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He said, "Don't worry, they're not real horses. I just keep them around because horses make easy metaphors. They can say whatever you want." We were standing in his kitchen. He hooked his bootheel on the bottom fencerail. We were standing in his kitchen, squinting against the blowing dust.

He said, "You see that filly on the hill? The one that's black as a negative sun? I've never touched anything that beautiful. I don't think I even could. She's narcissistic and she can't be bridled. Her eyes burn with bad poetry. She's the most useless thing in the world. Beauty is only useful to itself."

"Now this foal here in the corral." He pointed as he spit through his teeth. He said, "His sire ran in fixed races, and his dam gives rides to birthday girls. He's as fragile as a lightbulb. His map could be drawn at any moment. This moment is that moment. Every moment is that moment."

"Now, the old gray leaned against the barn," he said, "his back is as bent as his shoes." He said, " All he cares about is pulling the plow and eating his oats at the end of the day." He said, "I hate him. He's so damn predictable. Everyone always knows just what he means. He's just a flea-bitten memoir by a man who's not worth remembering."

He said, "And if I had a way with words, I might have a few more horses."
He said, "And if I had a way with words, I'd have something more than just horses."


from You Can See Everything From Up Here, released April 8, 2014


tags: folk Wisconsin


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The Werewolverine Wisconsin

Three things happened that made Ryan start writing songs: He and his wife moved to a weird beautiful old farm. He made a dulcimer out of a cigar box. A very heavy thing fell on his head and messed him up pretty bad for a while. Then another thing happened: He met Laura, John, Matt, and Anneliese. They liked playing music together so they started playing shows. Now they've made a record, too. ... more

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