When circus leaves the town

From our town of tumbleweeds,
of lime and marrow, once
the woodwind section of the band played
a gracious groove of gasoline and sorrow
a tune of lost tomorrows and we sang:

The circus has just left the town,
and left us with the clowns
We’re bypassed by the highway
and nights have turned to days

Once in flattery of handbags
local ladies polka-dotted sidewalks,
inexhaustible in bravery of breaking bad
they challenged sheep and slavery, they
hip-swayed, cluttered milk-bars. Sang:

The circus has just left the town,
and left us with the clowns
We’re bypassed by the highway
and nights have turned to days

It’s late for nuances, it’s dark for shades
no headlights hunt the tumbleweeds
the coffee’s weak, the beer is flat
the tycoon left and bellwether’s lost.
We’ve sold our souls. We’re faustian.

The circus has just left the town,
and left us with the clowns
We’re bypassed by the highway
and nights have turned to days

Dust to Dust by Denis Peterson

Dust to Dust by Denis Peterson

All the wordle words of Mindlovemisery Wordle.

December 5, 2016

22 responses to “When circus leaves the town

  1. This is an excellent response Bjorn, I do like the use of repetition as well. There’s something wonderfully philosophical about the whole piece…

  2. I love (what I have come to refer to as) the slip-and-slide rhyme in this. (Is there an actually name for this random plopping of rhyme throughout a piece, do you know? … I’ve looked, but don’t recall ever finding it referenced), I think it really lifts a poem up a notch – as though it has been well thought out … but remains edgy … and “pops” a bit more, than if there was no rhyme at all. That may just be my take on it when I come across it – though, in this case, I find it adds a somewhat out-of-step to-hell-with-it haunting echo (particularly in the assonance repetition in the rhyming sounds of a vowel or diphthong) which works brilliantly with the subject matter.

    The extended metaphor is, of course, chilling – given the current reality. I think the next time the circus comes to town – if there is a next time – there oughta be a law: We’re not lettin’ ya take over the town, if you don’t take those dang clowns with you, when you go. (And hand-over your twitter accounts, as you enter.) Smiles.

  3. Oh I just love this one, Bjorn, although I’m not a fan of clowns. The lines that stood out for me were:
    ‘the woodwind section of the band played
    a gracious groove of gasoline and sorrow’;

    ‘Once in flattery of handbags
    local ladies polka-dotted sidewalks’;

    and the chorus works beautifully.

  4. I do like the effect of the chorus, which creates an interesting juxtaposition to the stanzas in between. This is a very wry portrait of urban decay.

  5. It has the feel of a protest song, complete with rhymes and refrains. The metaphors you’ve used are quite powerful. I am also enchanted by your term “flattery of handbags”. That whole verse is just perfect.

  6. Ooh. That hidden “lime and marrow wants” is very clever.

    “a gracious groove of gasoline and sorrow” … I love that!

    Several other things jump out at me, but I’m especially drawn to the idea of polka dotted sidewalks; my imagination is reeling from that very inventive jumping off point.

  7. The circus has just left the town,
    and left us with the clowns

    Hank thinking more of the aftermath of the Presidential campaigns. After all the hoo-hahs the players have now gone and the misfits are left making a nuisance of themselves

    Hank

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