15 November 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 3

T. Williams Talks to Birds or I'm Talking to Birds

Tennessee Williams once visited Manhattan where he celebrated the Broadway success of A Streetcar Named Desire with a leather purse. She called him, 'Len.' That night, Len and the purse sent cocktails to hookers on 42nd street. Girls sipped so-called dirty martinis with white rubber gloves. For the clients' pleasure they sipped quickly.

Quietly, the other day, I found an ad in the Miami Herald that read, Tennessee look alike seeks farm hand for companionship. I left a message wondering if he looked like the State or the playwright, never mind the possibility that Tennessee could be a woman, or a transvestite looking for human liver. Nevertheless, the impossible news headline was true—Dog caught walking owner off bridge. Plummets to death, owner not dog.

Father John once said he got cold spells when he entered the church, or something like that. I told him to wear mittens.

Mittens, he said. Are for boys!

Father, I said. You are a boy.

A glass menagerie, glass menagerie, menagerie of steel, stainless steel, I've stolen my lines from the great Herodotus, or Hercules, I can't remember which was Assyrian. Istanbul is a city with great glass walls, erected with the sweat of tigers, lions, and bears. The mighty walls, like skin of cats, are see through. I see through, you see through. I can't see through, you can't see through. I am done with this cat business, the 9 lives of Nineveh, or 9 Visigoths, or Vishnu nude bathing on porcelain counter tops with margaritas in both hands.

A list will be my final attempt: a horn, clobbered, musk, alabaster, gloat, Los Alamos, credenza, last night, a dry hump, a parakeet.

When the Edict of Nantes was declared null and void girls bought hot pink lipstick. Abolition is freedom if you can't read. Reading is ______! But only if you close your eyes when you do it.

Madness, you say. Madness, I say. Say, do you understand the function of that squiggly line in calculus? The one that looks like it wants to be infinity. That's the function of madness.

About the author:

Neil de la Flor's literary work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, Court Green, Barrow Street, Hayden's Ferry Review, and others. He is also the co-author of Facial Geometry, (NeO Pepper Press) a chapbook of collaborative triads written with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Neil de la Flor at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 3, where "T. Williams Talks to Birds or I'm Talking to Birds" ran on November 15, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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