A Poem by Amy Holman

Bloved Bleaders,

So it’s like actually 2009. And it’s dark already here in the afternoon.  So let’s all curl up around the humming screens and read a poem together.

This is by Amy Holman.

1,500 Parakeets Rescued from 2-room Apartment

In flight, the veterinarians said, nets
bulging with crossly chirping green and blue.
To see a parakeet in a dream bets
you lack initiative and spontaneity,
are immature and dependent, need a new
idea. That bored old retiree
bought and bred the birds until
the rooms were full; popcorn in a foil tent.
So close in flight their feathers frill
and down the floor — what pastel loft
for pillows sadly spent
with acrid poo. Neighbors coughed
and called, but man was dependent
on the chirping flock of green and blue
crisscrossing his plaster firmament.
Still, breeding lovebirds breaks convention
when pals are playing golf. A foiled intent
for extra cash beyond his pension
stutters in the fluttering hearts of greeting.
It’s immature to capture birds
in buildings, not to sweep, or hear their pleading,
yet, the vets said the parakeets were freely flying.
Seven hours of casting nets and foul words,
then releasing to shelters in Berlin and outlying.
I write in a 2-room apartment and find
all the perches parakeets take purchase
of from shelves to frames to cluttered mind
and the screeching has no volume control.
It has verses, beats, and searches
for more — a hole, or the sky to extol?
They must have flown in shifts.
Cops arrested the retiree for captured birds.
Think how many parakeets will be yuletide gifts
this year. Call them Budgies like in Down Under,
divided into pairs for special purchase.
Who decides with whom? Yet another blunder.
Wing tangled nets of blue and green
give way to days spent sadly
adjusting. Where’s the man we’ve always seen?

[January 2, 2009]

 

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About jennifermichaelhecht

I'm a poet with a PhD in the History of Science from Columbia University and I've written five books, two poetry, two popular philosophy, one intellectual history. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two little kids. I teach seminars in poetry in the MFA programs at The New School and at Columbia.
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