northern cardinal

February 1, 2023 2023, diario/journal


Where do I start?
For the first time, I put out a bird-feeder and after two weeks of no visitors, the wilds of the Northside found it. Now, I’m refilling it every day.
Each morning, they – some 50 winged wilds – keep me company as I drink my espresso and eat my Costco corn muffin. On a dreary winter morning, their chirping, fluttering, littering, their bickering are all welcome. (Since January 1, Pittsburgh has had 4 sunny days.)

The Roman Church is truly going through a wormhole. Dead Cardinal Pell, who is currently residing in the third ring of the seventh circle, is screaming because The Argentinian is talking about homosexuality. (It’s like a fat priest crashing the dinning hall at Auschwitz. Can’t you just picture it – his mouth covered in cake crumbs, his cardinal-red train fluttering behind him as he grabs his gold pectoral-cross and screeches, ‘Gluttony is a mortal sin; you’re all going to burn in hell.’)

And what about the German Georg Gänswein? Yes, he’s so smart, he writes a book instead of screaming. He screeches, he rants, he scribbles all about a dead Latin rite – OMG. Maybe a train fluttering in the Vatican breeze would settle his Hun heart? What about tea with Cardinal Burke; Leo could wear his ermine collar and bring his ‘train-boy’? No? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


The above image is shot through a window with a screen, hence its blurry quality. And compared to all the other wilds that come to feast, this Northern Cardinal female is hefty, full-figured.
The featured image is by Kelly Flanagan. I follow her on Twitter.

first of spring

February 24, 2023 2023, diario/journal

Though a tremor of the winter

Did shivering through them run;

Yet they lifted up their foreheads

To greet the vernal sun.

  • the snowdrops are no where to be seen
  • on Thursday, temperatures here reached 70 degrees
  • in Los Angeles, low 40s are announcing spring
  • in Oxford, Michigan the trees are sheathed in ice
  • today, the crocus in the back flower-bed bloomed
  • a year ago, Putin invaded Ukraine
  • but, Americans are obsessed with an asshole in North Carolina, and an asshole in Florida
  • the world has gone topsy-turvy

The stanza, to the right of the image, is from The Crocuses by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.


March 4, 2023 2023, diario/journal

17 days
till the vernal

The pots sit ready; the rocks lean left; and the sun is setting on the rich, white psychopaths.

Last year, I got rid of many items – rocks, cinder-blocks, bricks, planks, pots, decorations. But in simplifying, I didn’t have time to organize what was left. This year, with a stripped-down, minimized area, I ordered what remained.

Sometime at the beginning of April, I will fill the pots with violets – the first planting.


art by
Andrea Kiss


March 11, 2023 2023, Carousel, diario/journal


Magnani e Pasolini

Venice, 1962

We are the sum of our experiences; uniquely defined by our memories.

We spend a lifetime gathering a collection of treasured object and symbols.
Each of them holding a tiny fragment of our identity.

I’ve been wanting to do a set of posts that present the various images in my head – pictures that belong to another time, another country, another sensibility.

These images have been with me all my life, and now I realize they’re memories.

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. L.P. Hartley, “The Go-Between“.

Anna Magnani
The above image represents all the pictures in my head of Italian immigrants at weddings. Real people dancing; dancing before the reality of Lee Harvey Oswald, before the horrors of Vietnam, before the unraveling of Catholicism, and before the assimilation into a Canadian dullness.
But Magnani is real; she’s luminous; her mouth hangs with laughter; her simple black dress caresses her body. There’s fun, there’s heat.
Living in Sault Ste Marie, in a Calabrese community, in the 60s, I had relatives like Magnani.

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pasolini, with his back to the camera, heralds what’s coming; he’s the reality of Last Tango; he’s the horror of AIDS; he’s the unraveling of the lies of the 1950s; and he’s the assimilation of blacks, women and gays.
But Pasolini is hidden; his head is down; he’s contorted. His vented jacket covers his ass; his pointy shoes squeeze his feet. There’s disquiet; there’s fear.
Living in New York in the heady, lewd 70s, I had friends like Pasolini.

Both the above image and the featured image of Magnani are from online.
The quote is from an episode of Vienna Blood.