Selective Cruelty - Crueldad Selectiva

Crudelitas (Lat. cruelty)

European cuckoo. The cuckoo is a type of grey European bird that lays eggs in others birds’ nests. When a female cuckoo is ready to lay her eggs, she finds a nest of a suitable host species and waits for the host bird to leave the nest unattended. She needs only a few seconds to fly to the nest, pick up one of the host’s eggs in her beak, and lay one of her own eggs in its place. Immediately afterwards she flies off, abandoning her offspring to the foster parents and eating the stolen egg. When the host bird returns, she usually accepts the cuckoo’s egg and incubates it with her own eggs. The cuckoo’s timing is precise, and its egg usually hatches before the host eggs. The hatchling cuckoo, with its eyes not yet open, ejects the unhatched host eggs from the nest. This process of ejection is innate. After ejecting the host’s eggs, the young cuckoo getsthe undivided attention of its foster parents, which will feed and nurture it.

Ejection of host eggs from nest by cuckoo hatchling

When a hatchling senses that an adult bird is near, it begs for food by raising its head, opening its mouth, and cheeping. In turn, the foster parent stuffs food in the gaping mouth. These innate behaviors are replayed over and over, even after the young cuckoo is much larger than the adults.

The foster mother keeps feeding the cuckoo chick

Cuckoo's research references and picture credits: Neil A. Campbell, Lawrence G. Mitchell, and Jane B. Reece, Biology: Concepts and Connections, Redwood City, California: Benjamin Cummings, 1994, pp. 720-21; Cecile Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1995, p. 914.

Selective Ones

It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses. It is the spaces between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist. It is the streets that no longer exist.
It is not your memories which hunt you.
It is not what you have written down.
It is what you haveforgotten, what you must forget.
What you must go on forgetting all your life.

The workmen are dismantling the houses of the dead.

And silence is made. / Y el silencio se hace


No es lo que construyen. Es lo que derribaron.
No son las casas. Es el espacio entre las casas.
No son las calles que existen. Son las calles que ya no existen.
No son tus recuerdos que te persiguen.
No es lo que has escrito.
Es lo que has olvidado, lo que debes olvidar.
Lo que debes seguir olvidando toda tu vida.

Los trabajadoresdesmantelan las casas de los muertos.

Él olvida continuar el asunto.
No es lo que quiere saber.
Es lo que quiere no saber.
No es lo que dicen.
Es lo que no dicen.

He forgets to pursue the point.
It is not what he wants to know.
It is what he wants not to know.
It is not what they say.
QIt is what they do not say.

A painted bird? / ¿Pájaro pinto o pintado?

REFERENCES. Visual sources: And silence is made (“Et le silence s’est fait,” European beer advertisement); Puppet (Teatro Municipal General San Martín, Buenos Aires, c.1983-85); A Lesson (digital image inspired by Samuel Bak’s homonymous oil painting of 1968; Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, New York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 131); Painted Bird (photographer unknown). Literary source: James Fenton, “A German Requiem” (1981), from The Memory of War and Children in Exile: 1968-83; strophe 1, lines 1-7; strophe 4, line 8; strophe 9, lines 6-9 (The Great Modern Poets, ed. Michel Schmidt, London: Quercus, 2006, pp. 220-21). Translation of Fenton’s words into the Spanish language, idea and design: Mariano Akerman.

REFERENCIAS. Fuentes visuales: Y el silencio se ha hecho (“Et le silence s’est fait,” anuncio publicitario promocionando cierta cerveza europea); Títere (Teatro Municipal General San Martín, Buenos Aires, c.1983-85); Una lección (imagen digital inspirada por óleo homónimo de Samuel Bak, 1968; Bak: Paintings of the Last Decade, Nueva York: Aberbach Fine Art, 1978, p. 131); Pájaro Pinto (fotógrafo desconocido). Fuente literaria: James Fenton, “Un réquiem alemán” (1981), tomado de su serie The Memory of War and Children in Exile: 1968-83; estrofa 1, líneas 1-7; estrofa 4, línea 8; estrofa 9, líneas 6-9 (The Great Modern Poets, ed. Michel Schmidt, Londres: Quercus, 2006, pp. 220-21). Traducción de las palabras de Fenton al castellano rioplatense, idea y diseño: Mariano Akerman.


Gab Stegmann said...

Very imaginative and creative.

Sweet Life said...

Excellent post. In Ontario we have the mourning dove as the cuckoo. Isn't it a fantastic metaphor for so much in our world?
The poem you post is incredible. It is going on my desk wall! Thanks for posting, friend. Wonderful.

John Ayes said...

Good manipulation of the subject matter... and attractive photos too.