Thursday, December 1, 2011

6:8 at Plato's (re)Public Park


my cat purrs like parked bulldozers
hiding behind badges

at the sparrow perching on the window sil,
feet up, a broken neck

did it not see the glass waiting for it
to rise just high enough?


use your fingers, flap its wings
passerine pantomime looking for seed

it no longer flies

it will not sing


Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.


Over at dVerse Poets, Gay has us writing in allegory and metaphor. Should be fun, so join in.

89 comments:

izzy said...

Oh my, poor sparrow- and that last line...you've got me thinking now-
Hmmm- (thanks)

RD said...

HA...a great two fer...a crash landing here?

Peace

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I used to have birds slam into my office window occasionally, poor things.

tinkwelborn said...

....only the feline seems pleased.
a nice vignette to see, but not to be - at least for the sparrow, anyway....but what doe it know? (now)

like the way you flip to the tactile...
use your fingers....
from the narrative POV of a first-person, to the speaking to a second-person POV

Anyes said...

The song of the sparrow gave way to the purring of your cat...life goes on...:-)

zongrik said...

why do you think there is an expression "bird brain"? they do stupid things sometimes.

turtlememoir said...

this makes me sad - sad enough for the sparrow it purports to talk about, but sadder (and madder too) for the reality hiding within the metaphor...

Daniel said...

O.K., how does the picture fit in with the scene?

Brian Miller said...

it is all symbolism...

the sparrow...if you google is the symbol for the love of god

the 'parked' bulldozers hiding behind badges were use to push the OWS crowd out of the 'park' at midnite...

the glass....the glass ceiling

6:8...is a reference from the book of Micah

Platos Republic...with the play on the public park...

and the bird did die outside today...but i do think by tonight my cat is full....i will now refer to it as just another 'fat cat'...hehe

ok, i think i got it...i was a little tricky tonight in all of this...an attempt to impress gay...because i can play because it is not form...lol

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Whew, Brian, thanks for the explanation. I got the bulldozers and the "glass ceiling" but that was about it. Nice work, though - you got a lot of stuff into that little poem.

KB said...

Is it 55 day already? Yikes! Poor birdie.

ayala said...

Thanks for the explanation. :) nice!

Monkey Man said...

You mean it's not just about a bird???

Fred said...

Nice job Brian. You know my affinity toward symbolism and metaphor, this was right up my alley. I see the way you worked this, but it's really, really good, in the way it can be open to alternative interpretation as well. Awesome read. Thanks

Beth Winter said...

Love the cat purring like a bulldozer. Perhaps she is thinking of recycling something that isn't going to be used anymore? An eco-cat :D that sees the brighter side of things. I see that others focused on the sparrow. Maybe I should read it again.

Excellent work as always, Brian.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow not even I would have read that much into it
Thanks for the explaining bit
At least the kitty is nice and plump
As the poor bird took a bump
Cats always win
Even with bulldozers pushing one into the garbage bin

sharplittlepencil said...

Brian, I see a lot of depth in this, a lot of political commentary. It's either referring to the "empire" situation in England or the "evil empire" nastiness here at the Occupy camps. The bird seems more metaphorical, as the Fat Cats are waiting for us "radicals" to fly to high, smack us down, and call us all Icarus (as if we are to blame). Don't know if I'm overreaching, but the fire in my activist belly was surely stirred by this one, so thanks! Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/repairers-of-the-breach/

Mama Zen said...

Smooth as silk. Like this one a lot, Brian.

Magpie said...

Thank you, Brian. Sometimes I need a little guidance. :)

Mary said...

Oh, this is sad, Brian. I hate to think about / see birds smash into windows.

Brian Miller said...

actually amy, you nailed it...

Beachanny said...

You never have to try to impress me, Brian; in fact you never fail to impress me. You always challenge me, make me think really hard, see things new, color outside the lines. Oh yes, metaphors seem like they're magnetized for you - careening in out of the things around you, flying in and making song, story, philosophy and sticking to your pen.

I should have been by earlier. I had the advantage of your notes. Would I have sorted them all out? I don't know..I was there for Plato, and I knew from the Bulldozers we were talking about Occupy Wall Street -- Main Street; but the glass ceiling & the biblical reference would have zoomed by me. I thought 6:8 was a mathematical ratio which I was pondering as I read your notes. Fat cats..I definitely would have had to think awhile to see that. You shouldn't have to explain anything this good; but I'm glad you did! Consider me blown away!

G-Man said...

Brian...
Thanks for the explanation.
You really need to stop dropping acid
But once the fog settles, it was really a Top Notch 55 Son...
Thanks for playing, thanks for your support, and stay away from Hot Springs, they are 12 degrees colder than you Right now!
Have a Kick Ass Week-End

Laurie Kolp said...

Brian~

"my cat purrs like parked bulldozers hiding behind badges"-

priceless!

hedgewitch said...

You don't need anyone to teach you the guts of poetry, my friend, it's coming straight out of yours here--fine and deep use of symbols make this a poem on several co-existing levels--I was flashing a bit on my own songbird poem from poetics, with passerine, but also on the political. As a godless heathen, I had no clue on the 6:8--thought maybe it was a train time or something, but everything else, the bulldozers, etc, all worked wonderfully. Really an excellent piece--and again--in only 55 words. Yeesh. You and Shay--always raising that damn bar.

manicddaily said...

I kind of caught the OWS bit, but the Micah? I don't know. On a purely non-allegorical level, it works just fine!

K.

Cloudia said...

but yet, friendships can still begin. . .




Aloha from Waikiki

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TALON said...

All so stark and such strong imagery. Great use of allegory and metaphor, Brian - and all in 55 words! Duly impressed :)

Tara Miller said...

You make this seem so easy! thanks for the explanation of all the symbolism - I wouldn't have caught all that!

You do poetry so well....

Sheila Moore said...

great job - all that symbolism had my head in a spin (I blame the head doc ;)

JANU said...

A sad tale....well expressed.

Zuzana said...

Very symbolic dear Brian, but still I like the cat and bulldozers, as they truly sound like that when purring.;)
Have a great weekend dear friend,
xoxo

anthonynorth said...

A Jungian archetypal delight.

Lorraine said...

A sad fact of life...birds die, sometimes the killer a cat, sometimes a window, sometimes nothing at all....

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww I had a little budgie that did that years ago, was so excited to be flying, he didn't realise how big the room was and going so fast he flew into the wall and broke his neck. What a sad reminder.

Valerie said...

We have birds crash into our windows but so far (fingers crossed) not one has been killed. I have yet to hear the noise of a parked bulldozer...grins.

Dave King said...

This is just so damn good in so many ways I don't know what to say about it - other than that! - Oh, and congratulations.

SueAnn said...

Awww! That is so sad!!
Hugs
SueAnn

MorningAJ said...

That's so sad!
I've got butterfly transfers on my windows to stop that happening.
My cats are dangerous enough for the birds without the glass helping.

Gorgeous poetry - as ever.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I have to admit, initially, I was literal when I read this piece and then read your comment & read it again.

I liked it when I first read it, but REALLY enjoyed it after when I had the correct symbolism.

Nicely done.

5thsister said...

a well layered and satisfying piece! may I have another slice, please?

the walking man said...

Shit happens as they say, it just wasn't the sparrows turn for a good day. Eh?

blueviolet said...

I hate when that happens. I feel so badly for them.

happygirl said...

so, the 99% are dead sparrows? I never thought of myself as a cat person. :)

Brian Miller said...

no, not really...i just think the sparrows neck got broken somewhere along the way in our attempts at personal glory and attaining wealth...

Pearl said...

Oh, very nice.

Downtown Mpls had problems with the birds flying into the skyways for a while until they put cut-outs of swooping hawks in the windows. :-)

Pearl

wolfsrosebud said...

people are people and critters are critters... why would be think any different

Daydreamertoo said...

I agree with you, greed for more, more, more, is driving everything now. We overlook 20 million starving in Africa with the mindset, Oh well, it's not me and mine but we forget, as the human race, we're all in this together. United we stand, divided we fall. (Corny words from an old song, I know but, still rings true) :)

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Sad but beautifully written...

JJRod'z

Yvonne Osborne said...

I hate it when birds crash into the window. It's such a cringe moment. They're just trying to fly into the wild blue yonder they see in the glass. At least they die doing what they do best.

Thanks for sharing what you do as good as anyone.

Claudia said...

ha - should've read the comments before i broke my head, trying to decode your metaphors..the only thing i was sure was that it's not about cats and birds...ha..looked up the micah quote..
..To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly.. yep - think that's the way..

EMK said...

Awesome piece! ... In our world, often is the case that one soul's misery turns out to be another's blessing. Thanks for sharing!

Alice Audrey said...

I'm not sure that can still be called perching.

Kitty said...

Good Morning,

Meow!!!!!

i wish i am smart enough to understand this one,
too deep to get a hitch of it for the first read,
but, do feel impressed by your playfulness and risk taking courage.

Quite bloody imagery, lesson learned, thanks to you.

Have A Better Day Today,

will be back for another sip of coffee when time is right.

peace.
be easy,
Smiles!

journeytoepiphany said...

Love this. My cat and dog have been in a territory war all day. It's been kind of fun to watch.

Zeba said...

It no longer flies. It won't sing. Aaah.

Sandi McBride said...

So the title took me back to my life in England and then you went and killed a bird...sighhh...or did the cat do it?
Just wondering...Sandi

adeeyoyo said...

I hate it when this happens. It is usually doves here.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

I agree one cannot convey much in 55 words but I think you have conveyed enough and more to imagine and ponder. A greedy cat waiting to pounce on the badly hurt bird. A grim situation indeed. One in misery and the other waiting with great expectation at a tasty meal.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Kerry O'Connor said...

For a poet who seems to prefer exploring a theme over many lines, you sure can pack a punch into 55 words! This is amazing - the terse lines really focuses the attention of the images - very visual piece.

Caty said...

the symbolism is awesome...I'm very impressed...I did Google a few things to catch the full effect of it all, and I learned a new word "passerine" :)

Sue said...

Well, I had the bulldozer and the glass ceiling right...

Thanks for explaining the rest, though it was packed with meaning even with what I had.

You are a talent, my friend.

=)

hope said...

Interesting tale + making us think= impressing more than Gal...

:)

Mijayami said...

Even though I figured it was symbolic, I wouldn't have been able to figure it out without your explanation. Thank you!

And... I especially liked the first line :)

Nara Malone said...

Loved the symbolism. Feel like I've been banging my head on glass ceilings a lifetime. Broke a couple. But the fat cats purr on and gamble away my wins.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing a "very" short yet, "very" powerful story [an image] with the use Of just 55 words.
deedee :-D

Grandmother said...

Oh my, sparrows with broken necks, bulldozers plowing down our children with no justice or mercy, women cut off at the knees, fat cats scavenging on us all with no thought of walking humbly- how do you do all that in 55 words? Your talent is enormous.
And thanks for your generosity in visiting new people to encourage us.

Shawna said...

This is a great line, B: "passerine pantomime looking for seed"

liv2write2day said...

Oh, sad. I wrote a poem along similar lines a while back. :0(

Lolamouse said...

Brian,
Must say that I missed some of your metaphors but was able to grasp others. I loved the alliteration in passerine pantomime! Very cool.

Luke Prater said...

you're getting good at this 55 word thing, eh? Cat like parked bulldozers.. what a simile...

Morning said...

The most creative 55.
beautiful metaphor.

Cinner said...

You know I agree Brian you sure can pack a punch in 55. have a great weekend.

yellowhousecafe said...

fab 55, B...as I was reading, I thought, oh, he is doubling up with symbolism and metaphor (lol) for dVerse. Glad for your insight for a few points (bible verse) but otherwise, I tracked for you are spot on in your talents, cheers ~

marousia said...

Great! it reminded me of Leonard Cohen's Bird on a Wire

Joanna Jenkins said...

I yiyi, I hate when that happens. We have a big picture window and I that happens on a fairly regular basis around here.

Teresa said...

So sad, yet it reminded me instantly of a cat or two I know. They'd be the one to put the window down so the bird flew into it.

myheartslovesongs said...

{{{sob}}}

Susie Clevenger said...

ah poor sparrow...I have had many birds hit my back windows..well that was before outside cats showed up :)

Sam!! said...

Sad...poor bird..

Blessings!

Kushuka said...

It's very beautiful blog, I'm happy to visit your blog,
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regards..

sharmishtha said...

this was sad. well written one brian.

kaykuala said...

A broken neck sure enough. It couldn't survive with just a headache. I witnessed it once. It came crashing with a dull thud. Great verse!

Hank

tony said...

A Flight Broken.....

Steve E said...

WOW! Explanation was timely for my late read. Each day I learn a new word from your post...passerine.

If it wasn't written on a bottle, a restroom cubicle, or was fewer than 4 letters, I probably did not know the word.

I don't know who could top your 55-word dissertations, unless they wrote the word "Love" 55 times.

PEACE, friend!

Pauline said...

marvelous metaphor, you!

missing moments said...

So elegantly written of a small passing ....

zumpoems.com said...

Nice use of symbols and metaphors. The strong feed on the weak -- that is the nature of survival and ultimately progress -- fact of life -- yet we have the ability via civilization and law to protect the weak.

Very well done short poem!

Syd said...

Those parked bulldozers are active this week. Not snoozing but cutting down trees for apartment buildings along one of the main thoroughfares going to town. I hate to see more grand trees cut down. We are killing ourselves when we kill the trees.