Written by Biff Mitchell


I’m a water cowboy, surfing the crest of a wild limbic wave and

sweating a dream where everything’s sprawling

and tumbling uncontrollably and demons and darklings

and steam-nostrilled stallions with fiery eyes

and fangs in their mouths and hell in their seed


converge on the crest of the wave as I wake to knowing that it’s

not really a dream

it’s real and I’m a thousand feet high

on a hell board in flames riding

the crest of a knowledge that threatens to swallow me

a knowledge with terrain and geography

like a map I can feel, as I hotdog the crest

of its peaks over caverns that lie

deep in the secrets it keeps from me


I’m a water cowboy, riding the roof of the life I’ve lived

the birthdays and anniversaries

the scrapes and the bruises and

first day new school fears

and tears for lost pets buried with Popsicle crosses

or flushed down the toilet

and the moment of realization when

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny vaporize

into the horror of growing up

like a roller coaster of fate flying past the years I remember

and the years I missed somehow

with their magic and somehow with their dreams somehow

and someday a cowboy and someday a surfer on the crest

of the wave I’ve been riding and now a water cowboy

skimming the surface of memory in the seconds the wave

has left for me


I’m a water cowboy rounding up my life with

fiery-eyed demons and blue-eyed angels like

the roller coaster line-up, all fears and giggles and

tickets in hand and you never know it’s too late until

the train leaps over the rail and fifty water cowboys

and water cowgirls yahoo into the night like

crashing into the brick wall of the world

too late to turn back, too late to change course

to wonder why, too late to look away

too late to jump off the crest of the wave

I’m riding like fury in the last

few seconds the last two seconds the last second that stretches

across the certainty of where the wave is taking me

folding around me like returning to the womb’s flood and flow

and gurgles

and trickles

and silence


Text © Biff Mitchell



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