Monday, March 10, 2014

Not that kind

Sometimes you look up words because you think there might be good stories in their etymology and there often are but sometimes the dictionary doesn't know anything about that.

Today jizz, which is the flash of collected things that makes you able to identify something in the field, because there is a thing I need to tell you about the sparrows and dunnocks in my apple tree and how once I knew how to tell them apart from the dunnocks' pretty slate heads and tiny watchmaker beaks but now I know them backlit at three times the distance just because they are dunnocks and sparrows. 

Actually there are a million things I need to tell you about watching and seeing and getting the jizz and what happens to you when there comes to be a flitting, fleeting, glimpsed constellation of things alive in the world which you once succeeded in identifying with the glee of being at the foot of the Master Namer and now they are simply there, themselves, perfectly themselves, arisen in a blink with their names duly attached and eventually you draw a blank in the place where once you could describe how you know them. Passer domesticus. House sparrow. Passer, sparrow. Domesticus, house, the most deeply implausible transparency in a Latin name ever to never happen again. 

The dictionary lives forever with the Master Namer and reminds you that what things mean can be taken apart, until they can't. After a while its efforts are too much and its orderly pretendings that the tacit is audible too sad, and you lay your cheek on the cool pages and listen to the words whispering syntax, nonsense, syntax, nonsense like crystals forming and dissolving on the edge of solute saturation.

Sideways from my Vol A--M perch I watch very early pigeon fledglings in the maple. There are white doves at Kings and a wonderful wee gang of town-pigeon-dove mashup chicks have washed up in the little garden, two thoroughly splattered with white dove-emulsion and the other wearing only the most ordinary pigeon livery with a neat white superhero hat. 

A blackbird alarm call. Capped pigeon launches and reveals a spray of pure white primaries. For what is a superhero without her cape? 

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