Dirty Girl

detail of monoprint

I have been watching a lot of westerns of late.

More than a few have been filmed here in New Mexico so it isn’t hard to imagine myself galloping down a creek bed with mud and gravel thrown back behind.

I would kill to wear one of those split-back coats cowboys wear in winter weather.

What do I love about westerns?

(pardon me while I put on my ‘fantasy glasses..’)..

I love the dirt. The grit. The patina on the lapels of the tired sport coat a cowboy gentleman wears.

The campfires, the ‘ride in-get a drink-have-a-fight-ride-off-unscathed-thing, the good looking neckerchiefs.

The unbelievably communication-challenged men constantly trying to formulate the words of intimacy they wish to speak but settling fore a ‘poke’ with the local ‘whore.’

But the biggest draw for me is the power and freedom I feel when I watch the horses run.

They throw all care to the wind and don’t seem to have to look down worrying about catching a hoof in a hole or branch.


Fast and elegant and purposeful like lightning.

Seeing them like that helps me remember myself.

At least the purposeful and elegant part.

Fast was never my speed.

My muscles used to work like a symphony.

And now some instruments are missing a string.

But if I really pay attention and forget about wanting the past too much..

I can pluck out a little tune on my ailing ukelele…

That’s fit for the king’s ear and cowboy both.


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