[Scene 2. Outside. A group of bloggers moves down the street.]
Enlighten: We have fair weather for such a journey,
And fair hope soon to meet our web-worn friends.
Nightfly: One doth approach that we have lately missed.
Erin! What news? Thou art so arrayed
As to attend a banquet or a ball.
No such luck; though I could use a drink.
The day was spent in artists’ studios,
Sitting for a portrait.
Nightfly: For a job?
For a gig. Needs must keep up-to-date,
Lest a jaded public, quick to scorn,
Say of Erin, “Looks and jokes are worn.”
Enlighten: No fear of either!
Gigglechick: Pull the other one.
Nightfly: And who is this that follows in thy train?
Gigglechick: Came she not with me.
SRS: Who calls?
The Carnival of Jersey Blogs.
Hast thou forgotten?
No. Or, marry, aye;
Or I know not what – I am not clear.
Nightfly: Art not thou well?
Nay, tis no fault of health,
But one of time. The new job tasks me thus
That mind no longer masters all its thoughts,
And distracted run all my hours.
Nightfly: Yet writing still. Pray thee, get some rest.
[Exit Shamrocketship. The other continue and cross a group of bloggers yelling.]
Nightfly: What affray is this?
Enlighten: Methinks I know.
‘Tis the Carnival? Aye, just in time.
I’ve heard that dreadful man give dreadful speech
Under fair-seeming, forked tongue,
Words of feignéd comfort. ‘Tis a lie!
True meaning have I written in its place.
I fear ‘tis so – though speeches move me not.
More ticked am I that nothing more was done
To swiftly succor suffering Orleáns.
Say you so? For I have heard much else.
You were not with us at the Hive, I think,
Or wouldst have heard yourself.
Hast thou heard well?
Or hearest only that which thou choosest?
Hearing isn’t always to believe,
But marry! Even I don’t like that man,
And yet admit that what I heard from him
Seem’d encouraging. And there is this:
We all agree that further help must come,
Or come too late to help at all.
We feed and clothe, and soon rebuild –
Needful things, but not all things needful.
All alike shall need to grieve, and heal.
Mamacita: I saw this news, though he that gave the news
Was apt for mockery. He spoke at length,
But sooth, a quiet fool is more preferred
Than he that cannot choose to quiet down.
Mr. Snitch: Dost anyone hear music?
Now that you say,
I say I do.
Nightfly: There is a light ahead.
[Enter Jersey Beat.]
Thou hast arrivéd late. The show’s begun,
What with music, cheering, and the crowd,
With DJ, band, and audience alike
Enlighten: Can we still get in?
Wishest thou? I wonder. Every year
The players remain as they ever were
As I advance. I find that, day by day,
As festivals proceed, I lag behind –
I have my daytime duties to perform
And, pleasing as the music tends to be,
One week is much for me.
And yet thou came,
As music is thy trade, thy passion’s pride;
I rarely take a show. And, when I do,
They tend, like to these groups, to be home-grown.
One local band has stood above the rest.
You have missed much. I saw a Thursday show,
In major venue, with a headline band
Much more accomplished, well-renowned,
Of such long standing stature as to cause
Aspiring artists, jealous-wrapt,
To term them old, and jest upon their names,
Whilst treasuring the self-same fate for theirs.
Enjoyed thou the show?
The gentlemen doth rock, and that right well.
For each so markéd with Fame's fading pen
Stand dozens near-forsaken. Such a one
Was Burnside. Not a polished songsmith he,
Nor held as top-tiered talent in the blues -
Yet there is merit to be heard in him.
But he has played his coda to the world;
His music lives, recorded, without him.
Nightfly: Shall we enter?
All are not arrived,
Nor spoken all they have to say.
Yet pause at whiles: an hour’s brief delay
Cannot hinder. Then we shall resume
I pray thee, tarry.
Company shall blot my weariness.