Thursday, April 13, 2006

Come and Take It


Even though I had two years' worth of Texas History (one in junior high, one in high school), I don't remember it all that well, but I'm not sure it matters much. Texas, the only state that was its own country and never lets you forget it, is much more interesting in myth. I'm not much for flags, but the Texas one has always been interesting and my favorite incarnation is the one made out of a wedding dress with the inscription "Come and Take It." It had a cannon on it and followed that great tradition of Texas taunting. And special thanks to my dear friend Angela who had the slogan inscribed on a t-shirt that I wear all the time.

Texas is a hard place, full of contradictions. Having lived there until I was 26, I'm still no closer than anybody else to explaining its appeal. The best book on Texas is probably Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette (a gift from my friend Tim -- thanks Tim!) or anything by Molly Ivins. Almost always hotter than ten hells, you start to hallucinate when you're in the lone star state. You fall in love a little bit. It's enough to make a girl tear off her wedding dress and turn it into a flag with a message on it. After all, you only get to wear the dress once, right?

Michelle's Spell of the Day

Come and Take It
"You may go to hell. I will go to Texas." Davy Crockett

1 shot of tequila (Silver Herrudura -- as seen in photograph -- is best)
1 splash of Absolut Peppar vodka
The tequila should be room temperature and the vodka (like all vodka) should be straight from the freezer. This shot is a call to arms if there ever was one.

Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Poet's Lore:

Texas

Maybe you don't have any stories
like, I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn at a small
club right before he died. Maybe you saw
shitty cover bands, nothing to talk about --
you'd never be able to claim anything
from this godforsaken place except that you'd
been here and it was a little scary, all that space
to lose whatever passed for your life and what
did you do with your nights? Got loaded, like
a pistol, pretended nothing could harm you,
looking for trouble, but not really, like everyone
else we know, except you were in Texas.

4 comments:

Shawn said...

Believe it or not, the Come & Take It story took place in the home town of your good friend, Bamms. Yep, Gonzales, where they stood along the Guadelupe and taunted the Mexicans with a cannon and that slogan. The joke was to always dub our local beauty queen as Miss Come and Take It during those glorious Come and Take It Days (held every October), but she always refused to wear such a banner, and here you are wearing it on a t-shirt. Love you! Love the blog!

Cindy said...

Michelle,

love the barbed wire!

Bradley said...

A memorable moment of disappointment in my life was the realization that much of the history I was forced to learn while growing up was untrue. I felt cheated.

Nevertheless, I love Texas and love living here... even with our lovely Michelle all the way up in Detroit...

‘Come and Take It’ is indeed a great Texas shirt!

...and another one of my favorite T’s belongs to my friend Ted, who still lives in Detroit... one he picked up before he moved to Texas the first time. It’s a black T with a big Skull on it and says: Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten.

Love your writings Michelle – Much Love to You!
Bradley

Melvis Presley said...

Excellent work, m. Especially the poem about Texas. Summed it up so good I have nothing to say!
Rock on!