Typewriter: Grackle

Each week, the Standard reaches out to Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo for a custom poem on Texas topics.

By Shanna GerlachApril 19, 2024 3:37 pm, , ,

The state bird of Texas is, of course, the northern mockingbird. But there’s another bird that’s far more pervasive in the state’s largest cities — or near most grocery store dumpsters. It’s a feathered creature with what seems like an ancient attitude: the grackle. It was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.


it’s like the asteroid the size of
a city forgot them,
the grackle.

it wiped everything, even (especially)
the dinosaurs
into oblivion,
and somehow left the grackle.

maybe one was hiding sildent
(impossible, given their sheer volume)

maybe one was hiding camouflaged
(impossible, given their shiny glinting
bodies like oil slicks)

maybe one was hiding crammed small
(impossible, given their long tails
like veils slinking down a funeral

and yet,
that impossible dinosaur descendant
struts among us,
haunting our streets and trees and
screaming for all they’re worth,
hoping, somehow,
the Mesozoic Era
can hear them.

A photo of the typewritten poem on a torn half sheet of light yellow paper. A person is holding the paper up before a background of greenery.

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