When writer Wendy S. Walters lived in LA in the early 2000s, she wrote a collection of poems about the city called The Birds of Los Angeles. For one of her poems, she wanted to examine the idea of the Hollywood romance “and the ways in which people think that they're going to be walking into a movie about their life,” Walters said. “And you know relationships are often much harder than that.”
Wendy S. Walters - Hollywood Finches
Mark Bramhill: This is BirdNote.
[Music: Warm Fingers by Blue Dot Sessions]
When writer Wendy S. Walters lived in LA in the early 2000s, she wrote a collection of poems about the city called The Birds of Los Angeles. And for one poem, she wanted to examine Tinseltown:
Wendy S. Walters: I was thinking about this idea of the Hollywood romance and the ways in which people think that they're going to be walking into a movie about their life. And you know relationships are often much harder than that.
[ML22938 House Finch]
This story was buried behind a murder on the third page:
A sudden husband is a tree that dances only for she,
who reaches across the table and touches his new wife—
How she flinches, then forgets to close the birdcage.
A house finch expects her neglect and is ready to flee,
a house finch reflects her regret and runs for his life!
He heads for the sea, but stops first to steal a piano.
She thinks, this proves that trees have no place in me
and sets off after the mighty finch, to escape the strife
of matrimony. A nickelodeon is a blurred stage,
but the husband studies newsreels for his dynamo,
proof she existed. Poof! Cut to: a piano that sits
on the shore, alight with corpulent flocks of soprano.
They sing of unlucky romance, how to live without it.
[ML137867 Black Oystercatcher // ML137882 Black Oystercatcher]
Mark Bramhill: You can hear more of Walters’ poetry on our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Mark Bramhill.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. House Finch recorded by William R. Fish. Black Oystercatchers recorded by Gerrit Vyn.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2021 BirdNote April 2021 Narrator: Mark Bramhill with guest, Wendy S. Walters
ID# waltersw-02-2021-04-02 walters-01