Birds In Art

by Christian P. Knoeller

The flock assembled in this gallery has stopped
dead in its tracks, becoming subjects
in a kingdom of pigment and paper.

When the show opens, patrons gather, an
incongruous lot, admiring famed artists
or reciting the names of rarest

birds by heart. Painters present
preen before their work, signing autographs,
dressed to match the plumage

they have rendered. If life imitates
art, will they soon take wing to distant
forests or settle here instead, captioned

on a perfectly illusory perch?

About the Author:

Christian Knoeller served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, teaching literature and writing. His work has appeared--or is forthcoming--in such journals as: Ascent, The Connecticut Poetry Review, Cutbank, Ellipsis, Folio, Greenfield Review, GW Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Visions International, West Branch Quarterly, and Willow Spring, among others, as well as Upriver 5: An Anthology of Wisconsin Writing. His chapbook, Song in Brown Bear Country, was published by Devil's Club Press of Juneau, Alaska. Mr. Knoeller, who holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley as well as an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon, is presently completing a research study on classroom discussion of literature for SUNY Press and, in addition, a college textbook on the teaching of creative writing in conjunction with the study of literature in the secondary schools, to be published by Allyn & Bacon in 1997.