I visit the zoo.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Beatrix: Down here.

Visitor: Can we get a coffee on the way?

Beatrix: Sure. I could go for a doughnut.

[Five minutes later, at the petting zoo.]

Bunny chorus: You see before you, hooman, a cage within a zoo within a zoo. And we are in the cage, condemned to an eternity of mothers screeching to toddlers, "Oh, look at the bunnies, Hannah, Isabella, look at the bunnies, oh, Madison, Joshua, Jennifer, Jason, Emily, Jacob, look! Oh, Kaitlyn, look, how cute, how cute, how cuuuuuuute!"

Bunny 1: We fucking hate "cute." Spare a smoke?

Bunny 2: There's not an Abigail or Aidan we would not kick to death if we could get through these wires.

Bunny 3: I would smother them, personally. Get all fluffy on their wet-wiped asses.

Bunny 4: Mothers and children.

Bunny 1: Spare a smoke?

Visitor: Have you read that Lisa Jarnot I lent you?

Bunny 1: Funny you should mention that. We were just talking about it.

Bunny 3: Entrancing stuff. And I mean the trance bit. Words all beaded together into hypnotic songs. Beads repeat in slightly different patterns. Loaded entrails plucked and slung for prognostication. Here's one from Ring of Fire that everyone likes:
Ye white antarctic birds of upper 57th street,
you gallery of white antarctic birds, you street
with white antarctic birds and cabs and white
antarctic birds you street, ye and you the
street and birds I walk upon the galleries of
streets and birds and longings, you the birds
antarctic of the conversations and the bank
machines, you the atm of longing, the longing
for the atm machines, you the lover of the
banks and me and birds and others too and
cabs, and you the cabs and you the subtle
longing birds and me, and you the
conversations yet antarctic, and soup and
teeming white antarctic birds and you the
books and phones and atms the bank
machines antarctic, and you the banks and
cabs, and him the one I love, and those who
love me not, and all antarctic longings, and all
the birds and cabs and also on the street
antarctic of this longing.

Bunny 3: I hope she doesn't get her lawyers after us for reprinting it.

Bunny 4: Eh. We're bunnies.

Bunny 2: It stays just on the edge of meaning something in particular by mentioning things in particular, the atms and phones and cabs, and you think there is an address (to the birds) coming, right from the vocative "Ye white antarctic birds" of the opening, but nothing in particular is stated and nothing in particular is said to or about birds. And maybe there are no birds. Sense is secondary. But it isn't tedious in the common "what the fuck?" manner. Billy Collins even picked it for his 180. (Don't get nervous, Jarnot fans, you can still like it.)

Bunny 3: It's lyrical, as they say. Beautiful.

Bunny 4: But Jarnot won't put you off your Purina. Even the poems that could be cute ("Go to sleep little doggie / while the moon is still foggy...") aren't cute, not in the way that would make you despair.

Bunny 3: Which is good.

Bunny 1: 'Cause if Jarnot were to be cute, and were then to make the mistake of standing too close to a certain bunny cage...

Bunny 2: Someone might despair.

Bunny 3: Someone might despair and call her Madison.

Bunny chorus: Someone might despair and call her Madison and kick her blue!

* scary bunny laughter *

Beatrix: It's time.


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