Thirteen Ways to Kill A Blackbird

(With Apologies to Wallace Stevens)


Upon the wintry mountains,
when you see him move,
shoot him with your shotgun.


I was hit, once,
with a stick,
like yon dead blackbird.


The blackbird fell in the autumn wind.
It had been hit with a rock.

A man hit his woman
and choked her.
He then went after
the blackbird.


I am of two minds.
First, there is
the carrion and then
there is the cage.


The snow on the sill
was disturbed by the
blackbird as he begged
to be let in.
I sat and watched.


The thin men of A.I.D.S
die slowly, in pain,
and never dare look
at the woman, but only
at the blackbird in the rafters.


The pounding of hillbilly
upon my ears annoys me,
like the singing of
that blackbird in the courtyard.
Kill it.


As the blackbird flew from sight,
the peregrine struck him,
and carried him back to the falconer’s hand.


A clatterous roar descended
with the blackbirds’ ascent,
and the with the boys, their guns ablaring.


He rode on the street,
going very fast,
and fear took him as he
mistook the blackbird for a child.



The river is moving.
The blackbird is drowning.



It was dark with the coming of winter.
It was snowing and blowing.
I threw out the dishwater.
It hit the blackbird and froze him.


© Michael Fay 1989

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