Headline Triggers A Memory

Here’s a headline in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Incorporation of Okauchee Lake area under study.

Which reminds me, I might be the only man in history to have used Okauchee Lake in a sonnet:

Okauchee Light

Across the dark Okauchee lake, a light,
the marker for the end of someone’s dock,
is strangely lit at nearly twelve o’clock
and breaks the solid black that is the night.
From here, across the chilling April lake,
through busy bar room glass I see that glow,
but life or rooms beyond I’ll never know.
One light does not a utopia make.
Quite like your smile, that single man-made star:
Up there, on stage, you flash a smile at me,
and crinkle eyes to give the gesture weight,
but like the dock-end light, you are too far;
your glow is there for someone else to see,
and now, for me at least, it is too late.

Back in the early 1990s, in my sonneting days, my friends and I followed a band called the Surf Boys from festival to festival in Milwaukee. The band was Nick, the lead singer, a guitarist named Dave, a keyboardist named Debbie, and a drummer. However, these backup players were not the original Surf Boys, and when they wanted to reunite, they cast off the other players. One night, we drove out to a bar on Okauchee Lake to see the Dave, Debbie, et al, in their non-Surf Boys incarnation. I ended up writing a sonnet about it. Not that I was that interested in Debbie, per se; she was cute, but I think I had a sum of one conversation with her throughout. But I thought the sonnet has a cool Great Gatsby vibe, and a musician on stage does offer a good unattainable woman conceit.

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