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Mustangs (a poem)

Updated on July 10, 2017

A Few Words on this poem

Written in my introductory to poetry class with Nancy Johnson. This was actually well received and taught me what happens in workshops. I actually had a fiction writing one the summer before, but there is something about poetry and sharing it with a group that is a little apprehensive and unique. Again, keep in mind, this was in the days before the internet when you had to type things or write them out by hand. Some of the work of the students was still being done on a typewriter.

I had been reading the beats and was sort of inspired by them - mainly Ferlinghetti. I was surprised at the feedback I got and how there were different interpretations to each work that the students submitted themselves. I also recall talking about the poem - I got the image from the Ford Mustang cars that showed a horse running on the front grille. I thew in the glue factor as an animal rights kind of message too - not really intentional. And the 1909 was supposed to discuss the conflict the invention of the car had with the horse and buggy transportation that was still common.

A little silly to explain poems sometimes. But I sure do miss those days of discovering new literature, new voices and being young.

I wish I could go back.

(from my poetry 101 class - 1989)

I went up to the mountains

In my ’69 Ford Mustang

With one of the hose’s legs

Twisted and mangled

Part of it fallen off.

The grille is partially dented

From an accident that happened

When my uncle ran a red light

In Oklahoma City, OK.

But he didn’t geta ticket

From the cop in the bar.

The horse’s hooves pound the pavement

In a mellow rhythm

Like the beating

Of far-off African drums.


Caught in the crossroads


Fear tears in the horse’s eye

And the carriage is overturned.

In a shack

By the train tracks

Hides glisten of crimson

Torsos and limbs detatched

A sign above the door reads glue factory.

Sure wish I had that horse’s leg…

It’s probably still there

In the crossroads

Gleaming silver

Basking in the summer sun.

Probably sounded like

Diamonds hitting glass

When it fell off

And tasted pavement

For the first time in its life.

Could have been impounded

By the cop

Who hung out in bars.

It’s just sitting there

In some dark filing cabinet

Between K and M

Under L for leg-

Resting away.

Sure wish I had that horse’s leg though.

Horses sure do look funny

Running on three legs.


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