“Cowboy” & “Chinese Apartment”

Eric Hollander


bury not the deep, –
words low From lips of youth who
shadow passed, and home loved As cowboys die
The river goes
in this slant
for that city
“Oh! lone prairie!”
I thought of
her truths again anyway,
gaps and over steam noise
It feeds the potatoes; the potatoes feed the farmers
and the farmers feed the cotton
the cotton feeds no one
it just rolls down the river
“these are the priorities”
sometimes they go back
where they are welcome to steal what they want
His pale pulse,
As clouds;
“As a souvenir for heaven”
we listened however we liked
about one quarter of a country
same lumber
our frontier,
the battleground
down the river again
They work for their fathers
they know how it’s done
they understand this
lone prairie,
howl over me,
we have a lot
of jobs
Though they say it’s hard
It takes a long time
they need cotton
and lumber
they need litany
to throw into the river
to feed no one
these are years
these are growing numbers
but I work anyway
when we started
I knew everything in noise
“It matters,
Where the lies grow
But I am gone
Oh! Bury the lone
we found our affairs
quite an ordeal
At the end of the season, they will return to their country
until then they work here
Everything works
this is the awful
noise of a river
the awful
fate of an inclined continent
the barn floated away
they need a new one
they needed the things that
had been inside
They had come here
to check on the
living conditions
The work was hard
must be
before then
And it might take another day
not” – and failed
not his prayer.
In a narrow six by three,
We buried him
in the
out the year
for the
hungry river
that would
take the men
their families
poor people
There the wind blew on dark old,
moonbeams on a prairie;
a cow-boy
an old cow-trail.
and how many endings
already been missed?
He was leaving
for another land
Was leaving
some remarks
had found their way
by the ropes
and these tired problems
Chinese Apartment
In that other home,               the
one                where the sun is only
just rising,                     and I would wake
up            to see a smeared face
with old tears,          dried in the corners.
                 Still asleep: she had wept
face to face,
and I had not woken
Eric Hollander [The Boston Conservatory class of 2014] plays the viola, writes poetry, and is currently a PhD candidate in musicology at Brandeis University, where he is in the thick of researching and writing about the historical developments of the American Singing Cowboy’s mythic significance– a theme which has bled into this poem.

The friends and mentors of Eric’s BoCo years have remained a strong presence in his life since graduation. He is grateful and proud of his continued inclusion within the alumni community and especially The Garden.