30 August 2011

Tuesday Poem: Tres Hermanos

 
They're feudin', Mama.
They're rasslin'.

They're camped up in Bozeman
for the party season.

One is a long bore.
Another raids the mini-bar, now sure

his date won't show. The third
defends his diary with a secret code.

A horseman riding by
observes the niceties of outstretched thumbs

(that poor horse,
sway-backed and spavined,

when all it wanted was a better ranch).
Hear that far-off harmonica blow

beneath that far-off sky.
See that second mortgage slip away.

They're fussin' and a–fightin', Mama,
those three sons of yours,

arguing over the script
as wolves tiptoe behind.

Credit note: "Tres Hermanos" appears in my new poetry collection, Men Briefly Explained.

Tim says: The note about this poem at the back of Men Briefly Explained helpfully advises as follows:

"Bozeman is the fifth largest city in Montana, on the route of the former Bozeman Trail. Though this is not stated in the poem, the three titular brothers are named Zack, Jed and Joss, which irresistibly suggested a Western theme."

Times are tough, even in Hollywood.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog - the featured poem is on the centre of the page, and the week's other poems are linked from the right-hand column.

7 comments:

Helen Lowe said...

Fun!

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

I like that - Southland country and western influences? (Echoes of it for me anyway when reading this poem). Love it.

Mike Crowl said...

This is a fun poem, Tim...enjoyed it in the book when I read it. Just curious: the line, 'one was a long bore'- is that referring to one of the three men? I'm missing something here I think...

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Helen, Kay and Mike!

Kay, I didn't have that in mind when I wrote the song - it was really the names of the three brothers Whedon - the aforementioned Zack, Jed and Joss - that gave me the idea - but as soon as I saw your comment, this popped into my head:

"The wind blew cold from Wallacetown the day Morton Mains, the meanest gunslinger south of the Nokomai, rode into Hedgehope City..."

Stand by by for further developments in this Western (Southland) epic!

Mike, I guess I was thinking of a long bore rifle, although some hasty Internet research reveals that these had largely passed out of use by the time the Tres Hermanos rose the Bozeman Trail. If they ever did.

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Novroz said...

Great poem.i really enjoy the flow of the story. it didn't feel like a poem at all

Tim Jones said...

Novroz, thank you!

And as for "Bankruptcy Records", I'm not convinced you read the poem closely enough...