japonisme: firebird

02 July 2011



Wherever the flamingo goes,
she brings
a city’s worth
of furbelows.
She seems

unnatural by nature—
too vivid and peculiar
a structure to be pretty,

and flexible to the point
of oddity. Perched on

those legs,
anything she does
seems like an act. Descending
on her egg or
draping her head

along her back, she’s
too exact and sinuous

to convince an audience
she’s serious.
The natural elect,
they think,
would be less pink,

less able to relax
their necks,
less flamboyant
in general.
They privately expect
that it’s some

poorly jointed bland
grey animal
with mitts for hands
whom God protects.

Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, “Flamingo Watching” from Flamingo Watching (Copper Beech Press, 1994). Copyright © 1994 by Kay Ryan.

(over to you, m. ghost)

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Anonymous evan said...

Flamingos...sadly...I can't look at 'em & see more than wonderfully tacky yard ornaments (a sad stigma). The art by Mossa...one I'd never seen before (he did a wonderfully perverse painting of a siren)...so...not only had I not seen it before- it's an amazing image. I can always couint on your blog to wow me at least a couple of times a month. :)!

02 July, 2011 09:28  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

yeah, it completely blows me away too. i think i'm going to have to see if i can find a very big one.

i found this: "So why pink flamingoes? It all started in Florida in the 1920's. Hialeah Race track had imported live Caribbean flamingoes to add some tropical ambiance. In the 20's Florida and race tracks were playgrounds for the rich. Soon bronze, metal, and wooden flamingoes materialized as status symbols on the northern landscapes of the wealthy. The bird's appearance boldly stated to all passersby that the residents had been to a Florida resort. For thirty years flamingo lawn ornaments were the property of the rich.

02 July, 2011 09:36  
Blogger Gerrie said...

lily, together we did a fine job on those flamingo's didn't we.

03 July, 2011 13:07  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

indeed we did, gerrie. did i overlap on any of yours? also i found two more in another folder that i had forgotten about!

03 July, 2011 13:52  

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