small town love

come stand around the tideline where the road runs out of road
and dance the Darwin tango till the final episode
seems love’s a one-arm seagull on a small town escapade
the hungry women chatter through their weekly promenade

so LuLu shaves her legs and puts on her six tattoos
and a purple sharkskin raincoat and a pair of pointy shoes
she shimmies out a side door to the long Tofino night
the roomies know she’s gone but they’re in a screaming fight

’cause small town love is smalltime love
nothing ever changes in the rain
you stand under the overhangs of small town love
chewing on the same old lips again

town’s full of dinged-up surfboards and rusty scuba tanks
and smoke blows off the ocean and somewhere a backhoe clanks
and the cedars groan like gargoyles on the blue skyscraper night
they are leaning out for love but Leonard Cohen owns the rights

so LuLu jacks her collar and goes trolling for a keeper
’cause mp3s and chocolate work but skin is so much deeper
and there’s a hundred snappy women with an altogether thirst
doing the counter-clockwise waltz ’round Campbell Street and First

’cause small town love is smalltime love
you’re always limping solo in the rain
gather up your IOUs of small town love
and cash ’em in on prozac and champagne

and each young man’s a signpost for those lovely, drifting queens
and Maquinna’s the destination but the Devil Bar’s the scene
there’s fractals on the dance floor and the karaoke’s stale
but gossip, beats and bourbon lift the estrogenic veil

’cause the hours roll like trash cans down the empty winter lanes
and the heart folds like umbrellas in the southeast hurricanes
and if April is a good month, you know October’ll be a bastard
by thanksgiving LuLu’s sleeping cold and half the town is plastered

’cause small town love is smalltime love
no one sticks around much in the rain
even a grey whale heart beats out small town love
but the tail waves sayonara all the same

there’s a redneck on the speed-dial when she gets the primal itch
and he’s got a woody wagon but the engine’s on the fritz
so she saddles up a Co-op cart with a palsy in its wheel
back to her skinny futon where a dozen drunkards reel

yes, our hero never knuckles, she’s a champ with diamond eyes
in a town of hungry women there’s only ever second prize
it’s like straddling a surfboard in the line-up at Cox Bay
and every swell she holds out for’s one more that gets away

’cause small town love is smalltime love
it’s planting seeds in a sandbox in the rain
lay your body on the nurse log of small town love
sink your roots into a sacrificial game

# # # #

by greg blanchette, 2009

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