“Man with Birds” & “The Astrologers of Life”

Man with Birds

       (after Rufino Tamayo’s Hombre con pájaros, 1945)

aorta! these sticks spit
opposable thumbs separate

deciduous or dead where
have I left the leaves my

flesh my second set
of non-migratory feathers
my ephemeral surplus

I knowed you were up
to no good it’s best we shout

to show your bones
appropriate the neighbors

provident cache of the down-low stash the bright scrub
to while away they say ha I have not lost my mind I
know where it goes in the winged blue harsh
and scratchy suburban soundtrack
gloved sweaty palm and bare-headed toothy

be back soon

lock up your cat food go
to any entrance not nailed

do not disturb the outdoor flood
light the unlocked pool all
chlorine and concrete

sweet
you say how
sweet

those birds
I feel like they really get me

 

The Astrologers of Life

       (after Rufino Tamayo’s Los astrόlogos de la vida, 1947)

We might not have reception
this far out the signal varies

depending on traffic on whether
we can find two legs to stand

on this site eight thousand years
ago a figure not unlike yourself

leaned back to take it all in
but couldn’t of course because

where to begin and then as always
end in a culmination rather

than that’s it you’ve come so far
to be here today scaled so many forms

requiring your signature entered
so many codes for wireless connection

they’ll be listening for a voice
for ours for years pinging satellites

 

Image Source: Rufino Tamayo’s Los Astrologos De La Vida, 1947

 

About the author

Matthew Woodman

Matthew Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is an editor for Rabid Oak. His stories and poems appear in recent issues of Tishman Review, Sonora Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The Meadow, and Oxidant/Engine. More of his writing can be found at www.matthewwoodman.com.