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:

the Authority

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.'

~~~ /) ~~~~

Views: 48

Comment by The Songbird on March 5, 2019 at 3:15am

Please don't pardon my cavalier use of a Yiddishk dialective for the tit'le; it was completely intentional.  All honor, no jealousy.  It's a melding of what all I saw there.  I only hope you get it, too.  The recently found graphic is the icing, as well as the unspoken lines, between.  Let's play.  Eh?  

Comment by koshersalaami on March 5, 2019 at 7:25am

OK, I won’t pardon it. One slip can cause question.

Just kidding. Vises cannot squeeze voids, leaving only one conclusion.

This seems to be about an event. What did you inadvertently trip over?

It also seems to be about gatekeeping. 

Comment by Robert B. James on March 5, 2019 at 1:54pm

Yes...and so many plays. I’ve come, not by choice to stay. The play...come on vacation, leave on probation, they say. I stay. I stay and play on their play...long after probation, and the ten thousand it cost me were forgotten. 

I stay, tripped, as kosh well put, my goyish lack of humility, wounded, yes. The big players play god like games...until the bigger players roll in. The big fish are devoured by the sharks, and the sharks do not understand the pod hunters, the sea mammals, but I am not one. 

I say..but never, a year of Sundays past, and now they ask. Now they Ask! The rain maker is here. Drink now, all of you.  On me!  Sharks too! Just Uber home. Drink! Don’t drive! 

Comment by The Songbird on March 5, 2019 at 7:44pm

I thought of you, Kosh, when I put that!  And yes, there's aaaalways that one that just has to jump Editor on ya.  Uch.  It started as sort of 'proverbish,' like A Word To The Wise, then somehow Groucho got hold of it, and I liked the idea of the double-entendre of the Vice.  True enough, they DO have to have somethin' to squeeze, now don't they?  So - that was a fun comment, and always good to see ya.  Thanks. 

Comment by The Songbird on March 5, 2019 at 7:51pm

Geesk, Robert - Yer scarin' me!  But yes, it was a music event, but the pome is sort of a fictiodramatization about the idea of that, stopping people, and becoming entrapped.  No, I don't know what will come of it, and of course I'm kinda flipped out about it, but I always try to make the best of things, so it was good to have this come out, as a .. perspective, I guess.  Been a while, since I wrote about anything, so - keeps me brain occupied for a while.  Beats worry!  Thanks for your take, about the big eating the little, until -- what's left?  Kind of the point, and I appreciate your notice!  Always good to share.  

Comment by Anna Herrington on March 6, 2019 at 9:34am

Well, this one invites re-reading! Not sure what's going on here but I felt echoes of small town living in here with conforming and gossip, other echoes of Hotel California, deeper shadows of deeper things, too....

I love how your mind works.

And bonus for the title!!! You're channeling my favorite sister. That is just too....  *smiling*

The image is arresting. Clever. Thought-provoking... 

Comment by The Songbird on March 6, 2019 at 1:50pm

Hullo, Anna!  So nice to see you, and - thanks!  I love metaphor and entendre, trickeries of our language, the serious/wry combo.  A sweet wise-ass?  Maybe so.  But yes, that was my own echo, the sudden entrapment, the comments about squeezing a void, or the circularity of one hand biting the other in the guise of sustenance, but sustained only by innocence.  Aaah, well -- everything has a counterweight, now doesn't it?  Of course I've no idea what ripples will echo out from this pebble, but I do feel like the bird of the picture, as well as the pirate, one cripped leg, one closed eye, squoze to the point of squawk. 


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