Poem by Rick Christiansen

Artwork © jojo Lazar Artwork © jojo Lazar

 

Why Men Should Not Own Parrots

A big Amazon Grey, that’s what I’m not going to have.
The blank, feral countenance almost too much to bear.
Like looking into a mirror.

They live a long time,
such a commitment.

My friend had one once.
It went on a rampage.
Repeatedly.
Like a confused, angry midget
it turned everything over
and then did it again.
Finally, exhausted, it sat confused.
Wondering why so much effort led to so little effect.

The mood swings are the hardest part.
A man needs stability.
And they bite.

You must feed them
every day.

And they will send scattered
seed husks to the floor
that may cause you to slip and fall
if you are not careful.

They are always hungry.

I have read that you can leave on the television.
The noise and light provide some stimulation
while you are away.

When you do arrive home, they become excited
and they try to hide their emotions with
kung fu kicks from the perch.

Waiting for you to make the first move
toward reestablishing a relationship that has diminished in your absence.
Even if only for the day.

They are related to the dinosaurs
and seem afraid of the same extinction.
That is why they cling to your shoulder
Waiting for you to whisper your secrets to them.

They like repetition.
It makes them feel secure.

You must know what they need without being told.
Or, they become waspish and aloof.
Or, sometimes solicitous,
like a child who smells the candy in your pockets.

It is exhausting to be the object of such anticipation without direction.
No wonder you delay your arrival longer each day.

Perhaps a parakeet or cockatiel
light enough to perch on your finger
will suffice?

Certainly, one of those would be harder to notice
when you are tired and do not wish to attend?

Where there is less weight, there is less gravity.
And the tantrums are smaller.

 

Artwork © jojo Lazar
Artwork © jojo Lazar

 

Rick Christiansen is a 58 year old guy with a unique perspective that comes from a lifetime with his legs in corporate America and his head in the clouds. He was last published in the 1970’s in a variety of college publications that he is now too old to remember. Recent early retirement has driven him back to the pen. He lives in the St. Louis area with his two basset hounds.

jojo Lazar is a multimedia artist and Boston-based vaudevillian “burlesque poetess” and ukulele lady with an MFA in poetry from Lesley. She rocks out with her frock out in “steamcrunk” phenomenon Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys.