The Aviary of Hansel Handkuss
for Hans Magnus Kleinzahler

 

 
 
Of all Handkuss's exotic birds
only the cocky cockatiel will exchange
a word or two with the famous bard,
 
but declines to say 'I love you'
no matter how extravagantly bribed
with far-fetched seed and little toys.
 
'I love you!' Hans endlessly insists;
then later copiously weeps
into a large Wild Turkey over ice
 
in the Sobbing Saxophone saloon
where he drinks and thinks alone,
observed only by the beady eye
 
of Eagle Who Has Lost His Feathers --
a stand-up Native American guy
without (y'know?) no attitude.
 
Back home Hansi's cockatiel
perches on his index finger and,
cocking his brightly-crested head,
shits in that beseeching palm.
 
 

 

 

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