Teaching the catbird to sing

The single-mindedness of a heron in flight: its dangerous bill, coiled neck, and arrow-straight path. No thank you! I’m the sort of guy who whistles a tune hoping the catbird will copy it.

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.

The small blue butterfly keeps circling and landing, circling and landing among the small blue stones of the road, as if searching for a lost twin. When a car comes along straight as an arrow, the butterfly tries the same randomized flight pattern it uses to escape from everything else, tripping the light stochastic. It survives, but not because of that.

In the Popol Vuh, the hero twins use magic tricks and theater to defeat the single-minded lords of death. Their lust for violence is turned against them, and they participate willingly in their own destruction for the sheer thrill of it.

I’ve been listening to the catbird’s inventions for hours now. Twice I thought I heard phrases from Cielito Lindo.

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