Of the Icebox

Words about stuff and sometimes things

Postcard – Australian Peacockery — April 24, 2018

Postcard – Australian Peacockery


Dear Friend

I’ve held onto this card for a long time. The peacock has become my spirit animal and the woman the heroine of all my stories. Together, they form the emblem of that which I hope to be when I am fully formed. I would like to say I’m giving her to you now because I don’t need her anymore — I would like to say I have so perfectly embodied her spirit that I can now release her to someone else. But, in truth, I fear that her life will be in danger if she stays with me any longer.

It turns out there is a feral peacock invasion in my part of Australia. I, myself, spotted one on a recent drive thus nullifying the possibility that the invasion might be fake news. The feral peacock I spotted was perched atop a wooden sign with its feathers in full plume. Proof that it is feral should be apparent from the fact that I’ve never once seen a domesticated peacock out of doors without a leash and an owner.

So what is a person to do about feral peacock invasions? Humanely euthanize them, so says the local government. But not if the lady on the front of this card has anything to say about it. It turns out if your spirit animal is in danger of being euthanized, you have a moral duty to defend it (as is evident from the woman’s regal dunce hat). So I deport her to your care. All of Australia (local government and select neighbors excluded) is counting on you. I pray that peacocks fair better in your wet and drizzled land.

I digress for a moment and return to the moment of my feral peacock sighting, which was, it must be admitted, a highlight of my recent sojourn out of the house. I must confess to you, dear friend, that the peacock I spotted in the wild was so spectacular I felt unworthy of continuing to claim it as my spirit animal. If I am honest, my spirit animal might be more akin to a crow–something completely ordinary, slightly unnerving, and overpopulated but in the unpopular way (which is to say they won’t query the public before they decide to put me down for being a public nuisance). End digression.

At this point, you might be minutely analyzing the card that is now in your position in the search for distraction from the cruel reality of peacock exterminations. As you read the text printed on the back of the card, you surely will have noticed the copyright on the back of this card pointing out that Norm Lindsay inked the front displayed image in 1929. You might, then, quite naturally be wondering why peacocks needed such a fierce protectress in Australia 89 years ago. Was Norm a prophet or have I accidentally stumbled upon the first signs of a mass cover-up of Australia’s long history of peacock genocide? The answer can be both.

The silent war against peacocks has been real for a very long time in this country. I use Norm’s drawing as evidence but I am sure if I were to dig just beneath the surface of this continent’s nutrient poor dirt, I would find the charred remains of peacock feathers staring back at me. Australia, after all, is a country that sees you from below. I might be the first person, other than Norm (who is now dead) to shed light on this story and for that I fear for my safety and my visa status.

In conclusion, if you remember me for anything, dear friend, let it be for exposing Australian peacockery.

The crow caws loudest before it is hunted. Ca caw.

Yours in trust and gratitude.

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave — April 18, 2018

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave

This word: Alone.

Every resting stop after has been a conscious turning away from that first home. Every commitment is a rebuttal to my understanding of where life started and where it will end. You can bury, you can bow, you can dig the word away. It’s fine to avoid. It’s fine to be afraid. It’s fine to create seventy years of distractions. But it’s not fine to want it. It’s not fine to prefer it. It’s not fine to cut it out of the wall of your cave and carry it like a mezuzah, ready made for every home you enter thereafter.

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Cities Don’t Break — April 14, 2018

Cities Don’t Break

When I leave your city and you tell me, “You’ll be back,” I don’t take it as a haunting, as a spirit drawing me backwards like the demons that forced me out. I take it as an uneasy blessing, an acknowledgement of all that has gone wrong. And since space wasn’t strong enough to fix us, you hope that time will be stronger.

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Of the Icebox

Words about stuff and sometimes things


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