I showed off my party dress. So the birds are ready to dance. They’ve brought out their best.
If I could only dance with one, which would I choose?
I like that black swan brings me fetid flowers. The book could be a gift or maybe black swan intends to read to me later. I hope not. There’s nothing worse than long phrases comparing odalisques to astronomical bodies, natural phenomena, or flowers. How can you enjoy yourself when everything you do reminds someone of the moon? I’ve been to the moon, and it’s nothing to throw garlands at. Stop talking about the moon. I am The Odalisque!
Fetid flowers or… a dead branch?
The branch is for me to hold when we dance, so I don’t catch on fire. That might be a trick, though, because Phoenix really wants me to burn. At least if I dance with Phoenix, there is a window nearby. I will need to stick my head out into that high, clear air, after a whirl in Phoenix’s flagrant embrace.
Crow-as-parrot offers to lead me through greener pastures. Crow has a message but I’ve already opened it. Or did Crow open it first and scramble the intended meaning? Crow wears the fool’s hat. Crow, where are we going?
The starlings clothe themselves in the soft robes of nightfall. It is the hour of murmuration. Behind them, obscure. If I allow myself to be taken in their arms I will be the space between earth and sky consecrated by their hushed, joyful swarm. I will be the ever-evolving absence of thousands of birds.
Hawk, discretely, but superbly dressed, waits beneath an ordinary chandelier. The silk dress is for changing into when Hawk grows tired of leading.
Hawk carries a scarlet fan for when I grow bored and want everyone to go away. I hide my face like ostrich sticking its head in the sand. Everyone knows: leave me alone.
Hawk is thoughtful in that way.
I will dance with Hawk.
Black Swan, aghast, is sputtering phrases from the book. The phrases aren’t about me or the moon! They’re all about Black Swan! Typical. Black Swan, do you remember how to call out, over the marsh, the wild, mute cry of your forebearers? If so, I will dance with you.
Fashionable birds. See how they first made their fashion fetish known here, or click the Fashion tag for that and more.
As I mentioned in my last post, the birds think I should hang out on the sea shore this summer. To distract them from this discomforting vein of conversation, I indulge their penchant for FASHION.
The birds like trying on hats.
Black Swan likes hats more than anybody. Black Swan would like me to do a whole series of portraits entitled “CROWNING THE INEFFABLE: Hats O EPHEMERAL GARNISHING Across the Centuries as CLASSICALLY DISPLAYED Upon the TIMELESS HEAD of the Rare BLACK SWAN.”
I refused and made him share a portrait with Hawk:
Hawk was deeply moved by the metaphysics of the plumed, dove-white hat, bound as it is by a ribbon of blue sky. I don’t really understand Hawk’s line of thinking; it has something to do with avian creation myths.
Starlings swarm beneath a veil as if it were mist over the autumn brocade of the marsh grasses:
Crow-as-parrot with a parrot in a hat so naïve, I think it is surreal:
The phoenix thinks this hat is bad-ass, especially with a ruched tunic:
I put on a hat, too. The birds suddenly silenced themselves; their heads cocked to eye my every move with beady-black intensity.
They thought I might be going outside:
WHERE ARE YOU GOING!! squawked Parrot-that-was-crow.
I could go outside. If I knew where to go.
Summer is upon us! It’s time to feature, as promised in my sensationally popular post FASHION, my swim-suit.
In my post Odalisques & the Ocean I described the sea as teeming with crepuscular carnage:
(Hail the living ocean the wreckage of shore! The dark things that sift through the muck of its floor. The fish, angels of numbness, glittering like jewels in a crypt. The eels and spiny things, glass-eyed, lidless conglomerations of hideousness both repellent and fascinating.)
Ages ago I happened upon the perfect swim-suit for braving the high seas. My very fashionable swim-suit is a super-hot metallic with jewels and gilding strategically placed to accentuate my odalisquan curves:
I love my swim-suit! I always stand-out at the beach, and best of all, I feel confident and secure, prepared for anything the sea might spit at me! I always wear a bathing cap to protect my head in case of unforeseen collisions with crashing rocks. This one has goggles built in so when I’m underwater I can open my eyes to defend myself. I swim with a sword, as well as my pen, which appears to deter ships, even when I’m drowning.
If hawk is planning a visit, I could stab us a fish!
Fourth and final in my series of Immortal Portraits of my FASHIONable friends.
Crow insisted I make the first portrait. I’m sure it’s some kind of trick.
The second portrait is more representative.
Crow approved them both.
(Conversations with crow are indexed in the “Crow” category to your right.)
Sunday I published a post on FASHION. Monday morning, I was abruptly aroused by a commotion. The birds were prodding, poking, mooning at the window, desperate for me to roll over and let them in.
Miffed by their presumptuousness, but now awake, I climbed out of bed to make a small breakfast. I watched the kettle boil (it does happen, but it takes a long long time, as I anticipated), and sat idle for a full six-minute tea steep. I baked a bun from scratch, ate it morsel by morsel, dropping all sorts of desirable crumbs which the birds could not eat. I read my very first piece of mail seven times seven times over. At last, I opened the window.
To a spazzle-dazzle flurry of highly-excited, almost agitated birds.
Apparently, birds are very FASHIONable, a fact I had failed to observe in all my days in the obelisk (though I had noticed the black swan’s exorbitant vanity).
All week damask and leather occlude my view, collars and pantaloons sail over my head, shifts and roses hover mid-air, borne in beaks of birds. Or claws. There are swords in here. Ridiculous stockings. A crook-necked staff? Jewel boxes.
FASHION squawk the birds, preening. REGARD ME.
To appease them, I’m making portraits. Immortal Portraits of my FASHIONable friends, the birds.
First, the black swan, of course:
(Conversations with the black swan are indexed in the “Black Swan” category to your right.)