Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

What Birds Mean When They Say That

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

What Birds Mean When They Say That

Article excerpt

Silence glimmers in a pond,

louder in the midst of birds

surface riffled, fretted,

fluted, deep intact.

They say taratat and brrrp,

every good, hi-ho, fine does,

willow-willow, dash dot, what

not, and I transcribe like a

moth limping, meticulous,

across a sandy path.

Hey-did, fine does, have y ou.

Pines reach, oaks lean.

What seems like duck-din

from a house at the edge

resolves into saw-buzz

and a man laughs for reasons

unrelated to the riffled,

fretted, fluted pond,

to him maybe boat-float,

a means of recreation.

What re-creation means

to the pines reaching, pollen

sailing. What meaning means

to the frog in mid-blurt.

What the man means

when he yells you suck

at someone; or is it the saw,

off-course, he curses? What

fish mean, sucking

sub-surface light, what

the owl means, in no wise wise,

only feathers, hoot, eyes.

The man tosses boards,

whose clatter does not

mean mortality to trees,

ducks back into the house,

and yells you fucking cunt,

which is as glimmering a silence

as the pond's to the owl

who hoots because he hoots

and not because he means. …

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