lesser lyrics for ellie greenwich

They fall upon us over the spillways of time,
Burbling at us through some Radio Free Nostalgia
Courtesy of some college station sitting at the far left of the dial
Or streaky CDs at the rear of some forlorn shelf,
And we know them to be to be, if not outright falsehoods,
Among the more variable of truths
(As all truths are, if we’re being honest about the matter)
For when someone sets out to create the Great American Whatever,
It becomes quickly apparent that such paths
Are not straight and clear, but wind and double back upon themselves
And are replete with thorns and weeds with bladed edges;
Egos must be stroked, revenue streams and margins considered,
Leaving one’s primary legacy as a testament to compromise.

But to be a casualty is not necessarily to be a fatality,
And through the narrowness of a three-minute window,
Purveyed to us by quartets of chanteuses
Who were no strangers to compromise their ownselves
(So many staged photo shoots,
So many hokey Christmas songs and cosmetic-sale jingles)
We can glimpse momentary epiphanies,
Crescent-moon slices of the verities,
Which, if not the whole truth and nothing but,
Provide us with something to hold, something to hum
As we go about the tortuous business
Of making some sense of the whole damn thing.


11 thoughts on “lesser lyrics for ellie greenwich

  1. “One’s primary legacy as a testament to compromise…” This line leaves me thinking…and thinking…I’d like to believe that my legacy will not be a compromise, but perhaps it is?

  2. Well, your word choice is, as usual, stunning and has left me wondering on this New Year’s Eve whether my legacy will be a compromise. i surely do not go along and get along. Here’s to you, your family and a new year!

  3. I’d like to print this out, frame it and put it on my wall as the one poem that will help me make sense of the world I find myself in, so that when the way ahead seems hopelessly grim, I remember to look out for the moon.

  4. What a great metaphor with all those three minute compromises… the same for so many other things than pop-songs… but maybe we need that balance between revenue and matter… maybe we need to compromise a bit… the chasms opening up otherwise are frightening. Now I’m gonna play some simple music 🙂

  5. I’m reminded of a voodoo priest who went shopping for his throne in a second hand store and came away with a dentist chair. I think i read about it in a New York newspaper. There was a picture too. “at the rear of some forlorn shelf” made me think of it.

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