Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

The Cattleman

“The Cattleman” was first published In Issue 26 of The Broken City Magazine which was Wild West themed in Summer 2020.

As promised, this is the loose sequel to “Population 627” (See yesterday’s post), two flights of fancy on horseback to the Old West. I enjoyed creating both of these immensely. The Cattleman in particular was written to order for the thematic submission above and I was delighted when it was selected.

It is great as a writer to inhabit a character where you can jump into a scenario or a movie scene or a painting with them and imagine their world and how they see it. This piece is about a cattleman or “cowboy” talking to himself whilst shaving one morning in the great open spaces of the Western states.

” That yankee bullet in your leg”.

I liked this line in particular as it gives the reader context,a historical space to reference and also a sense that this guy might have been on the wrong side of things and has a very particular gait or manner of stride perhaps too.It’s economy of language also appealed to me.

I imagined the embers of morning as he reflected on “Every night making the same fire in a different place” -endlessly drifting and ironically not part of any herd now himself.

Even shaving is a struggle in a “half rusted canteen” for a mirror.

Character studies or the creation of a character is intriguing and doing more with less is something I hope to investigate more in my writing. It takes you out of yourself and across time and space so that the poetic craft produced can have endless lenses.

BE.aGaIN is out now



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