Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eating dog food in the long driveway

or a stray french fry exposed by the upturned trash can,

do they feel the echo of the cottonwood and sycamore,

which was their verdant home

before development made them thrive?

Do they not miss the old growth forests,

standing with knees bent, claws gripping the bark,

the yellow halo surrounding their disdainful eye,

their sharp black beak,

and the slender shining judges robes

which swell into a feathered porcupine of justice,

addressing the little brown wrens and chipmunks,

frozen with seeds and nuts in hand?

Here they must scream to be recognized,

millions of them, at dusk

collecting on the power lines and bare limbs downtown

like black leaves in a racing imitation of spring.

Tourists gasp and regulars speak louder over

their cacophonous symphony,

the rusty gates of their harsh introduction

and the roar of their concurrent clacks,

a percussive mimic of sunset.

Today I saw a grackle on the pavement

his wings tucked close like a shawl

his head and collar was murky

blue and green like a deep pool

in the jungle, and his eyes were closed

like small crescents of darkened moon.

And suddenly he did not look like any other black bird

he is often mistaken for.

The raven and the crow

are both detested and revered,

for the way they perch eerily,

invoking Poe’s stormy nights,

and the rough shrewd care for an infant

Dalai Lama, swooping in for missing parents.

All the grackle has,

is its harsh eye and that voice,

like old papers blowing around in the creaking attic, or

bones breaking, or

two sheets of metal rubbed together, or

a machinegun, or fireworks, or an earthquake.

And when they gather at nightfall, it is to tell you

that once, before you were born,

and your ancestors addicted them to wide open space and grain,

they were kings,

and this is the sound of war.

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"Open your eyes, Clevinger. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."

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An attempt to overcome a crippling perfectionism; an appendix-in-progress for a perpetually unwritten book. Notes on variety of subjects including but not limited to: cognition, mathematics, sociology, philosophy and art. Now with book reviews!

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