Thursday, November 11, 2010
This week's rite I set up in front of the Fleming Museum in a grove of three pine trees. A private needle-carpeted room, a discrete place where I would've pretended as a child. Ended up above in one of the pines, the best climbing tree imaginable - boughs radiating out at regular intervals, easy to hoist up its axel, enter into a tree's bloodstream, shoot up into its heart. Came out at eye level with our Daylight Savings setting sun and sat comfortably suspended, severely quieted by the blinding head-on light as it bathed a sea trough of waving pine needles turned silver-gold. Religiously calmed, a whole part of my mind blasted clean out of my brain. Dumbstruck, drowsy, I could have fallen asleep, I could have stayed forever.
This week's rite we killed nine of our nineteen chickens. We slit their throats as they were held upside-down in the snug-fitting "cone" and bled them into a bucket until their necks hung limp and long. We dipped them in boiling water for thirty seconds, plucked their feathers, beheaded and gutted them, and cut their legs off. We put their organs back their cavities wrapped in cellophane and put them in a zip lock bag. Now they are in our freezer, radically transformed in this new state, a transformation we enacted. I think that the ten remaining chickens feel some kind of absence. I replay over and over - I hope - that the bleeding chickens felt just dumbstruck, drowsy - but I may be pretending.