The Aurian Haller Band

Normal Town

The Aurian Haller Band
Aurian Haller


After September 11th, I moved to Athens, Georgia to find work and see magnolia trees. Turns out most of the streets are named after the flower, which is pretty, but geographically pointless.  It was the same with peaches in Atlanta.  We moved with our two cats to Best Drive in the part of town called, Normal Town.  After the events, the lawns and supersized SUVs were sprouting flags, the local Walmart had a wall where you could leave flowers and pay your respects while you shopped.  People mowed the lawn and barbecued with an almost pathological regularity.  The neighbourhood where we lived was built during World War II and had its own white-picket-fence desperation.  We lost the cats the first day and found them up the chimney, as dark as night.  There is a tree in Athens that grows in the middle of a cobbled street.  In a bid to save the tree, the land on which it grew was deeded to the tree itself.  A small chain fence protects it from wayward bumpers.  Every night, a trumpet player from the navy base down the road ushered in the evening.  This was the canvas.  Creepy, but also hopeful in a odd sort of way.  We gathered pecans that fell on the back deck, learned to love grits and mint juleps.



Normal Town                                            


mailboxes all in a row

good news only

dogs have their own Morse code

across the county

all’s well


so many hospitals

we could all be in bed at the same time

the only fire is a barbecue

and the kids are always singing


yeah we’re gonna settle down

we’re gonna make a little life in Normal Town

yeah we’re gonna settle down

we’re gonna make a little life in Normal Town


they’re selling flags at Walmart

to keep our spirits high

Charley’s got a Christmas tree in the yard

so big it’s being watched by the FBI


we don’t need to go to church

they come pick of your junk on Fridays

and as they drive away

I wonder where the week has gone

and it’s time to mow the lawn




I like to sit under the tree that owns itself

if I could only prove it owned me too

would they build a fence around me

and protect me


(verse one again)