Birds listen to me play
Creative Strategy #14: Be open to unexpected allies.
Can we talk?
Birds sometimes act weird around me. Very weird.
Like filling a tree outside my window on a freezing twilight.
I was tuning my wife’s banjo (always a paradigm shift)
and I see them gathering.
You must have seen that in The Birds, right?
I think they do that before they make a dash south.
But I switch to guitar and start doing my churchy thing
like a mediation of tongues over chords,
nonsense words spill out of me
looking to find their place in the drone
You know how the intro of Bach’s Fugue in G minor
begins with a few loud clarion clearings of throat
Then he goes a little showoffy and monkey rides the keys.
Johan. Dude. That is some crazy shit.
But it gets yer attention, right?
So I’m jamming on my classical guitar—it’s got character.
I love the way it drones and perks and makes rude noises.
My old guild had a deeper more brilliant voice and a resonance,
but this guitar is easy on my fingers and shoulders and me ears.
I can plug in and rock and roll on it,
exactly as the Beatle’s did when they were charging forward
into the dark to discover that next line, that next song.
They did it again today. Robins fill the tree.
I always greet them. Any bird.
I always say the same thing,
I don’t know why. Reminds me of David Letterman.
“Nice to see ya,” I repeat. “Nice to see ya.”
They seem to like to be sung to.
And they all look at me—They hear me
—I wonder how goofy I sound
coming through the window fans.
I think maybe they see a human sitting in a warm golden room.
Smoking a jay.
Perhaps just a whiff is all they need to brace them for the cold winter.
He picks up a guitar he has played for 60 years.
What do they hear? Who knows? But they are singers, too.
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