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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




TOURIST TRAP

In your late model, air conditioned,
Shiny Cadillac car,
Try not to think about
How meaningless your lives are.
Mommy likes the post cards,
And Daddy likes the bars,
Where he picks up an outside honey.

You cruise around like itís your living room,
To prove that youíre well heeled.
A vinyl home away from home,
A plastic hype on wheels.
Some people think
That theyíre getting a good deal,
Just because they pay a lot of money.

But did you notice thereís a lake here?
It used to be the reason people came here.

There are mountains here too,
And theyíre the oldest on the earth.
Iíve known them since I was a child.
Some folks who grew up here
Know what the land is worth,
And they buy it just to keep it wild.

A mountainís so big you canít move it,
So the government tries to improve it.

With remains of the railway
To conjure up the past,
And the fake cliff of granite
Where the insects are gassed,
And the shaky lookout tower
Damaged in the blast,
A museum piece catered to wheels.

With a dirt road up the back side,
And a highway wrapped around it,
And a staircase from the parking lot,
And a stone wall to surround it.
Why canít you leave
A thing of beauty like you found it?
At least the sky is real.

Bathrooms and faucets and fountains,
All the comforts of home on a mountain.

At dawn I watch the sunrise.
Itís the only time I can.
It makes me feel humble and grateful.
But the officers surround me,
And complain to my old man.
Thereís no reason to be that hateful.

Maybe Iím bad for business.
But look at the sky, you might miss it.

Iíll take the mountains
And waters and families of deer,
And you take the hot rods
And disco and pitchers of beer,
And the out of tune calliope
I can hear three miles from here.
I measured this out on a map.

I can almost accept it.
The choice is not mine to make.
A prison without walls,
Asphalt and neon and fake.
It keeps them off the mountains,
And it keeps them off the lake.
Hence the name: ďtourist trap.Ē

But did you notice thereís a lake here?
It used to be the reason people came here.

Lake George, New York, 1976

(lyrics co-authored by Bill Kruegler)



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