Jonathan GreenhauseJune 28, 2019

The window, single-paned to preserve not heat but historical significance, presses down upon the simple plank preventing it from shutting;
& in that humble rectangular board,
there’s a hole through which reasoning escapes, a metallic
accordion-like tube stretching from the dryer’s back end to the hole where the starling enters, where it places twig after twig
to construct a metaphor for impracticality

& absurdity, a snapshot of modern life, of our climatic uncertainty,
like building a home on the rim of a smoldering caldera,
its flimsy walls trembling. In 1890, 60 starlings were released in Central Park by the American Acclimatization Society
because Shakespeare mentioned them in Henry IV, Part I, wrote “Nay,
I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak
nothing but Mortimer, and give it to him to keep his anger still in motion.”

By the end of the play, the battle rages on, the Hundred Years’ War
still unresolved; now we’ve got over 200 million starlings in North America, so my wife & I let it stay. We hang wet clothes
upon the back of chairs, upon our shower rod, learn to harness solar energy. We do without these modern conveniences,
teach our 2 sons to appreciate the subtle rumblings
of an egg set to crack, a fledgling poised to press its luck upon the ledge.

More: Poetry
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