Sunday, November 07, 2004


With the roofing scaffolding still up and the berries on the various bushes around the house just now reaching their peak, the birds who come to eat them take a break now and then from pigging out and catch some slack on the scaffolding where they can look in the windows, which as a result they have learned to do. They definitely didn't used to-- I don't remember the birds staring at me before-- but the scaffolding is perfect for the new passerine pastime.

Of course some of them are just preening, 'hey, good-looking bird-dude,' they chirp, but depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun, they can sometimes see right in the windows, so at about those times they tend to sit there looking in, watching us go about our unbirdlike lives, cheeping among themselves about these strange creatures inside that odd construct, so unlike a simple, practical nest: ‘two legs but no feathers they have, isn't that weird...’ We puzzle the hell out of them. It's as though we were in a big birdcage, which in fact we are, if I stop and think about it, which I do now and then when I pose for a bird.

One of them was watching me trying to paint the other day without wings, and I could tell by the look on his face and the startled tiltings of his head and his bouncy squeakings that it was a sorry sight, this featherless biped having to hang there like that when all you have to do is this, and he'd flit from one pipe to another to demonstrate how easy it would be if I just used my arms like wings instead of the crude way I was insisting on. I told him ‘believe me, I tried it for years as a kid and it doesn't work, I've got the scars to prove it.’ But birds don't use words. Nor do they have to paint, the world is their house, as is the air. No taxes, no politicians...where did we go wrong?

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