PERSONAL AD #2 (AULOPHOBIA)
I’ve been told I eat like a bird
whenever I eat a flakey pastry;
if you watch you’ll see
each digit flicker
as if I’m playing a difficult movement
on a flute, one that mimics
the mockingbird. I don’t know
how to play the flute but once I mocked
the only boy who did
in our entire graduating class.
He had droopy eyes
and a voice like the fluff of a teddy bear.
We teased him flat.
Even the way he walked
flaunted notes of fancy music. Still,
we heckled until we were tone deaf.
That’s what you did then
when confronted with a melody
you couldn’t clap to
but made you cry regardless.
PERSONAL AD #3 (GROUNDED DAYDREAMER SEEKS BIRD OF A FEATHER)
I don’t believe in poltergeists
but I don’t believe them
more in daylight.
At night I haunt the pantry
for candy that challenges my teeth.
I like strong smells from a distance and strong tastes
not at all. My father once said
if you’re looking for a friend
chances are they’re not a very good friend
or else they’d have told you where they went.
That is to say I have no good friends.
Often I feel I’m coming to an age
where wisdom should know my name.
Then I think of the dim-witted things I’ve done
and no longer wonder about being strangers.
I have been called good-looking a dozen times
and ugly only once, but I am the type of person
who believes a compliment
is like a bullet dodged, an insult
like a bull’s eye.
I’m stubborn and childish.
I could watch a penguin
waddle for weeks.
I giggle at the goofy face of an ostrich
every time. If you write me a letter
describe your favorite bird.
My favorites are the flightless ones,
the ones grounded like planes
in questionable condition.
I tend to like things that have
at least that
in common with me.
RE: PERSONAL AD #3 (LANGUAGE LIKE A LIE or NEVER TRUST A SIMILE)
I don’t believe a lot of things people say.
Half the time when they talk
I feel like I bent over
to sniff a colorful flower
and got a face full of water in return.
I like the smell of gasoline and coffee,
things that get me
from one place to another.
I have a nose for bullshit
even when it’s hiding
knee deep in sheepshit.
Pardon my finch…I mean French.
But that does bring me
to my favorite bird. I use to love
this finch by my window when I was
just a tyke. I grew up in a town
that said things like tyke instead of boy
and papa instead of father. Want to hear
what my papa use to say? He use to say
finches were so jumpy
they use to be called “flinches”
but the ‘l’ shook right off them. He loved
language the way other men
loved hunting or the NFL.
I think that’s mainly why
I don’t believe a lot of what people tell me; some of us know
exactly how quickly a word
can shake a single feather off
and become another bird entirely.