COWBOY TALK VERSION OF THE SLAM MASTER

Boulder’s Naropa University has me buffaloed.  The Naropian slam masters had never encountered Western Fiction or the Cowboy Poets.  I’m not a poet, but I registered for slam master Bob Holman’s class.  The New Yorker has dubbed Holman “The Ringmaster of the Spoken Word.”   He had us translating and slamming poetry written in dead and dying languages into contemporary English.  

They knew nothing of Cowboy Talk, an endangered language barely hanging on here in the West.  As an effort in preservation, I translated one of the slam master’s sonnets into our Cowboy Talk.

Birthday Praise Sonnet for Marc Levin, Original by Bob Holman, 2001

Mark my words

Leven the bread

Half a century’s nothing, the Wise Man said

When the slam slams

When the blowback blows

Lights speed action rolls rolls rolls

The Party will Last

                                The Future’s simulcast

And we’ll Babble On

                                With our Icon O’Class

Mark my words

Leaven the bread

Half a century’s something, the Wise Man said

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Birthday Praise Sonnet for Marc Levin, Cowboy Talk translation, 2010 

Mark my palaver

Leaven up the bannock

Your cinch ain’t getting’ frayed, the Ol’ Hoss brayed

When the rustlers rustle

When the coulies overflow

Foot up in the stirrup and getty-up-go

The Roundup’s gonna Last

                                        Ta’morra’s comin’ Fast

And we’ll jus’ Gallop On

                                         With our Cowboy Lexicon

Quit spittin’ on ya lasso

Saddle up the Paint

Your cinch is gettin’ frayed, the Ol’ Hoss brayed                           

                                                     

 
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Makes perfect sense to me. :-) However there is a western song, the words go like this… I’m Ridin’ o’ Paint and a-leadin’o’ Dan, I’m off to Montana to throw a hoolihan… that left me puzzled. What was he going to do when he reached Montana? Throw a hoolihan? Maybe it’s a party, maybe it’s a fit. Nope, it’s a rope, a certain low flat rope used to catch a horse in the remuda.

  2. One of my favorite western songs too. I usually hum it when I drive through Raton Pass. That and “When it’s twilight on the trail.”


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