Konch Magazine - Five Poems by Thylias Moss
(sometimes this room of Wheat Diva Bread House Cycle is [part of] the story of)
dodge and burn
a repertoire jam-packed with illustrations

now you see it

slash and burn
(till no root can fix its claws)

(hammered to the point of reflex)

(bird brain pestled to the sound of straining hammer, anvil, stirrup
parts of snapped wishbones, want to hear tweet, warble, gobble, quack
din of threatened abortion: I’ll kill you)

scorched earth policy

(welcomes a prince of Wallachia
and someone once from Walla Walla
not necessarily the original Batman, much looser connection:
holes in it  à la Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla Walla, bing bang)

the realm of bulletproof paper dolls
dollies from paper saturated with gunfire
during target practice
& the certification of aim
doily-faced paper dolls

wearing velvet-glove chokers
to operas, in her lap under the libretto

the collapse of a roof
House of doily-bodied paper dolls, the human form fashioned
with exaggerated pores, each an insect trap, each bed
of a pitcher plant, breakfast nook, each the location
of chances for depth for which emptiness so frequently
is commandeered
By morning there are thousands
(the world will not run out of bastards)
when the rain stops we go for a walk
(no more Stoli in the house)
come back later
As usual: the big picture
that could be bigger, and once again: only known limits
are known:
walls, cones, hives
—: reasons to admire machinery
little worms (organic engines)
no bigger than/no more than shed eyelashes
(that can squirm)
all body hair is habitat
Ana is her own beautician and animal trainer:
single strand-styled feedlot ‘dos
where in days, for some species in hours
fattened grubs entice small birds
that disappear in her and in my brunette density:
ringlets, curls, warblers:
my hair sings
in the morning, my song
flies away
ramshackle raft abandoned
The opera ends with sound of wings, hands up in the air, hands up, up
and away, white-glove doves scythe through air
      scythe through an audience of bloody wrists

In the distance: a cloud swallows confetti
     —nowhere is a better configuration of gulp—
Survival is mostly transition, THE PROMISE
     OF THE COMMA, the utopia of the run-on
  everlasting topic sentence
Act II: Two Parallel Acts
Ana and I prepare to be objects
of affections able to survive with survivors, the art of
unnoticed within whole shebang
as if (from) eyelashes enlarged
for practicalities and eccentricities of birth
—so narrow is the window of possibility
   and opportunity
that it doesn’t matter
hairline fracture
hair trigger
(The opera ends with the sound of wings, hands up in the air, hands up, up
and away, white-glove doves scythe through air
      scythe through an audience of bloody wrists

We are not immortal                      effects can clog perceptions, 
yet the years can drag                     reasons to wait can be exhausted


The gap becomes impossible, spans two sides of a single coin that seals the moment

(2 bits)
(sideshow admission)
Ana drives / I am driven to adjust the convergence point
The trajectory of freefall draws a temporary bridge
perpendicular to the suspension bridge’s flashy international orange, splash-
spot of convergence where the body vanishes into the Pacific
A spray of liquid confetti crowns the suicide

my song
flies away
as water closes up the messy shop of a water tulip,
converging petals of tear-shaped fishes
—insert the sound as needed
but we are three dimensional paint spread on the globe
having a hard time resisting ambition and other forms of harvest
as we are The art of 4D artists who for all their dimensions & vibrating branes
of inhabited brushstrokes
have not overcome a need to lose
themselves, their 4th  dimension edges
into forfeiture
long associated with salvation
As it roasts, turning like a cylinder in a player piano,
       playing bullet-hole notes, the oil-rubbed lamb seems to spit
(a full-spectrum analysis)
(within the succession of moments that time bleeds)

(ticks and tocks of every color)
(an audience of bloody wrists and chopping blocks)
(we gravitate toward kitchens, orbit in solar stew, at home
with home & foreign fries, friars, fires, fryers, pots of golden pot liquor,
reflections of HIV-emancipated siblings garnishing the surface
like fat, cream, marrow, the milk of softened Arak, flavor profiles, signature
lickings, sucker and mimosa punches, desert salt and grit, storms, toolkits, storks,
stalkers, vultures, black hawk hunting season, guerillas, moles,
plenty of Miris, Kissra, no food that died on its own,
outcomes of  slaughter only, blood so mitigated, it’s all removed, no
diamond-studded arteries, just arteries as clean as reeds, hollow as flutes, blow-
guns, pursuit of rabbits, monkeys, lizards, offenders, sport, livers, hearts, gizzards, tongues,
silencers, rapid-acting baking soda, meth lab acting, rapid-firing mechanisms,
modern refrigeration, sanitation, tanks, emergency rooms, emergency housing, emerging
infectious diseases, feasts, stewed mollies, grilled oscars, pickled gonads, beats, gourds, gorge,
gored, gorged, geoduck, mesquite-laced rocky mountain oysters, ox tails, entrails, mescal-
based relief, enzyme release, pawpaw patch, people at w ar dispatched, nicotine patch, blast
furnaces, plastics, the future is now, on the mark, finger on the button, ready, set with jello
molds, go with aspics, pull-down menus, professionally scripted, the conscripted, the
galvanized, alternative religions, spear chunks of chuck roast, skewered kangaroo, screw it all,
right-wing tightwad, lefty-Loosey Goosey foul play, the rain in Spain, bullet trained sniper,
disposable diaper raft, water wings, the flap over out-of-patent medicine, out-of-pocket
knife, out of body bags, out-of-date medicine acknowledging African debt, African
indebtedness, missions, malaria, mal aria, bad solo performance, better off as a protectorate,
colonized, sodomized, sub-Saharan Africa collocates best with French and English prefixes,
excess, incest, requests, Out of Africa is still the story of everyone, the real reason the globe
sometimes is golden, the real treason, kindred spirits, lifted fingerprints, genetic code,
diminished secrets, Navaho code talkers, wing walkers, spring fling, thousands of new ocean
nano species, Queen Bess Coleman’s tailspin corkscrewing the heart of a nautilus’s golden
ratio, radio silence, coal mines, cold drinks sold here, cold storage, cold sores, scores, soaring
mold spores, antiseptic properties of alcohol, offal defeat, offal to eat, knee deep, bogged
down, neighborhood replete with near death experience, we hate crimes, times table
manners, 340 broadcasts of Toguri’s The Zero Hour, times zero is zero, behavior
The Toguri-Liguori Bridge linking the trouble with angels and the tokio rose,
they stick you, they stiff you, altered thinking, altered states, Arkansas and Missouri’s state
instrument is the fiddle, bluegrass, slide guitar, blue guitar blues, Lucille
almost on fire, Lucille Clifton works it, so does Berniece Clifton on “Designing Women,”
the propaganda of a hit, BB: bed and breakfast, R&R, modification of appetite
but not eradication, mortification, vacation,
on country club prison break, sustainable displacement. famine fatigue, parade of pundits,
incensed waves and masses, seasonal passes of niños, niñas, the Santa Maria, Santa Ana,
Santana, Santa, Salam Pax says
The ex-Saddam sports hall, designed by Le Courvoisier [sic], [is] now sleeping quarters for US troops,
Christmas in Baghdad in July, the house that cognac built, flagship, Courvoisier down the
hatch, confluence, mixtape, lint trap, escape hatch courtesy Le Corbusier, altered, adapted
form, polyommatus icarus, the unassuming butterfly, making its water mark on Midget Toast,
on Devil’s Island, Papillon, the human pampilloma virus, HPV infections, necessary factors

in development of nearly all cervical cancers, pro & concurrent brutal harvest of scent,
smoking gun butts, pork butts, ham, the Rhine has more than a hundred bridges, secret
agents, sauce, burnt ends of days meeting in smoldering wood frame houses, wax is poetic,
fuel, all sheen, Armor-all luster, coating apples, newborns, poetic preservative,
accessible bounty of atmosphere cloaks           ((though it can be purified))
a sari, sari world)
(yes —in a way all mornings are Portuguese, it happens
and no, it happens) (you know when you are there)
The morning walks with us, Ana: footsteps embrace/embraced by tick-tocks
(chronology of suicides) (ticker tape) (totally Geiger): we keep up with light
that keeps up with us:
reciprocal illuminated fondling
not to be missed, warming trend
beams curl       (during a dream of bean curd, soy milk curdled into huddled masses)
around us so we huddle in/are the center of blooms —imagine that!
—is not Ana perfect
as it blooms in palindrome, the nucleus
is the n of any quantity
that will solve the equation—
each brush hair delivers
paint to a different plane, ever thinner slices of tiered shoulders
the meat of existence rationed to last forever: destined
along with this lack or that lack   to endure with us:
the meatiness of being, pith, branes, unfolded markook
endless cross sections
endless transitions
each split into endless opportunities for splitting
the perpetual sandwich
a complete (as of nn/nn/nnnn) nanography of flotsam, elemental pixels,
—mezze— of pointillism at rest, at home with blending
in order to be perceived
verily, verily
unified in the distance, birds, plunges, the point where parallel lines
converge, gobble gobble, the opera, each point convergence saturated, anointed,

masterpieces fly out of the mouth, the job gets done

all the way to Capela, all the way
to Jacaré dos Homens
where they melt into the landscape
(gobbled up)
pinhead panoramas

appear briefly in the morning as dew

clear little dropped faces

drops of juices digesting this
Ana slices                                                                                                each face into
a pear                                                                                                       faces
 a man)
 (each guitar drips
into two
white-faced                                                                                            (spreads them in 
guitars                                                                                                      circles of perfect
until it                                                               shuffle)
measures                                  She slices
EACH TIME WE BLINK                  (halo lightning spikes)

we alternate quickly between seeing all there is to see
and seeing nothing
erasing everything
then rebuilding
rules of continuity
history survives                                                              (chronology of suicides)
 (these words are fossil birds)
as the vanishing point                                                  (these letters are confetti)

(the musical notes are suicide letters:
l-i-f-e is hard to make from abcdefg
definitely no model DNA sequence
no recognizable human)

zombies and mummies                                                   dirt                                                      Convergence sites of
collapse and crumble                                                       bottled as the painted                 granulated mountains
zombie dust, mummy                                                      sand of healthy deserts
fruits of what we (all) are doing to each other spill
from carts & baskets, some of it hearts of palm, carnage
chiseled jawlines, and overbites
all over maps

(national boundaries)
in Ana Olinto’s atlas of permanent snowmen:

collection of connected white-dotted
skulls as vanishing points of parallel soldiers
We drink to that.
We drink to that.
We are drunk with that
There is parchment
that is also linen
I suit up
am canvas, the easel
There are smudges
There is everybody’s rule of thumb
The Nag Hammadi library,
lethal doses,
I suit up

Linen shell (sleeveless)
perspiration daubed
walk like/talk like mummified walking piñata
Nag Hammadi pages, scholars feast
I am digested, smudged, turned
over, folded doggie style, ruled by thumbs,
pored over
I’m a little teapot
poured out
I suit up
Linen tea cozy
every hour on the hour
I think I can, I think I can
—it is not Absolut
wet whistles glisten, work hard, duck calls, dodge calls, call shots, Stolichnaya
smoothies, operators, decoys
contact information
keep in touch

I am smudged, folded, ruled by thumbs

the rolodex spins,  a turbine
the rolodex spins,  a turban on a wheel on fire
squad of cheerleaders

give me a circus

State Wine Warehouse No. 1
Engine Engine No. 9
running down the Chicago line

If the train should jump the track
do you want your money back

Engin’ giver.

the rolodex spins, a gyrocompass
in touch with its own center of mass
—it is not Absolut
is used to plot the incidence of heebie-jeebies
in the Hebrides
the rolodex spins, there are revolutions all night
in the dryer  at ten minute intervals
the wrinkle guard kicks in
the rolodex spins, twinkles,
each moth hooked on a teat of light
bottle rocket launched
from between my teeth

I bite down hard

a wad of linen
packs the extraction
ball of static
fizzy hair                                              (styled  at  Salon Lichtenberg)
path of flocks
of electrons
homing devices
ping ping
round trips
round the world
via hips, groove things
orange groves
dimming suns
twin engine failure
orange-colored black boxes
orange-colored moons, absolute vocal tones
of Nat King Cole
cigar flower, lantana, impatiens, marigold,
mask flower, nemesia, zinnia, calendula,

Siberian wallflower, lion’s ear
potentilla, hawk’s beard,
cosmos of orange flowers planted by priests
in Spanish mission gardens, stems
dangling from the cut ones carried to altars
legs of dead young girls, Ana of the broom factory
Ana of the Luger fired into the Olympic pool
Ana of the sweet water craft, of the calculations,
Ana of the collection of peanuts and plaster nipples
(the stucco of flies stuck in paint)
Ana of zippers and nicotine, her steamy tobacco souffle
Ana of complex tortillas and frescoes
(angel with hammer and pliers, the pure one, and the skeleton
pointing to mane thekel phares  that appeared on the wall
at Belshazzar's feast to tell him he was losing the kingdom)
emerging in 1966, rearing their grotesque cracked heads
more and more as a layer of whitewash came off each spring cleaning
the secret evil history, how sweet is that, prayer catcher, prayer blockers, prayer eaters,
sweet taste of gratefulness, contrition, deep dark begging, tangy bargaining
Dear Lord, Dear Darling Lord, Dear Honey Jesus, Dear Blood Orange Savior, Dear Dear
(from a Tibetan word for thunderbolt, from ways to hammer heads, look out: here comes the church
of the toy train)


—Thylias Moss


thanato-death-venustra-woman-phobia-fear is my fear of being
killed by a woman
I don’t want a woman to kill me at the Dream Baby Tienda or anywhere though there is a wife for whom killing me could be justified, thanato-death-venustra-woman-phobia-fear is my fear of being killed by a woman when she catches me with her husband, Thomas, unless he is nothing but a liar, my liar, and I, well, I love my sweet liar with the bulging pants, he did lie about other things, so why not this also? Perfect pattern, and I want you Thomas to be perfect, though he wasn’t—in any regard, how he wanted to be referenced when with me, finally, not that I mean to be bragging, though after I’m dead, it will hardly matter; the world is getting from me what it wants from me, depends on what the world is, depends on which world, maybe the best part of dying, to be rid of pesky obligations, except the death tax, but the living have to fulfill it, what’s the big deal, finally I simply undid my blouse, and it was more than his eyes could take in, looked only obliquely, since he’d done nothing but wonder, I guess he was on the uxorious side, not that it’s a bad thing for the wife to wear the pants, especially if she’s got the better figure for them, but his hope glistens inside a vein on the side of his head where his hair’s so thin, I find an urge to press it down into place quite irresistible, I assure you, even the mathematicians have emotions, time for some killer algebra, killer calculus, it’s not all equation, not all cube root, many of them learned to guzzle beer as well as differentials, I remember a hypotenuse hotline because I once needed one, always took the long way to get where I was going, the long way to the grave, you really want a doctor that can’t tango when she has to, that doesn’t know her way around—all the moves all the long way around the world—when it’s stuck into her, formatted disc drive, everybody does it, everybody dies, everybody has flexible limits, skin grows with you, but there is a condition when the skin tightens without mercy, you are flexible enough to accept it if it happens to you, you are flexible enough to kill yourself if you can’t stand it, I just want to want to die, since I have to do it, last thing I’ll

do in life, I want to want the finale, I expect that it will feel good briefly because it is accomplishment, impact minimal on some scales, and so is also scandal, you know what we have to go through to get things all hunky-dory, the heavens that bring along their sidekick hells, the rewards and punishments, towers come down decadently to defy decadence, go figure, go get them, young men promised virgins, heavenly populations, scripted paradise, dot-heav address, the worldwide web, worldwide mehendi sprouting on the body, language of love thy virginal neighbor, what do the virgins have to look forward to, is there a beyond-the-men-who’d-do-anything-for-them, untouched trophies, untouchable till heaven, whose—is this the point where any heaven will do?—is this the pinprick, is this the fatal wound, the lovely fractal wound that glistens, better than things glowing from spit shines, shiners, who asked them whether or not they longed to be ravished, what’s in it for them, are they promised each other, I’d rather love a woman than be killed by one, I love being a woman, Thomas’s woman, William will never deserve me, even unto the death of being a woman, the last drop, last fall, I ought to be able to love a woman well, to be loved by a woman well, my life expertise, how many virgins per man to keep the promise, is it okay if the virgins have been only with other women, technical virgin territory for men, substrate, substratum, the virgin underground, neglect, single parent households, culture of the mother, does it matter that some of them are lifelong nuns, snatched from jaws and claws of molestation, snatched from opportunities for promiscuity, protected from others, from themselves, in convent orphanages, convent schools, novices, holy orders, as long as the women come with their faith and devotion, sacred ecstasies, never will get away from that completely, birthright, clean slate, women are still born virgins, still can grow up to act like whores, can have that know-how without spending a moment soliciting on the street, only extinct cultures have none of that, only the endangered, only the exalted, the high life of overcoming impulse, natural urges—have I ever got an urge for you, Thomas; you ought to know; you put it there, manufactured it perfectly—something better, the highest human form doesn’t need to reproduce, that’s why heaven is a terminal destination, arrive and go nowhere else, somehow no running out of virgins, as if temptation was never loosed upon a gorgeous modesty, Maria Goretti¹ knows best, the habit of

body and mind, all tucked in, all folded, tightly bound, origami of the soul, the complexity, bud in a bice-blue vise, won’t do it in the sight of God, only in his blind spots, occasional shut eye, well-timed blinks, He’s not all eyes, is also ears, what’s not in sight might be in earshot, God doesn’t like the ugly ways we propagate, it’s systemic, He is so far above, so removed, the ultimate, unaffected by huffing and puffing, the way His name might be called upon in rapid succession, o God—o God—o God, He hears that, worldwide, echo of His words right after they were created, Mary said it, God couldn’t have a son without her, and after that, she was Virgin still, her job, her career, can’t major in becoming that for real, illuminated, the solar system’s blue lamp, bice-blue, Blue Coming, o God—o God—o God the customers have made Dream Baby Tienda what it is, my rebirth will assure Dream Baby Tienda’s future, yes; Thomas is going to love me to death; that’s why I’m here, to die (metaphorically) in his capable arms, I’d prefer to die in his arms, over and over again, his reticulated python arms bring in a certain kind of Thomas tourist, thousands of identical hims, curiosity hounds, to kill with intensity of pleasure and to love killing me to metaphoric death piece by piece: those lusting for repeating history, stabilizers, loops, echoes and reverb in the music, of man’s first, second, third, fourth and counting disobedience, have it both ways, two seems to be enough, AC-DC, not that there are only two roads to power, the ark of male and femaleness, all aboard, obverse and reverse, nickel-head, buffalo-back, quarry, ambidextrous, of ambiguous sexuality, authority, androgyny, bisexuality, fags and dykes, hermaphrodites—manmade and natural, many species participate, come as you are to the alter, there’s a track record, tincture, torture, so many ways to cure you of demon sexual confusion, the pathology of desire, pathology of necessity, pathology of celibacy, pathology of biology, life without bounds, yet able to be defined as life, definition as broad as mess, life gets messy, can be cleaned up, when the conditions are right, fatty tissue becomes a biological soap as the body decomposes, adipocere, what doesn’t have a word, what can’t be conceived, monsters can be, by an ordinary woman, by Vashti, watch me try to conceive Thomas’s seed, although I’m menopausal, but the magic, the mystery of tonight, surely it’s probable—wasn’t Jesus conceived by an ordinary woman, raped by the supernatural?—can happen the night

virginity is lost, pathology of wanting to be killed, ultimate masochistic lust, sublime confusion, overcome when it’s dust to dust, with or without a dusk to dawn curfew, Thomas has his own clock, synchronized with mine, guaranteed, will save your soul, my soul will have to deal with its own fate, and it can do that better after it separates from the body, the only part that might be murdered, but not by a woman, that’s not for me, I’m sorry, I had too much of a good time with a grand mother, a sister, an aunt, I don’t want to spoil it, not that I haven’t had my share of a good life with men, except Thomas: good life exclusively with him, no other for me, and that might be  proven tonight when I am what I am, almost like dying, but I am revived instead, rejuvenated, I imagine, that Thomas will do his best—he doesn’t know how to do less than his best, and I love him for that best of bests stuff, for in his dream, I get better and better after being with him . . . I don’t have any prior experience, I buzz, sting from the cuts from his penile knife, see how long it is, natural blade, not that genetics didn’t do whatever’s been done, one thing’s been leading to another thing for a long time, protein chain, blade envy, each to her own kind of lover, the way I want my life-after-death is the way I want it, no excuses, practicality rules me, and a thousand Thomas’s are here! 10 x 10 x 10 = 10³ (“guilty”?—how so, if it’s so pure?) pleasure, I am not immoral, not trying to be, prostrate on the slab, the floor of autopsy, ready for God, I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to bite that vein that becomes as fat as a small earthworm when Thomas Higginson, married man, wants something he can’t allow himself to have, as he really wants to, but take me, Thomas, take me again and again: I am yours, if you want me, a zillion pulsations, but as I’m available, only for Thomas, the worm did pulse, a zillion pulsations, the blue deepening then decreasing, the color definite and then vague like most things that can be disregarded behind smoke, you spit into spit cigarette ashes on your way out of the elevator, leaving pitiful William in your (golden)-dust, straight to the top, penthouse of your tienda, echo of sign of a white crane, a nun bird if ever, but that sure ain’t me, I had the feeling that something had been absolved, at Dream Baby Tienda I bought a dozen cigars, and another Dream-Baby-Tienda dozen to almost fill a mapa blue humidor,² just enough space left over for doubt, I had the feeling that something had been absolved,
I only had time to smile at the next Thomas terracotta flesh-colored stranger because—whose, you tell me just before I die happy at last, whose killing
me is a form of something I love: sex with Thomas, the only way I can, whatever becomes possible; his store sex for sale, not an auction; pay cash please, and watch me stuff the green neon dollars in my bra, in my garters, green glow, “verde, Verde que te quiero verde,³ green, how I want you green Vashti” you say again and again, and I adore each saying; each saying slays me so damn good.
originally published in "The Spectacle"
1. More info about Maria Gorettti here.
2. Get one here.
3. From “Romance Sonambulo” by Lorca.

(instead of my hair brush with a nod to Smurfette)
But I did find  my most trusted external hard drive my "Higgs" hard drive --please don't
(because if  you did, I would tell you [much of] the truth, and I don't really want to right
now, but if I wasn't inviting questions and cock-eyed wondering
why would I even make this post?
--something for me to think about as I extend this engagement with my motives, and oops,
I say too much again, having now to use the only reliable excuse and explanation I have:
I am a poet in the Trump(et-iguette)  era, I can only continue to make this sad music, of the
only song I hope to forget even as I make it,
each note  erasing the note after it, as a matter of fact, this one ended when I typed, "But I
did find
and that is all the truth we ever need:
I really did find
I am not empty on a Tuesday
no more empty than on a Friday or Saturday  or Sunday,
everyday empty, pickpocketed clean
--but at least I am clean,
and will stop with cleanliness, as that is next
                   to godliness,
what better location to begin life again?
Ivory, precious Ivory soap,
elephant tusk soap, piano key
less entry soap
a wash-your-mouth soap
on a rope
that also lynches you clean Alabama clean.
I have been there, have swung
in a couple of Alabama trees,
if you must know.
            --Thylias Moss

           Remarkable Dust
At  night, all of this would look  quite different.  The darkness would in fact be as coverall up all over the place that may not seem as wild as it really is under that cover.   Pull back any edge and discover some of how it used to be before you were here or before trees, or whatever you recall well was here. It might be difficult to find a location sufficiently  separated from a place during the day so as to be so changed by darkness as to become unrecognizable at night, allowing for the discovery of how closely the place still resembles the historic past before these trees or before whatever still flies here in fact, seems a fine darkness to us, yet may not be as endless as we want to believe   --in fact, not far from here, across the river,   we found a  fusion, a helmet from a firefighter that had fused with his helmet's light now that he and other firefighters  had become more like miners actually to produce a look like what comes from the glow of a distant planet at the edge of our the milky-way galaxy might produce.
Part of the  remaining tower not pulled up was left standing, as if  to say, it looked like a sad knife  to me, "sad" because it wasn't cutting a sandwich (such as what was once served at the eyes of the world cafe on the top floor where a worker stood rather immobilized while he listened to what sounded at first like  a distant  storm that approached and grew in size and strength and shape until he had no more questions) --about what was coming in when the front part of an aircraft was on the 90-th floor with him.  Then he had the enormous challenge of trying to get out.  He could not fly.  And while perhaps not the best time to envy birds, he could not resist envying some of the birds he used to watch  a safe distance  across the river; he watched the fuselages land practically at his feet and felt  himself back up toward the door which would prove to be the only way out, a way he did use, those birds still on his mind.  Sometimes he felt as free as a bird, and at times he wanted to feel even more of what  a bird felt, especially when that bird landed and went home to a nest, ideally not through a fire so that the bird wouldn't have that bit of confusion as available as a hat to put on while trying to  find his way out --and he  he did find an safe  place. He found a place safe to  others who might not have had  a good leader or the memory of an east flying bird to help lead safe him to an exit. --By the way,  he did get out, and he was interviewed as a survivor.  I don't know whether or not he got a bird (the focus of the interview was his getting out.).  
Having seen a bird from across the river did help him however,
 having been there as as a small boy mattered.   
On  this anniversary, George W. Bush, the former president, usually shown reading from that school book upside down or reading from any book at all is not shown; instead I see a quote from him that didn't come from that book: he says that he knew what he needed to do; we needed, so he used all the resources of our government  to be resolute, and compassionate --he knew had to defend the American people.
Such as the ones without birds and who could not locate the Milky Way.  
(Originally published in Callaloo)

Role Modeling (a beginning and a continuation)
I am now in Vogue.

I have been age progressed. When I fan the pages, years fly
by. From cover to cover are paths from and to youth.

I am the wizard of Ozzie & Harriet.
I am in "The Birds"; my face is the face of every crow.

I can be seen inside the heads of sunflowers that I wear like
bonnets, and then I come at myself from a hive that is one of
my hip replacements.

Dana says all of this is nonsense. "You've had too many of
those energy drinks. The ginseng is depriving you of brain
food; you know --oxygen like the strong kind in carbonated

The popping is like trying to start a fire with a Bic lighter.

Maybe I've had some of those pop-rocks, the last at my
neighborhood store where I used to buy Reese's peanut
butter cups, a free box on my birthday
--the owners knew when it was; I had the feeling that they
cared about me, that Jewish couple.

Sometimes I went to Giant Tiger for them as well as for myself
--lots there, candy, patent leather purses, costume jewelry.
More Reese's.

Theresa lived right across the street, had a cherry tree in her
backyard --I liked those cherries, ate them by the handful,
went over there more for cherries than to play with her --which
was more of an incidental than anything else. But it got me to
the tree. We had a plum tree, but the plums weren't that good.
Rather small, more like ornaments than like fruit.

Her mother used to call her in --sounded like she was named
after those peanut butter cups: "Reesey, come on in!". Her
sister's name was Denise --not much peanut butter there. I
remember that she had red hair (that may not be true --she
should have had red hair (would have looked nicer with those

I don't know what happened to them --haven't seen them I'm
years. Didn't really think of them while I was hospitalized. I've
thought of them more recently, the cherries and the Reese's. -
-I don't know why I thought of them, but they're in my thoughts
(maybe I just need to eat a candy bar).
I did have one of my few (only 2) fights with Theresa. She
broke into my house, and I caught her --after she'd helped
herself to about 10 silver dollars (never recovered).  She knew
where I kept them in the dining room drawer; I recall beating
her well (which is no reason to gloat -- not a good reason, that
is; I was so upset that I cried. Tears in the shape of plums
rolled down my face—I would have made Arcimboldo proud
(read more about him on Wikipedia). The artist died on what
would be, almost 400 years later, my son's birthday.