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.
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.)
(the swan drifts over the reflection of real ruins around which an architect has arranged lake and trees:)
I am not pure enough to believe in
love, its archaic masquerade. I am
not pure enough to believe its silken
cords won’t fray but
Is there a love otherwise made? Of stone?
Its architecture, yes, toppled in weeds,
though an entablature on slipped columns
remains to frame the inorderable sky.
I could think: Marking a grave. Or
Its austere grace! What time cracks falls away
to reveal a more essential beauty.
The ruins memorialize themselves.
Two might still walk among them hand in hand.