The Bull Arrives


Monday morning,
And fear was dawning
In a sleepy village of rot and dust.
To the rumbling
Of his arrival.

He roars, and out of the doors
And shutters and panels
And kennels
Gingerly come the townsfolk
And their dogs,
Quaking and shaking.
Glass shatters, teeth chatter.
That roar they had heard before.

And on the horizon, that big-horned shadow drawling;
“The Bull arrives! Run for you lives!”
from the desert to take and pillage
To rape and pillage
As he had done time after time.
This savage bull-barian, who now stood
Like a tower of ugly sinew,
Built upon squat legs
And greedy through and through.

The Bull snorted through his ring
And began to sing,
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
He swaggered down the street,
Chomping a cigar
That clung between his huge ivory teeth,
Passing an old wagon, where beneath
Hid a family of three;
A mother, a boy and a bambino –
They all know
That Papa was gored
By the Bull-Bandit lord.

“Hide yourself, Chico!” Mama hissed
To her son, whose father’s killer’s presence
Had made clearly made him pissed.
But the Bandit had missed
The boy squirming; he was busy
Shoving handfuls of stolen tomatoes into his mouth
And handfuls of stolen whores onto his crotch.
“Get me a drink, amigo!” Bullbarian did roar
Through the crack of a nearby saloon door
“Tequila, amigo! Get me ten barrels!
No, fifteen! Twenty!
Oh, fuck it, just feed me through a hose!”

The Bull truly had the village by its cajones.
The screams of horror and refusal
Were drowned out by his
Screams of laughter and debauched joy.
Blood and booze oozed down the sandy gutters.
Clutter of corpses and broken bottles.
“Chico! Don’t go! Stay where we’re safe!”
But the base of the wagon was starting to chafe.
There wasn’t room for three people and vengeful fury,
And Chico shot out onto the street to meet
Papa’s killer.

The Bull still revelled in destruction.
In the broken bank, he adorned his big face
With shiny jewels.
He put rubies on his eyes and coins up his nose.
He chewed up gold bars and put rings on his toes.
Shattered counters barely concealing the woes
Of the bankers; men-who-once-were-rich.
And through chomping and the smashing
Came a squeaky voice through a crushed wall –
The Bandit wasn’t sure he’d heard it at all.
“Stop it, you fat chunk of beef!”
He reared his ugly head and snorted again
Sending gold pinging off the floor.
“Who was that? Who’s looking for pain?”
And let out a terrible roar.
The Bull had been insulted
And could only see red,
Because the rubies were still in his eyes.

As he tore them away
He was greeted with the face of fury.
Of Chico.
“That’s it?” he guffawed
And coughed up his gold hoard.
“The Littlest Lawman
Come to stop The Bull?
I’d eat you too, but I’m already full!
But you’re small enough, I can fit you in too!”
He began his stampede,
But he was full alright.
A full day of eating and drinking
Had slowed him to the pace of a game of chess
If chess was fat and sweaty and had horns.
Taking the chance, little Chico, filled with scorn
Climbed onto the Bandit’s back
And grabbed those horns.

He saw red now.

The Bull leapt with rage!
He bucked around
Like a steer in a cage
But with more like the sound
Of a passing train
Roaring across a track
He ploughed through another wall
With Chico on his back!

The boy drove the Bull
In circles around the town,
The Bull charged and kicked
And knocked market stands down –
It only made him madder and madder.
Chico heaved the Bull’s head back
And smacked it forward
And he charged again,
But this time, into the stone wall
of the boy’s own home.


The head tore through the wall
Clearing the paint
And the bricks
And the mantelpiece behind it.
But was too slow now to take the body with it,
And the Bull was trapped.
“Get me out of here, boy!
I’ll eat you alive!”
But the boy went to retrieve a hive
Of angry bees from a tree nearby
And shoved them into the Bull’s jeans,
And they buzzed around the Bull Bandit’s balls
And their stings bit and burned
And made him bellow
“Dios mio! I’ll stomp you in the ground!”
He still hadn’t learned
That the boy wouldn’t give in til he found
In his revenge.

He disappeared again,
But this time he returned
With a horse
With a sharpened poker
Attached to each side of its head.
A makeshift bull.
“Giddyup, Toro Falso!
Charge at that beast!”
And charge it did,
Quick as lightning that was greased.
It pounded the ground at its approach
And pounded poker-first
Into the Bull-Barian’s swollen bullocks.

And the bandit was dead.

The body of the beast
Was severed from the head
And converted to steak dinner.
The head of the beast
Was severed from the body
And remained in the wall
Of the boy’s home
Over the dismantled mantle
As a hideous trophy.

Chico’s the sheriff now
That kid runs the town,
The town that has grown,
And any minotaur-outlaw
That looks down
On the village for pillage
And plunder
Thinks twice.
That is,
If they value their stones.


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