Monday, November 2, 2009

southern scenery



Innumerable vultures swooping over Space Mountain, does anyone know why? Water birds everywhere, I found an egg in some shrubbery by the pool. Spanish moss looks like rosemary close up, many large saddlebag-laden dragonflies, wild turkeys, grackles, crows, an egret cautious in the Walgreen parking lot, ibises eating popcorn off the pavement with surgically tapered orange beaks, swine flu, fairy dust, fog on the lens, gated subdivisions, a small gymnast with the face of a falcon, her small hands chalky from the uneven bars. Southern pines, olive trees, the basket-weave of palm trunks, cypress knees like stalagmites along the lakefront, fully deployed fiberglass triangular facades, acute and sometimes seductive artifice, garnets in the kitchen counter, fossils of large coiled shells and belemnite rostrums in the airport floor tiles. Departure delayed.

5 comments:

Matthew said...

Nice synopsis.

The vultures are moving to Central and South America for the winter. Either that, or the astronauts in Space Mt. are getting a little whiffy....

amarilla said...

Thanks. I forgot to mention the security codes, the key cards and the cheerful chirping locks.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

Would Space Mountain provide useful updrafts?

Lovely depiction. It feels like the result of notes captured on the slight aside. While other tropes are more understandable, like "the basket-weave of palm trunks" & "cypress knees like stalagmites along the lakefront", I find the cryptic "fully deployed fiberglass triangular facades" most impressive because they neatly describe something I don't recognize.

I would undeploy "acute and sometimes seductive artifice", however. It's all tell and no show in an otherwise almost completely visual pageant (only swine flu and departure delayed are not directly sensorial). What makes "fully deployed...facades"'s unidentifable appearance so satisfying is their visual if virtual reality; but an "acute and sometimes seductive artifice" could as well mean a hooker's hot panted vulva as a debit card slot disguised as a walrus' dental flossing or (what I suppose inspired the trope) an entryway to a carnival ride.

Now that you made me look up both belemnite and rostrum, I note that those fossils would not be of the beak but rather the body proper. However, Merriams says it can be "a bodily part or process suggesting a bird's bill: as a : the reflected anterior portion of the corpus callosum below the genu b : the interior median spine of the body of the basisphenoid bone articulating with the vomer", which covers your usage, but I already have forgotten more things that I have to forget today than I can possibly remember, so I will not look up genu or basisphenoid or vomer lest the act of learning triggers me to remember all the things I've already managed to forget without remembering to do so...

autiotou: antler headdress worn by shamans of the early aborigiens of the IndoChina peninsula.

amarilla said...

Thanks for the feedback, I think you're right about the artifice, that's for somewhere else, somewhere I probably won't head anytime soon, but anyway, the rostrums can be seen here if you care to unknow. Found some in Jersey. I believe they served a similar function to ballast but am mostly mistaken.

http://brooklynometry.blogspot.com/2009/08/belemnite-battlefield.html

Kenmeer livermaile said...

I am fascinated by ow one person's longwinded creation of a concept can then be summarized in a few words. For instance: "care to unknow", which winds the strings of paradox into a simple line.

routave: that one word too many that collapses what otherwise would have been a perfect story, argument, sales pitch, marriage proposal, curse, benediction, act of demiurgic creation...