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"Is The Ouzel Stupid?"

AmericanFalls.jpg

Though you've spent
your life practicing,
you still don't seem
to understand
how water works.
You aren't supposed
to bounce
that clear pool
then hop the gravel
bottom of the
fastest current
like a robin on
a courthouse lawn—
or flit back
to your rock
and dip like a fat
boxer at a shadow
without arms.
Birds don't work
that way.
Jesus, nothing works
that way.
I'd sooner believe
a small gray
meatloaf
had paddled
the Mississippi to
the Continental Divide.
Bring me my Polaroids.
Bring me
my binoculars.
Bring me
the God damned
bird book.

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Greg Keeler is Professor Emeritus of English at Montana State University. He received his M.A. from Oklahoma State University and his D.A. from Idaho State University. His areas of specialization are in the writing of poetry and fiction and in contemporary literature. He has published three books and numerous poetry collections and chapbooks. He has also had six stage plays produced, produced ten tapes and CDs of his satirical songs, and published many articles in popular and academic magazines and journals. His acrylic paintings have been exhibited the M.S.U. Library and in galleries in and around Bozeman. He illustrated Jim Harrison's chapbook, Livingston Suite. In 2001 he received the Montana Governor's Award in the Humanities.

"Is The Ouzel Stupid?" was published in Keeler's 1991 collection American Falls.

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