BrooksLooks@ Chicken Shit Holler

Audio of Chicken Shit Holler by Brooks Bradbury

he was the greatest living hero
‘ever came out ta Appalachia
they all knew his name there
from Meada’s-a’-Dan
to downtown Galax
from Fancy Gap
‘ta right back at ya

a girl there she got his number
then she became his wife
she said i ain’t saying nothin’
but this’ll be one hard life
you ain’t got hardly a dollar
so’s it’s prit near clear to me
sure’s hell yer from down in
old chicken shit holler
no one there’s got one damn dollar
you just gotta be from
chicken shit holler

and his life ensued
he got a job
and he got screwed
he got a right real attitude
then he got plum downright rude
began to fued, came unglued

he tried to make his fortune
and he jest got all tripped up
knocked down
worn out, bashed in
got lost out on endless highways
let it all get under his skin
he had it up to here back then
but hey they had a few good days

then he would just move on
’cause he didn’t like the bosses
didn’t like the rules
couldn’t face the losses
didn’t want to deal
with all them damn fools

when his wife looked right at him
and told him it to him straight
she said i ain’t saying nothin’
i know you do it for the dollar
but it looks to me like
you’re headin’ back home ta
old chicken shit holler

i said i think you’re right
time to stand up and fight
i ain’t going back to old chicken shit holler
even if i’m down to my dang last dollar

and he looked in the mirror
said his boss was an f’in clown
things got a bit clearer
he wasn’t backin’ down

then he told it straight to his damn boss
that he was sick and tired
yer the worst damn boss i’d run across!
his boss said well, anyway, you’re fired

as our hero said, “Your Loss.”

when he got home
his wife looked right at him
and told him it to him straight
she said i ain’t saying nothin’
but screw the almighty dollar
it looks to me like
you’re fixin’ to git yerself out of
old chicken shit holler
you’re on your way out
of old chicken shit holler

i’ve done my time
i ain’t no damn scholar
gettin’ the hell out a’
old chicken shit holler
if i have to spend my last half-dollar
gettin’ the hell out a’
old chicken shit holler

leave it behind
i’m proud of my blue collar
ain’t a goin’ back ta
old chicken shit holler

© Copyright 2021 Brooks Bradbury / BrooksLooks / All Rights Reserved

BrooksLooks@ Ranchers Sustained

Ranchers Sustained Audio

heavy rollers clank
on steel rails
overhead
recently slaughtered
carcasses
hung on hooks
swing past
by the half
and the quarter

heaved into place
a bandsaw whines
cut after cut
slicing through
muscle and bone
until bone dust
starts piling up

blood red slabs
slap down
on each stainless-steel table
as hyper-sharp knives
in a blur of fists
slice    toss    repeat
until a life once whole and alive
is neatly piled into buckets of each–
bone    fat     meat

a whoosh of the vacuum packer
as each steak, chuck, and round
is sealed in plastic bags
what’s left is
‘hamburger’ ground
the final path
on rolling racks
from open range
now piled
on shelves
in tidy stacks

amateur butchers
remove aprons of
thick yellow vinyl
covered in blood,
fat, and more
removing gloves
of black nitrile
sterilizing each table
and floor
the band saw
dismantled
until nothing remains
of this one life
hosed down the drains

and the grass-fed,
locally raised,
hormone-free,
grain-free,
well cared-for-cow
has been neatly processed
in a stainless steel plant
near the field
that once was its home–
a freezer now

and the circle of life
on a ranch continues
and the ranchers, sustained,

are able to live
by the lives their cows give

© Copyright 2021 Brooks Bradbury / BrooksLooks / All Rights Reserved