A self-described “weekend cowboy,” Chris Mortensen evolved from a rock band musician into a Western performer, poet and a president of the IWMA Utah Chapter!
This self-published, photographically illustrated collection opens with as sweetly relatable a man & horse tale as ever I’ve come across (“Upon My Horse’s Back”). He follows it up with “Jagged Kidney Stone,” also drawn from personal experience wherein he suggests it as a means of information extraction from truculent terrorists!! Just an example of the sudden turns with little signaling you’ll encounter here. Many of the inclusions are song lyrics replete with refrains.
Mortensen writes unselfconsciously in particularly effective works about love and family (“Bear Lake Is Still Blue,” “The Knot” & “The Right Man”). And then there’s “The Competition,” where he and his horses find their second, third and fourth winds, shall we say??
Whether or not this book becomes and award winner, I’m tempted to award some of my own. For titling: “The Older I Get (The Better I Was),” for Descriptions of Mixing Concrete: “Concrete” and for Best Use of Interwoven Glenn Frey Song Titles To Memorialize Glenn Frey: “Missing Glenn Frey.” It’s a very mixed bag, but it’s diverting to rummage through! Recommended.
Book: $20 ppd from Chris Mortensen, PO Box 405, Paradise, UT 84328.