You Ever Notice How

YOU EVER NOTICE HOW

You ever notice how
after the maximum leader has spoken
the night’s last, great, self-same, expected
speech, the faithful start to party
and the Square break away a carnival
of hips and waving arms
rocking to roots reggae boom
from speaker-boxes bigger and more
durable than poor people’s houses;
and you ever notice how when that happen
the maximum leader start to look wrong
grinning obtusely at what he has
let loose, and trying to dance
but him can’t catch the beat, and
is like the crowd don’t need him now
and the camera backing away for
a long shot and him getting lost
in the crowd, and him just look wrong:
a little man who have a plan
that only him one understand
and him just look wrong, the leader
who can’t dance the people music?
And is always the same, check me again
tomorrow night, same time, same square,
different set of players, different
colour costume, but the same script,
different maximum, but the same
two left foot that missing the beat.


from It Was the Singing (Sandberry Press, 2000), copyright © Edward Baugh 2000, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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Edward Baugh

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1Amadou's Mother

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2Black Sand

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3The Carpenter's Complaint

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4Choices

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5The Dark Hole in the Garden

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6Freeze Warning

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7Guinea-Hen Weed

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8It Was the Singing

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9I wish you a Leaf Falling

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10Nightwalker

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11A Nineteenth-Century Portrait

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12Obituary Page

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13Sometimes in the Middle of the Story

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14Telling the Time

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15Words

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17True Love

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18The Comings and Goings of Poems

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20Famous Evenings

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21For Simon Cole

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22Getting There

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23Hedge Trimming

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24Holy Fever

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25Home Truths

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26The House

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27Long Service Award

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28Memories Like Comfort Stones

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29Niigger Sweat

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30Out of Stock

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31People Poem (The Leader Speaks)

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32Pilot Boat

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33River Song

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34Running River Water

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35To the Editor Who Asked Me To Send Him Some of My Black Poems

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36Truth and Consequences

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37Walking to Jerusalem

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38What's Poetry For?

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39'When The Doomed Are Most Eloquent In Their Sinking'

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40You Ever Notice How

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41The Poet Bemused

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42An Open Letter to Feelings of Insecurity

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43The Warner Woman

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44Lignum Vitae

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Books by Edward Baugh