Odalisque sits at her desk. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING.”
Odalisque steeps her tea. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING. HELLO.”
Odalisque leaps to the window when Hawk or Black Swan or anybird, anybird at all, blessedly arrives in the window to save her from Crow. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING,” says Crow.
“Hello,” says my bird guest friend. “HELLO,” squawks Crow. Shut up Crow! I don’t know where I’m going. I’m in an obelisk for solstice’s sake, and it was a lot of work to get up here. (as portrayed in my movie.) Leave me alone!
Despite the fact that I did not choose Crow’s vocabulary, Owl, in an attempt to be helpful, brought me this: Things to keep in mind when choosing your parrot’s vocabulary.
1. Avoid Profanity.
Profanity is the use of profane language, and profane language is that which is not concerned with religion, unholy because not consecrated, or that which debases what is holy. I was once considered profane, especially as compared to, say, a Madonna. So perhaps I should not try to teach Crow my name, The Odalisque.
2. Stay away from “catch phrases”
It’s always cute when talking birds chime in with something to say, but you want to make sure that what you teach them won’t get old or annoying after a while.
I take a book from my bed and flip the pages. How about:
I would like to step out of my heart, and go
walking beneath an enormous sky.
From you to you I go commanded. In between
the garland is hanging in chance; but if you
take it up and up and up look! All becomes festival!
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,
which we still are just able to endure.
If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.
Is love: a murderer without a knife?
She moves the way clocks move.
I can’t imagine even lovely, ravenous phrases could preserve their dewy hunger if repeated as often as Crow says “Where are you going.” If I teach poetry, will Crow use it sparingly, with the wisdom & ken to perfectly brim a fine distillation into each moment’s goblet?
3. Think long-term!
There are many things that will remain constant in your bird’s life, and these are often the best sources for inspiration when trying to decide on the types of words and phrases that you’d like to add to your bird’s vocabulary. For example, your or your birds name…
CROW! squawks my parrot. ODALISQUE ODALISQUE ODALISQUE! No Crow, you can’t say that it is profane. OBELISK OBELISK OBELISK! Nor do I want to encourage any creature in my care to believe that anything in its life is constant. OCEAN OCEAN OCEAN. UNIVERSE UNIVERSE UNIVERSE. No Crow, all is in constant creative & destructive flux. MATTER MATTER ENERGY! MATTER MATTER ENERGY! I do not know, crow. I do not know. It is best to assume all, all will pass but nothingness, from which materiality and warmth may inevitably emerge.
4. Choose songs/music wisely
It’s best to select songs that are “classics.” Popular choices for many bird owners are nursery rhymes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and various oldies from the 50’s and 60’s.
This guidance is very intriguing. It reminds me of Beckett who imagined mothers squatting to birth babies into their graves. Nursery rhymes & oldies…everything in between is tedium.
Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are, up above the sky so high. Like a diamond in the sky…
Crow before he was parrot would definitely have thought of the stars as diamonds, and coveted one for his stash. But Owl would bring us a book on astronomy, show Crow that the stars are luminous bodies of charged particles held together by gravity and fueled by thermo-nuclear fusion, and that would have been that for everybody but Phoenix who would know, as if in ecstatic vision, the nature of heaven.
True singing is a different breath, about
nothing. A gust inside the god. A wind.
5. Avoid alarming phrases.
Even if it seems like a humorous thing to do, there is a genuine risk that your bird could incite a fair level of panic given the right situation.
There are so many things that should incite a fair level of panic, but fail to. Related to number 3 above, perhaps I should teach Crow to regularly incite panic with words that remind me of my impermanence.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHERE ARE YOU GOING. HELLO.
Oh, hermetic Crow. Even as parrot, you outpace me.
Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive…
…To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb creatures in the world’s full reserve, the unsayable sums, joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.
Each time I publish a scrapbook page, I feel I toss it from my high window. Its conceptual origami catches an earthly wind. I watch it disappear, blown far from my obelisk’s shore into a virtual populace. Over a frantic boulevard it floats, settling on a concrete median beneath a floriferous tree, there on the packed dirt amongst chicken bones, leaves, plastic cups. How is it it you reached down to pick it up? How is it, amongst fumes, glare, pedestrians in tight pants, honking horns (so many dangerous vehicles) you even noticed my scrapbook page?
If my scrapbook page pleases you, orange stars and plus signs shower my desktop (like like like), confetti tossed in friendly appreciation from you, out in that fleet & fleeting world.
I am grateful for your appreciation.
One year ago today I flung my first scrapbook page out into the world–a piece of notebook paper with some scribbled words (read it here.) I’ve found an earlier piece of notebook paper, excavated and illustrated it with figures about the complex concept “enough.” I’ll publish these figures + torn text one-at-a-time this week.
To start, I give you a graph, and a definition, of the word “enough”:
Is it enough? I think so. I think you are. Enough.
Thank you for looking. Thank you.
Wake up. The phoenix staked another billet-doux through my pillow with a splinter of arrowwood.
It is on fire.
Fizzling like a sparkler.
Billets hard to hold through waking. They sizzle at the edge of dream. Wake up. They burn themselves out. Pillow ash brings intense, peripheral feelings, mis-sequenced, uncertain, numinous.
(click to read the first billet-doux)
BURNING DOOR. IN AND OUT AND IN
LET US BE WITH EACH OTHER
THE DAYS COUNT THEM]S[?]
IT IS NICE TO BURN
INTOXICATING THE LIGHT
I feel overwhelmed. So I decided to reblog these figures from some time ago. Figures, as I mention on my about page, are what I use to illustrate complex concepts. I am working on some new figures, too, which I will publish later. I think they are about the word ENOUGH, but we’ll see.
Black swan would like you to know that he is overwhelmed, too. He is squawking and flapping his wings in the tidal marsh below to communicate his persistent shock and dismay. We ate TURKEY on Thursday, not swan, but it still was not a good day for the black swan. (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Soon, I’m going to have to dump out the bones, and I just hope they’ll fall somewhere he’ll never see them.
So here’s an old post, on the word OVERWHELM.
Figures [click to enlarge]:
I look up
like I’ve fallen down stairs.
When cicadas hum and green things spoil themselves for autumn,
let’s go to the kitchen and stand contemplatively in the light of the refrigerator door.
Let’s grab leaves and roots and pulpy ovaries, throw them on the counter and make choices.
Let’s use sharp knives and pull with our fingers.
Let’s put things in pots and boil them.
Let’s stir and sizzle and poke until they’re done.
When they are, bring out the earthenware and a bottle of something intoxicating!
Let the night burn like sugar!
Let the days be warm and crisp as a salad!
Let us be bountiful with each other and sharp.
Let us labor and be well fed. ( oh
it’s nice to smell oil burning
to cut into gourds and hearts
to come inside when the sun gets all teary-eyed
and sit close in the last bit of warmth.)
In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara. Last night we watched A WOMAN THERE WAS, a film made in 1919 which is now considered to be lost. In this film, Theda played Princess Zara.
A WOMAN THERE WAS
SCENE: A corporate board room, high above the metropolis.
(Bird shadows from birds, out-of-frame, move through otherwise spare room: shiny, long table. carpet. chairs.)
(ZARA at wall of glass, looks out. Revery: sweet gag petal wad swallowing torn flower. Rosy fumbles. Tissue.)
(A bird hits the glass.)
(ZARA touches finger to crystalline cracks.)
(ZARA abruptly turns to door.)
(PAGE enters with cart. Tea is served. PAGE departs.)
(Upon tray, an unmarked letter.)
(ZARA reads: decry whisper lonely embrace–)
(-reclining lovely abandon–)
(-creased marker remind no–)
I hope you will let me come to your court from time to time. As the wind comes. Then goes.
(ZARA’s mouth opens as in O.)
(Crumple wretched paper note.)
(CLOSE-UP: ZARA’s tear-streaked face tightening like puddles freezing o’er with ice. Her upper lip curves like an archer’s bow:)
“I HOLD NO COURT BUT WITH BIRDS ON THE WING.
IF THE WIND COMES, I HAVE SUMMONED IT.
IF NOT, I HAVE BOTTLED IT.”
(VIEW FROM DOOR: ZARA drinks tea. Shadows assemble. Thousands of birds gather, hovering, outside.)
END OF SCENE
In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara. Last night we watched UNDER THE YOKE, a film made in 1918 which is now considered lost. In this film, Theda played Maria Valverda.
UNDER THE YOKE
SCENE: Forest, early spring.
(Gnats, infinitesimal murmuration, in a shaft of light. )
(Cinnamon ferns, sporing.)
(MARIA upon forest floor, drowses.)
(Around her body ephemerals flower in visionary time-lapse.)
(Lured be. Hepatica. Bloodroot. Dicentra Cucullaria.)
LADY, LADY, BOREAL BE.
WITHOUT IS NOT THROUGH, THROUGH IS NOT TOWARDS.
LIFT UP YOUR SKIRTS! BESTOW YOUR FAVOR.
(CLOSE-UP: MARIA within corona of ephemerals. Encroaching ominous bar-shaped shadow. )
(Muzzle slides under chin, nuzzles soft of throat. Presses.)
(Lurid be. Hepatica. Bloodroot. Cucullaria.
(VIEW FROM TREES: MAN stands over MARIA pressing rifle to her throat. Their bodies at ease. Hers, langorous, as if rising to the surface of a pond.)
BOUND HOME. BOUND. BY CREEPERS AND THORNS.
(CLOSE-UP: her eyes. Ineluctable weary.)
END OF SCENE