Tuesday, December 27, 2011

but throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey

ornithophobia is not a fear i ever particularly saw myself having.  younger, i may have scorned it.  why would anyone fear a bird?

now that i possess it--however justified it may be, i lament on just how crippling it is.

you probably do not remember the last time you saw a bird, because they are, simply put, everywhere.

think about just how many birds there are, even now, in winter.  think of how many birds there are in your city,  your town.  you cannot escape them.

wherever there are people, there are pigeons, and if not pigeons, then gulls, and if not gulls, then murder after murder of crows.  the town i was raised in was famous for crows.  crows everywhere.  crows always.  their incessant cawing was a comfort, when i was younger.  i took solace in them.  they're bright birds, did you know that?  some are even better with tools than primates are.  and yet, so misunderstood.  so reviled.  what outcast would not want to become a crow?

now, they hold no mystery, no appeal.  no bird does.  the elegant swan, the peaceful dove, the rambunctious crow, all give me dread in the place of wonder.  true, not all of them hold the same terrible force that drives those i flee from...but how can i tell which flock can split the heavens and which is simply driven by brute consciousness?

i think we take birds for granted.  true, these days we do not have much to fear from them, but we forget about the mighty terror bird.  we neglect to remember how the more terrifying of the thunder lizards are the modern avian's close relatives.

i fear i'm rambling.  it's hard not to.  i'm finding this is my only release.  i have been taking shelter, when i can, where there are no windows, though i hold no illusions that they cannot simply find my door, veiled in the willing flesh of a traitor to our species.  most probably, a traitor i once called friend.

to be or not to be etc.

in case it somehow escaped your notice, i am a fan of shakespeare.  thus, today, i am going to talk about something that has come repeatedly to my attention.

hamlet is perhaps the most often quoted play, ever.  and equally as oft, i find, those who quote it do not quite understand the full gravity of what they say.

for example, "to be or not to be" is ventured forth on almost every occasion in which a character wishes to sound profound.  it is in many ways the iconic shakespearean quotation.

very few seem to realize, however, that the monologue is about suicide.  the dane prince is discussing whether he should live or, perhaps, enjoy the peace of death, free from the heartaches and responsibilities of this world.  it is a topic i myself has grappled with on more than one occasion.

ask the average person on the street, however, and i doubt they would be able to tell you the intricacies of the  speech as a whole, especially with relation to the play itself.

"the play's the thing" is bandied about whenever one wants to make a stirring speech on their own play.  i doubt many remember that the next line is "to catch the conscience of the king".  it is not an affirmation of drama but, rather, a statement of motive.

"neither a borrower nor a lender be" and "to thine on self be true."  first and foremost, these are both comments made by the resident fool, polonius.  without hyperbole, entire papers could be written on the significance of these lines.  are we to take them seriously?  is this to show hidden depths of an otherwise mostly incompetent character?  or, perhaps, are they here to reveal him an actually competent, beloved father before our protagonist runs him through?  or maybe they are there to show him the fool.  perhaps we are to see how little he regards his own advice.  how truthful is polonius to himself?  perhaps it is to show his hubris, hubris witnessed when he blunders into a theory on the prince's behavior and never questions it, regardless of contrary evidence?

i am not trying to say that these phrases cannot have deeper meanings with regards to different people--far from it.  nor am i trying to be some form of drama purist, demanding that no one use certain phrases without a dissertation backing up their meaning.

i am merely contemplating the nature of these words, and their oft forgotten context.  context is, after all, perhaps the most important part of speech.  and integral to certain understandings one might have.

for example:

when someone says, "there is a bird on my windowsill", it is a statement of fact.

when i say it, 'tis a statement of fear.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


CROCODILE TEARS, a hapless rogue
CORDELIA, a young, popular student
REGAN, an unpopular student, friend of CROCODILE TEARS
POLONIUS, a professor of literature
GLOUCESTOR, a school principal
TAMORA, a witch
IAGO, a warlock


SETTING, a high school in the midwestern united states, a time not so long ago

a tempestuous noise

i regret i have more enthusiasm than talent in regards to poetics

alas, at the moment, i run low on that as well

who am i?  i am myself

once i was a child.  i did not heed the warnings of she who i believed my worst enemy

in fact, she was my best friend.  and she was torn to pieces because of it.  because i did not listen

i run, now.  from birds.  it must sound silly, but it is true

they live in men, and they can command the elements themselves

a fanciful tale, yes...but also one grounded in terrible, irrefutable fact

i simply run now.  run and remember my dear, sweet cordelia.

i thought her my enemy but, in truth, she was better to me than any other.

those i thought my friends were merely servants of the foul fowl that so vex me.

perhaps more, later, if i have a need to release that which haunts me within
i miss you, dearest, sweet cordelia

whyever did i trust those horrid lies

 spoken by vile reagan and goneril

and lead you to your untimely meeting

with our cold, callous, and injust maker?

'tis a bird sitting on my window sill.

 i cannot stay here.

perhaps that rumbling was not rolling thunder.

perhaps it was merely a passing truck.

but can i take that chance?

you would know what to say, cordelia.

you always did, though i paid you no heed

and, thus reaped my own terrible reward

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Act 2, Scene VII

What manner o' thing is your crocodile?

It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad
as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is,
and moves with its own organs: it lives by that
which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of
it, it transmigrates.

What colour is it of?

Of it own colour too.

'Tis a strange serpent.

'Tis so. And the tears of it are wet.
I broke a bird today, just for you, dear.