A VOID TO THE VISE
The Outskirts of Town
consequences seem to weigh more heavily than Intention.
no matter the tier, ilk, or impetus,
something can catch you, sooner or later, by Prevention.
to make a move that is Individuated, even by a second,
can be caught by another's Eye,
and be fraught with Detention.
you didn't do that quite right; aww!, you juuust missed!
no matter; your left eye becomes cockeyed
trying to discern what you just did.
who is watching, and just how strict are they?
can you know every Township or Province
in which you go to play?
to go there at all feeds the Entertainments they advertise
but to partake or play along
can also feed the largesse of what they dislike.
strangers are often strangled by local Draws.
one slip can cause question
and entangle you in what someone else saw.
if you didn't know an exact Way, by precise Directions,
you can't ask; your mistake
is the Answer no one mentioned.
it's a sad to me, the demise of small-town Festivity;
why invite strangers to come spend,
if corrals on the outskirts cut off any Spirit of revelry?
in exodus, you veer off to see residential streets,
explore the town a bit,
to know again, where the main stem meets.
you had such fun, and thought you'd like to come again,
but are caught by the watchful eye
that stops you where you spent.
silently there in wait, at stop signs and intersections
lay the Rangers of Measure,
with cameras and expertise to cause prevention.
all paid from the same coffers that are fused;
small towns thrive on Invitees,
but some are not excused.
some are Civil Servants, some are Entrepreneurs
but the twain often doesn't meet
when a small town wants to mature.
a sign for an event might read Come, Have A Great Day!
but not if the blind print
says Only If You Stay.
contain yourself to premises; ah-aaah, now! don't get lost!
corral your fun, or buy a hotel room,
stay within bounds, or pay at our cost.
who knows any more whose pockets have any Change?
it's the larger question
of just what can be had for gain.
with the rise of Music as the clarion of universal Spirit,
it's hard to find a place for a day,
to just go hear it.
Word-of-Mouth is still the most essential claim;
no amount of hype, or advertising,
can ever re-produce a refrain.
once Known as a trap, that is exactly what they win:
to make sure you never go There, again.
God Bless The Smallman, Who Keeps Trying
Only Trouble Is: It's All That.
Maybe That's Why They Call It Courting.
Graphic: Bird In Hand, by Ellen Gallagher.
In this large and complex work Ellen Gallagher engages with a long-standing interest in narratives surrounding the slave trade. Bird in Hand is a dominated by the standing figure of a black sailor or pirate with a peg-leg and an abundance of swirling hair. A collage in diverse media suggests an underwater scene. The figure is surrounded by trails of colourful shapes that resemble seaweed and his foot and peg-leg seem entangled in marine-like vegetation. His face is partially obscured by a mask, and one eye is covered. The work’s title invokes the proverb ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ and the sailor holds a dark emerald green parrot in his hand. ‘The bird has just been caught,’ Gallagher has explained, ‘its expression felt in the plasticine eye closed in that way birds do when you hold them a bit too tightly.'
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