Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A (Bird) Feeder

If they thought I was funny,
why did they have to say
         I was funny?

Laughing, rubbing: crickets
out my window, under a
         living room couch,

In Tulsa, nine. One standing almost
triumphantly triumphant
         hands on his hips

Affirming the affirmative;
as if I had come to be right there—
         a spectacular me—

Openly, freely, in response to a
grotesque incantation invitation.
         In midsentence, he paused,

Pulled it together magically.
Thinkers after Goethe would say:
        he collected himself

Through my joke, me bird-flapping
into the room out the pocket
         of his jacket,

Where deep down grow memory holes
stealing all my good jokes:
         smug explanations
         we all get together.

This morning a dove ate from our feeder
     next to a squirrel.
We thought he was a clean pigeon.
     We’ll call him Charlie.
He’ll whisper shit dreams in my ear—
     uniquely mine punchlines.

     It is measurable.
The distance from a birdfeeder to
     empty seed shells
from lingering recollections of place
     I try to forget
I may not even have put right.

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