We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

Starlings, and: Grackle, and: Madonna Del Passero

From: Colorado Review
Volume 40, Number 3, Fall/Winter 2013
pp. 104-106 | 10.1353/col.2013.0086

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


The most beautiful clothes: iridescent black
over Snarl Call. I wore the soft Sparrow

to the store, I borrowed the Crow to bag food;
the Chickadee to the masquerade; the Vulture to the show,

where my silhouette had to be more raw-necked
and veined. Stare: it’s hard

to think of me as the citizen of a star;
I’m no jet-sharp Swallow, no Bluebird’s rare

rosy décolletage, no white breasts
sterling the light, no Swan. I wear the soft gray hat

of the Junco pulled down. But I can,

in Starling, gloss more than one thing:
employee of my own oiled silk finish,

and purple-green trasher of your silence,
reflector and sharp-beaked shredder of

your most gorgeous and boring murmuracion:
mine mine mine mine.


Of Least Concern. The Corn
(relax, Ma) is not under Threat.
Bronze-Bodied and Bald, though,
means I am; I do; succumb to his
Common Name and Yellow Eye and Thumb.
Great Boat, Jack; the Others Yell
to Him. (I’m not kidding
about the Thumb). Great Tail
You Seem to Have Caught
with all your Purple. (I’m the Tail.)
I forgot that Jack means Small;
I forgot that Daw is a Corvid;
Meaning that Man is a Call
and not a Promise; Meaning that
Despite His Great Numbers
and Noisy Selves, He may Not Call.
(I know you said He would Not Call.)
He is More Intimate with Ants
as they Help Repel his Mites. He is
his own Corvette. But after
the First Date, He May Call. Ma,
I’m warning you: I May
Because of his Great Numbers
Ignore His Calls.

Madonna Del Passero

I demonstrate the sparrow:
icon of us, mirrored, fallow,
a sea of dull brown and female,
with the thin leash around our necks
held by a fat baby:
                      your fate, if you,
like the rest of us, remain dependent;
pregnant with it; the evidence that god
will kill even the worthless, the unformed.

                      But, look, we could be more,
say, could alight in our own places, set fire
to our own houses with a stolen cigarette
winged glowing through the rafters; could mate
for life but get, you know, around.
Could flood the City, and then, just as sudden
leave it bereft, its barns and malls all skeletal—

              Could be not spar or spare, but spore,
us, small and alone on the roof. Not just sing
in the broken chorus but to
each other, chirrup, a necklace of ourselves,
everywhere, each strung, yes, but each body, skiff,
each wing, oar.

Karen Leona Anderson  

Karen Leona Anderson is the author of Punish Honey. Her work has most recently appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Cornell University, she is currently an assistant professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Copyright © 2013 Center for Literary Publishing
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Karen Leona Anderson. "Starlings, and: Grackle, and: Madonna Del Passero." Colorado Review 1.3 (2013): 104-106. Project MUSE. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Anderson, K. L.(2013). Starlings, and: Grackle, and: Madonna Del Passero. Colorado Review 1(3), 104-106. Center for Literary Publishing. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Karen Leona Anderson. "Starlings, and: Grackle, and: Madonna Del Passero." Colorado Review 1, no. 3 (2013): 104-106. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed November 11, 2013).
T1 - Starlings, and: Grackle, and: Madonna Del Passero
A1 - Karen Leona Anderson
JF - Colorado Review
VL - 1
IS - 3
SP - 104
EP - 106
PY - 2013
PB - Center for Literary Publishing
SN - 2325-730X
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/colorado_review/v040/40.3.anderson.html
N1 - Volume 40, Number 3, Fall/Winter 2013
ER -


You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.

Research Areas


  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access