the genesis of aviary creation, case study: 08-02-84


Genesis: A bird: My Bird. Turdus Migratorius: The American Robin, a migratory winged rodent, probably dancing in your streets right now. Sweet disposition, a love of outdoor consumption marks this species, be it sex wine or literature this creature thinks it better out of doors.

Appearance: This Robin is red about the chest cavity, red because it is swelled with information, not because of predetermined pigmentation or genetic determination. Beak of stone that radiates song. Eyes beady and sex deprived. toothpick legs ideal for hoping or sitting expectantly outside a bar. Body type ideal for long periods of sitting motionless.

Voice: Robin sings, a songbird. Sings early, before all other songbirds, initiates the tape reel we have all grown used to hearing as we lift our ragged bodies from the bed. These songs are thoughts cloaked in warbles. Wittgenstein’s Robin sang in eight thousand decibel bursts, deafening half of Vienna for a span of mont hs in the early fifties.

The nest: builds its nest of paper and saliva. the paper used must contain words.Paper is wrapped in a Richard Serra pattern around the base of a branch or wall. Robin thrive inside resulting depression, filling nest with scattered ephemra until developing lung problems later in life span.

Offspring: The robin feeds its babies words, its babies grow fat, engorged with cultural trivia and numerical statistics. The babies develop in the nest until they can no longer absorb their parent’s second hand information. At this stage they are thrown into America’s cities by a strong wind current, a wind unrecognized by any other species.

Function: The thought carrier: as a messenger of humankind’s deepest most primordial ruminations this bird must remain safe, it must be sheltered and well fed and shown love. It is constantly evading felines and hawks, information thieves of the animal world. It watches other bird species and cloud patterns for indications that danger is in immediate area.

Literary celebrity status:

Stephen Dixon is known to have collected American Robins in his garage. He fed them the keys of his typewriter. He did this for weeks before writing Phone Rings. He never cleaned his garage. Denied ever doing this. Said he liked Orioles better anyway, and spit.

William S. Burroughs boiled the corpses of these birds on a stove, shooting the resulting liquid into his bruised veins before writing. He was religious about this. Some doctors think this is how he lived to be 82.

Brandon Barrett is 24 and lives in Dayton, Ohio. He will soon be teaching High School English. His work has appeared/is forthcoming in robotmelon, The blue and the white and No Posit.