Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Dead Birds On My Lap

The birds started to fall on my lap
one by one ---

just like the baby bird
that fell into the mouth of my dog
after the mama threw her baby
off the nest forcing it to fly.

I could not stop the birds
from falling onto my lap.

He does not love me.

It started with the bird that flew
into my window as I sped down
the highway and died in my backseat.

Her neck perfectly twisted
after hitting my chest.

My head bopping to a song
like the dog on the dashboard.

You know those birds --
the ones that lift
your toes off
the ground.

I am sure you have met these birds.
Of course you have.

And if you have not,
I am sorry
For even in death,
It is still better to have loved than….

Did you know that a ton of feathers
weighs the same as a ton of bricks?

11 comments:

arewestillmarried said...

this is funny. not funny "ha-ha" but funny weird. eerie. i mean not the poem but this:

i wrote a whole big mess about the symbolism of dying birds, and how and why it might be the single most loaded metaphor ever. a dying bird can kill a room full of living poets, or get them writing.

my cat brings me sparrows half her size, grounded feathers by the dresser. every day the prizes grow.

i love what i think is the unbridled romanticism of this stanza and its follow-up:

"I could not stop the birds
from falling onto my lap.

He does not love me."

"to be hit with a ton of something is better than to have lived and then died really fast with nothing happening, not even getting hit with anything."

sb said...

I know I'm supposed to be 'literary' here -- but I can't.

I'm just knocked down.

Rae Pater said...

This is a wonderful poem Didi.
The ending is perfect!

Michael Parker said...

Duh! If you would stop bobbing your head to the rythmn of that nasty hip-hop music, you wouldn't hit flying birds!

I greatly enjoyed your poem, as I did reading Pork's (Michael's) analysis.

Kudos, Didi.

didi said...

Actually I was listening to Led Zep when the bird died in my car.

d.

didi said...

Maybe it was more like head banging....hahahahahaha.

d.

Michael Parker said...

Oh, that's great! I'd love to see you head-banging to the Zep!

jenni said...

i think you told me about this--the bird flying in your car--it happened several months ago, right? or is this dejavu?

anyways, i thought it was a sad poem, this speaker connects the dying bird to someone she loves who does not love her. ouch. been there.

didi said...

yeah - I am pretty transparent. 90% of the stuff I write revolves around my life.

21k said...

I like the strangeness of this, the jumps and starts, and especially the stanzas that pork pointed out.

thanks

deirdre

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Didi said:
I am not offended, go ahead and post your comments on the blog. The blog is also like a workshop.
d.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Lorna
Didi,

I hope you don't get offended, but I really like this poem (birds!),
and so I get inspired; I also get inspired to tweak, reframe your
original. Editing that's more a matter of rearranging, re-presenting,
what's here: a fine poem.

Beginnings & endings are crucial. And, in poetry, less is more. (Maybe
that's why it appeals to my poverty sense.) Sometimes there's a time
not to name, to just let the connotations play & imply in the layering.

I have taken the liberty of adding one word: fledgling, just to vary
the language & avoid repetition of words that can't bear the weight of
the repetition. The rest is culling, like in a healthy garden. Your
imagery might bloom even more abundantly for the trim here & there.

I know this isn't a workshop & the poems are for submission, but I
couldn't resist and thought you might like to take a look at this
suggested revision, in private, as I so admire the poem; this is not to
imply, in any way, that the poem is somehow lacking as is. Hey, as
poet, we're the the Queens of this Sheba, que no?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Dead On My Lap



I could not stop the birds
from falling onto my lap.

just like the baby bird
that fell into the mouth of my dog
after mama threw her fledgling
off the nest forcing it to fly.

He does not love me.

It started with the bird that flew
into my window as I sped down
the highway and died in my backseat.

Perfectly twisted
after hitting my chest.

My head bopping to a song
like the dog on the dashboard.

You know those--
the ones that lift
you off
the ground,

one by one .
The birds started to fall.

Did you know that a ton of feathers
weighs the same as a ton of bricks
on my lap?

I am sorry
For even in death,
It is still better to have loved than….

birds.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you want to, you can post this revision and my comments. Or not. I'm
new to this so may be way off etiquette. What always helped me the best
was when my teacher would sit down with me & a pencil and just collapse & condense
my sentences & tune my guitar (but leave me the guitar) in a way that
would leave me saying: hey! how did you do that? because suddenly my
own words started sounding pretty good to me with all those pencil
squiggles & erasures, just fewer of them, and without being too stilted
or weird; although, I'm sure they are. Anyway, I think it taught me how
to do that: symbolic development. And when I read a really good poem I
like, that I wish I'd written, I start seeing things, and I get to
straightening pictures hanging on other people's walls. Forgive me. I
mean well.

I'm delighted you invited me to the Café. I've been following your work
for some time now.

"Sincerely,"

Lorna Dee