Juliana Spahr – November 30, 2002Juliana Spahr
November 30, 2002
Beloveds we wake up in the morning to darkness and watch it turn into lightness with hope.
Each morning we wait in our bed listening for the parrots and their chattering.
Beloveds, the trees branch over our roof, over our bed, and so realize that when I speak about the parrots I speak about love and their green colors, love and their squawks, love and the
discord they bring to the calmness of morning which is the discord of waking.
When I speak of the parrots I speak of all that we wake to this morning, the Dow slipping yet still
ending in a positive mood yesterday, Mission Control, the stalled railcar in space, George
Harrison’s extra large will, Hare Krishnas, the city of Man, the city of Danane and the
Movement for Justice and Peace and the Ivorian Popular Movement for the Great West,
homelessness and failed coups, few leads in the bombing in Kenya.
Today I still speak of the 14 that are dead in Kenya from earlier in the week, some by their own
choice some by the choices of others as I speak of the parrots.
And as I speak of the parrots I speak of the day’s weather here the slight breeze and the blanket I
pull over myself this morning in the sub tropics and then I speak also of East Africa,
those detained for questioning, porous borders, the easy availability of fraudulent
I speak of long coastlines and Alexandre Dumas’ body covered in blue cloth with the words “all
for one, one for all.”
I speak of grandsons of black Haitian slaves and what it means to be French.
I speak of global jihad, radical clerks, giant planets, Jupiter, star’s gas and dust, gravitational
accretion fluid dynamics, protoplanetary evolution, the unstoppable global spread of
When I speak of the parrots I speak of the pair of pet conures released sometime in 1986 or 1987
that now number at least thirty.
I speak of how they begin their day at sunrise and fly at tree top height southward to rest in the
trees near our bed, beloveds, where they rest for about an hour to feed, preen, and
socialize before moving on to search for fruits and seeds of wild plum, Christmas berry,
papaya, strawberry guava, and other shrubs and trees that were like them, like us, brought
here from somewhere else.
I speak of our morning to come, mundane with the news of it all, with its hour of feeding,
preening, and restrainted socializing before turning to our separate computers and the
wideness of their connections and the probable hourly changes of temperature between
79 and 80 degrees that will happen all day long with winds that begin the day at 12 mph
and end it at 8 mph.
When I speak of the green of the parrots I speak of you and me, beloveds and our roosts at the
bottom of the crater once called Leahi now called Diamond Head and I speak of those
who encourage us to think of them as roosting with us, Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri,
Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, Jay-Z, Cam’ron, and Justin Timberlake, Nick Carter, Rod
Stewart, and Shania Twain.
And I speak of the flapping of parrots’ wings as they come over the tree that reaches over the bed
and the helpless flapping of our wings in our mind, our wings flapping as we are on our
backs in our bed at night unable to turn over or away from this the three legged stool of
political piece, military piece, and development piece that has entered into our beds at
nights holding us down sleepless as the parrot has entered into this habitat far away from
its origin because someone set them free, someone set them free and they fly from one
place to another, loudly to remind us of our morning and we welcome this even, stuck on
our backs in bed, wings flapping, welcome any diversion from the pieces of the three-
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