Naked body/hidden face
The female ostrich stays still and blends with the bush to avoid detection
To be different; to move about without fear is to be dead.
Her long neck lays flat against the ground like a garden hose
Playing possum is really playing the ostrich girl.
Her feathers and not her meat are the most valuable part.
So we strip them away to make a daring new collar for Elton John to wear on stage during that hot new tour no one needs to see.
I know her eggs are worth more than her feathers.
I came up to the ostrich and said, “Os Trich, Os Trich, your big beautiful eggs are left alone to be stolen,” but she did not hear me.
I waited around and then walked off with her future chicks.
I cracked them into my bathtub and made oil from the yellow silk scarves running out. I beat them and made a fine lotion.
I rubbed it on my elbows every night and thought of the ostrich starting over in a new nest with new future lotion to be taken away.
I got on the subway after long days at work, so cool, cuz I almost get paid the same, and used my ostrich lotioned elbows to push my way into a packed subway car, to move sweaty old men to the side.
Killing ostrich eggs made me smug and predictable and boring and I performed this role for the dumb bird.
I went back to see the ostrich and she put her head in the sand when she saw me again
This is a lie I tell about the ostrich.
They can’t physically breathe underground but we keep saying, go ahead, try it, it won’t kill ya.
I noticed her calloused claws holding moving sand together one second at a time and I heard a male voice (Kenny GOLDSMITH?) tell me that we are all the vastness, all the grains of sand under the ostrich’s deaf/blind/mute foot and it all means nothing and everything and to just have fun and do better than my feminist art mothers.
Can’t do better than crotchless things and big guns on the subway car, though, so make lotion instead.
I only have elbows and smooth skin and oil from the stolen eggs thanks to the frightened old bird.
At least she isn’t bat shit crazy, just is acting this way out of a coded error;
she’s frightened and outdated.
I tried to explain to the ostrich that she better come up for air and defend her honor because they are naming horrible genocides after her.
I went home alone again and wrote down the story about my great granny singing me a popular, humorous Soviet song that compared the calloused foot of the ostrich to the dirty, money-grubbin’ hand of the swindling Jew.
I forgot the tune and now only see the words as a mini series drama.
I was staring at my small, lined, dark, dry hands and working on the montage and wondering who could play my great granny; who could play me.
Note to selves: need more lotion, again.
I went to the ostrich one more time and tried to convert her to Yoko Ono.
She’s my hero and she ain’t no ostrich.
She’s a bitch with a sincere smile who asked people to listen.
I can’t do that, exactly, but I turned my jealousy to admiration and maybe the flat became round that day.
When the ostrich heard the name Yoko, she said, to a picture of her face on the cover,
“I don’t get what you want me to do? What’s the product? I can’t just scoop a moon in the p(i)ddle all night, you mild mannered cunt!
I have too much to do, like play real games.
Have you heard of the Ouilipo? That’s serious intellectual shit, ok!”
Yoko could have lied down and given away feathers, eggs and meat but she went for clarity sculpted from shards of cruelty.
And so Yoko gave specific instructions (so controlling),
to instigate happenings (so manipulative),
to create home movies and inspire everyone to be the keepers of their dreams (so naïve),
to send out vibrations (so flighty),
to imagine there could be a peace for all (so simplistic),
to envision war as a hoax and instead of killing people, she hoped, maybe, we could go paint the enemy town pink in the middle of the night to piss them off (so girly/passive aggressive).
She had a concept for every day of the year in Grapefruit.
But Yoko was a loser and a foreigner and a troublemaker with no good ideas=capital, only ideals, and a beloved rich man that she had stolen from his buddies like fat eggs.
Oh, you know this stuff already.
You know that she was a conceptual artist and a conceptual writer who invented a fifth artery to lead to the heart of the genre we can’t define or defend or deflect.
Yoko was far more dangerous than a gay guy in a bad silver wig who has his place, I’m not against him, ok; or some mustachioed dude rolling dice and smoking cigars with his friends as they add letters times seven from the dictionary for fun only.
Oh, did I say just fun, no, it’s so much more than that.
But I am not allowed in the club, so I need the ostrich to tell me the parlor secrets when she cocktails their parties next week before I know enough to say more.
I want to be right again after being stupid, not having something cool to say about the Oiulipo, so I will say this: Yoko was ugly.
She was not perfect-hooker-Asian-doll-pretty-for-your-pleasure-just-take-Penicilin.
She was short, flabby-titted, flat-assed and hairy.
So, she was dead a long time, and then he was killed, so she had pity and could live if we didn’t see her poking around our nightstand, and throwing up on our billboards, or making love with her genius stay at home husband.
An ostrich with its head in the sand thinks everyone must surely be an ostrich, too.
Does one lie negate the other?
The ostrich doesn’t confront.
She runs fast or blends in to look like a mound of dirt.
She don’t know shit about the “crotchless pants and machine gun feminism of Valerie Export.”
The ostrich’s legs only kick forward so you can’t accuse her of looking back on seventies feminism and being nostalgic.
If nostalgia is death, then let me die interrogating the ostrich.
She performs a bimbo performing a bimbo. She did talk like one, but maybe, finally, got outside of it after ridicule and ingenuity.
This was not by choice.
I performed a mother for my motherless ness and can’t tell if I’m still doing this Girl left living lie if girl stays.