August 3, 2014
To be honest, I cringe everytime I read rhyming poetry. Then I realize it gets down to more than the abab aabb cdcd types of word rhyming, it’s the cheesy topics and deep feelings splattered on the page. But I do respect all forms of poetry. I have to, otherwise how can I expect others to take my own new form of story prose poems seriously.
I decided to attend a cowboy poet festival, a celebration of The National Day of the Cowboy event down in Texas. An excuse to return home for some friendly companionship and food I cannot get in New Jersey. And did I mention my own book needed some down home attention?
My company Red Dashboard LLC Publishing has published quite a few cowboy poets on Cowboy Poetry Press, so it was time I dig my boots into what makes this such a popular poetry form in the Southwest. Where did ‘The Cowboy Way’ lifestyle start and find its way into the written form.
I arrived in Dallas and picked up my little sister, Mary. After careful planning we packed up my rental car and headed 2 hours Southeast. The drive alone reignited my love for the state. I am still thinking about the stops we didn’t make, good photo opps. Dagnabbit! There is always next time!
I had to arrive no later than 3 pm, my author Smokey Culver (pictured with me above) had a 5 o’clock radio interview on KWBY out of Stephenville, and a meeting with a poetry local, Elaine Shields, who had set up the interview/reading.
It was getting hot. I was determined not to be a tenderfoot, I would endure. Thank goodness for A/C and hotels. My sister and I sang, made cell phone videos for FB, and got ourselves gussied up for the newbies. We had great time, and plenty of great laughs.
I read a few of my poems on the air, we attended a meet-and-greet in Hico, and had chicken fried steak and okra at an old eatery. All good. Unfortunately the next day the turn out for the event wasn’t great, but it was great fun to hang with so many cowfolk. Why even one of our CPP authors, Leroy Trussell drove over from Marble Falls, Texas to meet me and Smokey. I was a bonified celebrity now.
What did I learn about Cowboy Poetry during this visit? Would I feel a closer connection to something I had decided to publish? There is a large market for it. Yes, I could get into it. Study it more closely, and maybe help those who wanted to write it, felt they did, bring them closer to their dreams. Why not. I’m a permanent student of life and poetry, so yes, why not?