Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


ShaunAnne Tangney


Spring Grotesque
for Bob Barnett

Spring comes rough.
Itís not just
that the sun wonít shine and
the snow wonít quit.

Rather, itís that daily
birds crash
into the sliding glass doors.
I find them

on the cement below,
lank, crumpled puffs
of unconsciousness,
or death.

The mind struggles
to keep separate
birds and glass, but
nature proves the glass attractive,
and the birds abject beings
that refuse invisibility.

A thousand miles away
my last friend
keeps making mistakes.
Who are you punishing, I ask.
Everyone, he replies, with
carnival laughter.

I know that sound, know
its source: the belly,
the groin,
the gonads--

itís cosmic
and universal,
and it makes him feel
heís cast off the unthinkable,

and the unlivable--
makes him think
heís claimed the subject
and shunned the abject, but

like the birds,
heís only crashed glass.

For a while,
I put stickers on
the sliding glass windows
to frighten the birds away.

It didnít work.
There must be something
of desire in glass,
all non-existence and hallucination--

and bird and Bob alike
it seems
must taste it.
But oh, itís hard to tell,
lying there on the cold cement,
unconsciousness from death.

(May, 2002)

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