Monday, November 23, 2015

And Roy Rogers Sang the Torah

And Roy Rogers Sang the Torah
North we go a-roaming from Wyoming to Montana
All upon a tankful of George Custer’s diesel gas
Jesus Christ is savior on the local reservation
But still we eat our snow peas on the Powder River Pass
Eastward in the gloaming from Wyoming to Mount Rushmore
Searching for the faces in the South Dakota night
Ripping down through Deadwood in the name of Rapid City
To see Abe Lincoln glowing in the cold arena light
The Seder means a shuffle low from Buffalo to Casper
Cruising for a synagogue and good unleavened bread
Jesus ain’t no savor in our private schoolhouse kitchen
And Jewish New York cowboys need a place to lay their heads
Gave us such a chilling there in Billings, South Montana
Fictive flames of Zion just beneath the bookstore glass
Driving back down ninety just as fast as wheels would take us
To watch them burning ridges in the deep Wyoming grass.

Notes: inspired by road trips with a gay Jewish art critic at the Ucross Arts Colony in Wyoming, the poem is a parody of the formal cowboy poetry style. After appearances in journals in Idaho and NYC, it served as an example of "trochaic septameter with internal rhymes" in Writer's Digest and the basis for a psychobilly song by the band Exit Wonderland.

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