our feet.
Take a load off, partners.
Forget the bridge, the rails, the dynamite.
The plunger sits unmanned, its hot wires
disconnected from the projector’s blazing bulb.
The western locomotive powers on,
twenty-four frames a pop,
through the propped façades of freedom.
All rights reserved to Chuck Rybak.