Saturday, January 21, 2006


Each night at sunset I take a break from my evening job and descend to the outside balcony of the State Theatre, overlooking Congress Avenue, to wait for the arrival of the grackels. The sky becomes absolutely black with hundreds of birds flocking into the downtown area. These flocks are so dense it is easy to mistake them for a colony of bats. They fly round the tops of the buildings circling them repeatedly, each flock following a different path. After about five minutes of traversing the skies round the buildings many of the birds perch on the ledges of buildings along the street. They do not perch on all of the buildings but always the same ones, others fly directly to the trees lining each side of Congress Avenue. This flight into the area is accompanied by loud shrieks, whistles and cackles evoking a Hitchcockian response in people who saw The Birds. Slowly, as it becomes darker and darker, the birds descend from the building ledges to roost in the trees. In about twenty minutes all of the trees are filled with birds delicately balancing on a branch. A few nights ago it pissed down rain and the wind was extremely high. Each grackel surfed it's tree branch without a ruffled feather or the flap of a wing for balance. The noise rises as there is some shifting of position from tree to tree and continues as all of the birds are settled into the trees. I find it fascinating to hear them in the dark as one usually associates bird sound with early morning and sunrise. Are they speaking to each other or warning us of an attack that seems imminent? As time passes the birds become quieter and quieter until by the time I leave work, they are a completely silent yet malevolent presence.

Grackels are known as pest birds, they are both vegetarian and carnivore, they may also become extremely nest aggressive and are known to attack if humans should venture too close to nesting places. Apparently, in urban areas, they will also attack humans who are carrying food in open containers. The most important thing to know, if you spot one near where you are sitting, is that they shit constantly (the lovely Kobrinsky discovered this yesterday as we were sitting outside at a cafe - I had warned her). All of the vehicles and benches under the roosting trees on Congress Avenue are saturated with bird shit.

Grackels are pretty much loathed in Austin; I call them my Children of the Night. I feel a strong affinity for these black birds who are my new audience as I, dressed in black, declaim my poetry from the State Theatre’s balcony. Quoth the grackel, Encore!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Yes, boys n' girls, the Naked Kobrinsky is indeed in Austin and is sitting next to me as I write this. She found a really sweet wireless place just near her house. Bar, food, coffee and even plug in points outside in the garden where, of course, one can smoke. I have been to the very posh house she and August are renting. (Sarah just made me take out an interesting tidbit (not about her and August) so if you want to know all the dope, ring me). Sarah's house has an awesome screened-in porch where I took my morning coffee accompanied by my ever present fags, when we had a little sleep over last week. I have yet to meet August, although Sarah assures me he really does exist. He's been very busy preparing to start classes so I expect to meet him sometime next week.

The reason, other than the obvious that I am the Dead, is that I now have two jobs, a day one and an evening one. I think it may kill me but it appears as if I will be able to move into my own place at the beginning of February. More about this later.