Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am
23rd Sep 2009

Dead Pigeon.

In town today there was a dead pigeon lying right in the middle of the precinct. More than merely dead – killed! Something had made a fair sized hole in its head and neck so it was lying in a pretty impressive pool of blood. I stood over it and surveyed the wreckage for a good minute or two. I’m not really sure what I was thinking, there was something absorbing about it, a morbid spectacle to polarise my otherwise routine day. I walked around the corner to buy an apple and when I re-crossed town I went back to it, willingly drawn in, fascinated. There was something gloriously unapologetic about it, lying there in the path of the masses, as though death had given it a hideous grace that life had been unable to dress it in. The living pigeons nearby, blissfully ignorant of their fallen comrade, continued bustling moronically in their repetitive and endless hunger. Each a testament to their own monotony and a vicious parody of ours. They eat. They shit. They eat. They shit. Repetitive. Routine. Tedium. In ceasing to be, the expired had transcended the mould of its existence and become so very much MORE.

I watched for as long as I could, while upwards of ten mid afternoon shoppers were momentarily shocked out of their passivity by the grizzly insertion of this little morality play into their field of vision. The look of horror on one woman’s face was mesmerising. She was visibly affronted by the bare fact of it’s lying in her stead, but could she take her eyes off it? No. She could not. And could I take my eyes off her? No. I could not. She craned her neck to keep it in her sight as she walked toward it, over it, away from it. We do that don’t we? Stare at the things that horrify us. Like the traffic slowing down to observe a car crash, hoping not to see something appalling and yet yearning to see it at the same time. The allure of the atrocity. The tonguing of the loose tooth.

In the end I realised what had satisfied me the most. It was the fantastically indelicate way it had deflowered the faux-sanitary pretence of our shopping centre with its choice of final resting spots. Burnley high street looks exactly the same as every UK high street with its stainless steel and glass walkways and same old stores and blah blah blah. Yet, despite their million pound logo’s and their designer window displays, the retail giants were today upstaged by the abrupt and splendid exit of a single verminous parasite. Their clinical, calculated stage fronts tarnished forever. Not just visibly, by the sort of stain that only sacrificial blood can leave, but also symbolically. For what are you to do when your beautifully packaged goods and your nice tidy shop are not even nearly as arresting as a dead pigeon lying right in the middle of the precinct.

by Chris
Posted in Words

4 Responses to
“Dead Pigeon.”

  1. Ben Wright says:

    You were right!
    Short and sweet, keep ’em coming

  2. Pets Adoption >> Adopt a pet to ... says:

    ..]other great source of tips on this subjectis ,,..]

  3. Major thanks for the article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  4. source says:

    How did you make this site look this awesome! Email me if you want and share your wisdom. Id appreciate it.

Leave a Reply