Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pembroke

Pembroke, the predictive parrot
Is sensitive to seismic phenomena.

Even when his own cage rattles, and the ends of his swing jigger wild and spastic,
Pembroke's black beak remains constant in its expression of wry amusement.

Pembroke does not want a cracker.
He wants your finger, or, hopefully, two.

Pembroke the pedantic parrot
Can recite "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" in Portuguese, while swaying his body from side to side like a batshit lunatic.

The only time that Pembroke goes quiet,
Is if your house catches fire in the night;

He sees Mexican dancers in the bright orange flames,
And balls of smoke become marshmallow skulls floating in the air as if they were pinatas.

Pembroke the psittacosis-ridden parrot
Wants to mate with you and leave you great with baby birds.

He wants you to live with him in his shit-spackled world,
And to understand that, because he needs you, you must love him and never leave,

Even as he yanks out your hair to make a voodoo doll he'll call Mrs. Pembroke--
A monster he can drag around in the shredded newspaper at the bottom of the cage, captive and faded as yesterday's headline.
_____

"Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" is a poem by Robert Browning, and can be found HERE.

15 comments:

cloudia charters said...

You are my favorite poet!


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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cloudia charters said...

send this to 3 magazines!

hedgewitch said...

The thing about keeping birds is--they want revenge for the cage. It's simple. Don't trust them. Don't forget to cover them at night, either.

Thanks for the Browning link--it's been many years since I read that one, and it made me laugh.Not as much as the psittacosis line, but a small, scrofulous spurt of literary snark-induced giggle did escape my lips. This is a finely etched piece of satire, Shay--and works on every level.

Far Beyond The Ridge said...

i love him swaying like a batshit lunatic. he'd be a lot of fun-at someone elses house.
nifty scritchin here, fb
rick

Helen said...

It's getting late here in Bend, sun is all gone ... I'm going to bed with a smile on my face after this one! Maybe a few out loud giggles.

flipside records said...

Geez, you make (parrot) marriage sound so blissful ... what a terrifying ending:

"And to understand that, because he needs you, you must love him and never leave,
Even as he yanks out your hair to make a voodoo doll he'll call Mrs. Pembroke--
A monster he can drag around in the shredded newspaper at the bottom of the cage, captive and faded as yesterday's headline."

So his wife isn't even a person anymore; he has just ripped out the bits he wants to make a doll and discarded the rest. Am I reading this right?

"He wants your finger" ... Your ring finger, I suppose.

"The only time that Pembroke goes quiet,
Is if your house catches fire in the night" ... Might this be a sexual reference?

psittacosis = bird pneumonia, so if he cannot breathe he might suck away all your fresh air ... he also would depend on you for his survival, to nurse him when he is on his sick bed

Or maybe it's just a funny bird story. :)

Lynn said...

This one cracked me up!

Sioux said...

Too many gems to mention specifically, except I will note:

"shit-spackled world"
"batshit lunatic" (that could describe some of my colleagues)
and the last two lines.

What a way to start my day, Shay!

Kerry O'Connor said...

He wants you to live with him in his shit-spackled world,
And to understand that, because he needs you, you must love him and never leave..

Hmmm... There is a lesson in this.

TexWisGirl said...

an entertaining romp thru parrot torture. :)

Daryl said...

psittacosis .. no wonder he's so cranky ;)

Susan said...

This Parrot so clearly knows what fake stuffed animals are for and plays out his fantasy with all of the Dark Gothic Romanticism he can muster! Brutal.
Fantastic!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love it. But why do I relate to the woman being dragged around on the bottom of the cage? hee hee.

Mama Zen said...

Pembroke bit me today! I'm not kidding!

myheartslovesongs.com said...

{{tee hee}}

Penbroke does not want a cracker
'cause he wants to knock you up...

you've got a very deviant mind, Miss Fireblossom!