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“City Limits”

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…………………………CITY LIMITS
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…………………………The only bus from the airport to downtown
…………………………had no view, passenger windows occluded
…………………………a fine wire grille. All I had hoped to
…………………………glimpse early was denied — a star musician
.
…………………………stepping out of his taxi, dueling pianos,
…………………………the leaded glass doors of The Driskell.
…………………………But later that first evening the moon
…………………………rose large and full in hovering heat, lover
.
…………………………after lover sang brashly under lights. Regrets
…………………………I had flown with, which I had come here
…………………………to pawn for a slow walk alone down Sixth St.
…………………………could not, by any Austin night, stay hidden.
.
…………………………Then all the next morning, rain, silver rain
…………………………and silenced rooftop perches.
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…………………………by Therese L. Broderick
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………………………….(A writer’s statement appears as the first comment.)
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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

3 responses »

  1. poetryaboutart

    ARTIST’S STATEMENT
    .
    Fact & Fiction~~
    .
    This poem is autobiographically accurate except for a few details. Last week I stayed in a downtown hotel in Austin, Texas. I could not see through the windows of the Flyer bus from the airport to the city. The dueling pianos bar and the doors of The Driskell hotel were sites I saw later on my trip, but were not what I was checking for on the way into Austin. There was a full (or full enough) moon one night, and there was rain (although maybe not “all” morning). A music festival was in town, and I could hear music late into the night from a nearby club. I could see rooftops from my hotel room and hear the birds. I always have regrets about failing my family and friends in one way or another; so the regrets in the poem were real.
    .
    Sound & Sense~~
    .
    Despite its lack of accuracy, I added the word “all” for the sake of rhythm in the last two lines. I made many changes for the sake of sound (especially the third stanza), and many cuts for the sake of delivering a coherent narrative. I like the reversal of vowels in “silver” (short i, then er) and “perches” (er, then short i). I added the word “pawn” after seeing an “EZ Pawn” shop on the way home. The title “City Limits” refers to the limits of escaping regrets, the limits of realizing dreams in a new place, and, of course, to Austin, TX.
    .
    I wrote about twenty drafts of this poem while sitting in airports or airplanes. This final version benefited from the feedback of local first readers JG and JH.

    Like

  2. 1. Reaction without reading your commentary: Dreamlike and melancholy within a context of regret. Whatever motivated the poem in terms of atmosphere and content, there seems to have been obtained a calm detachment provided by placing the feelings in poetic form.

    2. Reaction after reading the commentary: Okay. Looks like you succeeded with this one, Therese!

    For what it’s worth, I’m not sure that commentaries ever help the reader greatly. This poem stands up robustly all on its own.

    Like

  3. Hi Therese. I love the poem. I agree with Dick that it stands on its own without commentary, but I think adding the explanation is a really intriguing device for the blog.
    Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso

    Like

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