Sparrows and Flinches

Matthew sat in a padded leather office chair, swirling ice cubes in a glass of his father’s bourbon.

The finches and sparrows build nests in my chimney / what remains of the small flightless birds that you failed to protect

The room was dark, save the light from a giant flat-panel monitor, on which was displayed Matthew’s father’s Sent Email archive, through which Matthew was sifting. A new folder called “Mistress Missives” was slowly growing on his father’s desktop.

but their yolk isn't easy in fact it’s a drag / as they’re blowing through cornfields and mountains of rags

“Leave me here while the family’s in Bermuda?”

all over the suburbs / across the great lawns / crop-dusting gardens all over this town

“What kind of douche-bag calls himself the ‘CEO Father’, anyway?” Accountability? Anyone can fail a semester at school. What kind of accountability has he maintained?

but nobody cares when it gets in their hair / it gets in their lungs as it floats through the air / it gets in the food that they buy and prepare / but nobody cares when it gets in their hair

Taking a break from his work, Matthew clicked play on the Blogotheque Take-Away show of Andrew Bird performing Spare-Ohs in northern Paris.

[The reader is asked to pause here, watch the video, then continue.]

across the great chasms and schisms / and the sudden aneurisms / where the black ink will drip across the crespice of your / eyes and your teeth are worth more than you can spare — oh don't tell me that it just isn’t fair / don’t speak about the cycles of life / ’cause your thoughts are so soft / I could cut ’em with a spork or a bride’s knife

Maybe it was the bourbon, or the music, or being alone over the holidays, but he started to tear up.

and the wine made our mouths too loose / such a reckless choice of words / when you tell me that I'm too obstruce / I just thought it was a kind of bird / I just stood there not saying a word...

Just as the video was ending, the phone rang. He lifted it and heard a grave voice speaking from a great distance.

... not saying a word ...


... not saying a word ...

“Matthew Barnaby?”

... not saying a word ...

This entry is part of my journal, published January 7, 2008, in New York.