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This dream of a bird strange, tangled up. A hybrid: a bunting
and an owl with those sad wet eyes, clacking bill, moony
face, feathered with all the shades of indigo, lichen, gray, lazuli
rainbow of oil as if dipped in, iridescent, painted like susans
and predatory, of song and coyness, perch, a flit, hover, bark a coo
a cry, warble, an undulating sigh. This bird tangled, netted,
is trapped against the screen clinging, panting, can fly
but without joy, can see, but through a cloud, a fog
of its own breathing. Carnivore, you want to put it in your mouth.
Just a slip of, a pocket of, an envelope of skin, feather, bone.
Hypnotize with smoothing the wild, the fussing and gnashing.
Its feet unperch and it sleeps, unblinking other, uncanny
when the unreal becomes real. Pluck the suffocation out.
Lay the bird down in a scattering of dun-colored leaves
which then become bird, like animation but more a dream
brought to life, the frightening of what is known and long familiar.
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How would I know / when I’m empty and quiet like breath?
Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.