One Seattle Street, Hold the Musicians

The sky is actually blue,
most of the day. It's not even cold,
to me. I see t-shirts, windbreakers,
and a sheepskin jacket
all in one block of Belltown.

Walking through the Pike Place Market
I could have bought a sandwich
of chantrelle mushrooms and prosciutto,
plantings of winter savory and kale,
bottles of blueberry vinegar or garlic jelly.

Instead I bought sweet corn, fragrant basil,
a basket of fresh figs.
I told the Flying Fish man
I wanted one cooked crawfish
to find out how they tasted.
He gave me one for free.
I'm having so much fun showing it around
I may never eat it.

A young man in a metal-studded black jacket,
baseball cap slanting backwards over his long black braid,
carves a totem pole,
cigarette hanging from his mouth.
Beside him carves a gray-haired man dressed more traditionally,
sweatshirt and jeans, baseball cap bill-forward.

The only street musician I've seen all day
is a man with a slide guitar
who sounds like a whole bluegrass band.

We have an arts festival called Bumbershoot,
supposed to be the British word for umbrella,
supposed to be a joke about the Rainy City,
but I say the Bumber is the immature form of the Street Musician
and in order not to be completely over-run, every year
we have a Shoot.
I like street musicians, I love street musicians,
I have played, in many ways, with street musicians,
but three per block is enough,
not that I want legal regulation,
definitely not,
the yearly Shoot works quite well.

Autumnal Equinox. Turning toward winter.
The street musicians will just bundle up more
in everything from serapes to old army gear,
the Blues Man by the Bon Marche
make white fog rise from the stryrofoam cup he sings into,
the bagpipe player stick his mouthpiece under his arm for awhile
before he starts blowing,
guitar players take long breaks of acapella.

But they'll still be out there.
This is Seattle.

Maybe last Bumbershoot
we went over our limit.