words of prey

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Feb 1 22:52:54 UTC 2004

Palo Alto Daily News, Sunday 1 February, p. 18, police blotter listings
for the city of Atherton (CA):


   100 block Selby Lane, 10:15 a.m.: A man suspicious-looking man [sic]
was riding around on his bike, asking for work and using "words of
prey."  Officers were unable to locate the man.

"words of prey"?  anyone have cites on this?  or insights?

a google search provides 300+ pages, almost all for the Words of Prey
message board (Women of Gotham + Canary.Noir.com -- comics fans) or for
the Sepultura song lyrics for "Arise" (1991) ("Hungry for words of
prey"), plus a few references to an Alan Malnar article on Robinson
Jeffers and to some poems and plays with this title; the expression is
an easy play on "birds of prey".

but what did the suspicious-looking man on the bicycle say?  "caw,
caw", like a raven or crow?  "want some ice cream, little girl/boy?",
like a sexual predator.  or what?

arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)

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