Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blackie's Blues

By Blackie Schwartzkopf

On The Department of Ornithology

Dear Friends,

Most people are aware of the musicality of birds. Although our birds certainly have great musical minds, their talents transcend mere singing. In fact, our Department of Ornithology has few musical rivals.

When not composing or performing, the birds live in a trailer, which appears to be a cage.

Their trainer is a poet known to me only as Nick, or Nikipolidis

He refuses to count the birds, or at least refuses to admit to counting them

He probably took up bird training because there is very little money in poetry.

Only the parrot can speak English. Since she is very old, she often doesn't bother.

English words, however are often heard in the birds' performances.

According to Nikipolidis, wings are used to scoop the music up with the air and beaks to filter the songs out. The birds, he claims, use their eyes to pierce and snare the churning events below and hold them with a few qualifying glances. These they pull back and let form into music.

The performance begins as the trailer is pulled by acrobats to the center of the ring. The birds fly out of the top of the roofless trailer.

They arrange themselves with dignity and precision, perching on the furniture and scenic backdrop which remains on stage from the performance of Century.

Nikipolidis conducts, but does not keep time.

I doubt if I will ever tire of their songs.

From the road,


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