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This poem is taken from PN Review 141, Volume 28 Number 1, September - October 2001.

Bird with Yellow Plumes Norm Sibum

                    -God help me,
          but I began talking to that bird -

From out of the sweetness of my soul I said,
        You there in your cage,
In the sun, on the balcony,
Holding forth, you reactionary in feathers, -
You arbiter of taste, of how well the women
Carry themselves, of art's anarchic impulse,
Why always the big production?
Can't you simply whistle
Like any self-respecting bird?

You say, for heaven's sake, throw back your shoulders.
You say, art is ten per cent will and the rest,
        The rest is surrender. How touching.
And you spill no tears for dead barbarians
And you vote right of centre every time.
Ah, you're a difficult bird, I said.
I spoke without motive or agenda.
...


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