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Head Banger

Over the last couple of weeks of reading through the old stuff I came upon this poem. It is a poem in bad taste, being written about poetry. I remember the day I wrote it. I remember being mesmerized by this fox sparrow, one warm spring afternoon, banging his head, pecking away at his own reflection in the mirror. It is no longer open to crit, being what it is, having to stand on its own. But I would be curious about reactions to what it says. What was it Yeats once said? "We have lit upon the gentle, sensitive mind / And lost the old nonchalance of the hand..."

Head Banger

"The demon of suspicion has come into the world...the only antidote is complete sincerity."

Fox sparrow, fox sparrow
came into the clearing today.

He or she it is hard to know as
the sexes mark themselves the same.

But what a sight he showed in the heat:
he fell for his own reflection.

It was the car's sideview mirrors,
the ones succinctly stating

'objects are nearer than they seem.'
First one clear side, then the other.

All day long he worried the thing.
He pecked, he wing pounded, and in

spring I want to think fox sparrow
thought he, thought she, found a lover.

Seperately there emerges what is
squeamish, suspicious, or makes

for the more modern reckoning.
That streaked passerine, little bird

is poet of the tribe; that he sought,
she sought, head peck in the glass.

Of course, the explanation of the bird's behavior is that his reflection fooled him into thinking he had encountered a rival. Which explanation I chose to leave unsaid but that makes the metaphor all the more intriguing. Or to me at least. And isn't this what so much poetry is doing nowadays, has been doing for as long as I can remember? Head pecking itself to death.

Oct/4/2010, 6:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson

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