Ithaca New York
Often when engaged in a poetry tour, one finds themselves crashing on someone's couch. Andy Slamtractor runs a great reading series up in Ithaca and the evening ended with an invitation to crash on his friend Mina's couch with the caveat that I help her with a rooster problem. She had adopted this fine fellow from a friend and now it was temporarily in a garbage can, with hay and chicken wire top, waiting to be moved into his new coop. The idea was that I would move the rooster in exchange for sleeping on the couch. Luckily one of Mina's friend's is a poultry expert and gave me instructions on handling roosters. It seems that because roosters subscribe to the pecking order theory that all one has to do is establish that one is the alpha rooster in order to control the lower rooster. In order to help all touring poets who find themselves in this position here is a step-by-step guide to becoming an Alpha Rooster:
1. Get a firm grip on the rooster's back.
2. Push it to the ground.
3. Reach underneath the rooster and grab its legs.
4. Flip the rooster on its back.
You now have complete control of the rooster and can move it as needed. Caution, you have about 3 seconds between grabbing the rooster's back and pushing it to the ground to establish dominance before the rooster realizes you are not the Alpha and pecks the shit out of your hand.
All night I thought about the rooster. In the morning Mina and I went outside and approached the rooster. I made my first mistake when I moved the garbage can closer to the coop, this enraged the rooster and when I removed the chicken wire top he puffed up, his feathers swelling with anger. I reached down grabbed his back, his beck dug into my hand and he pulled loose. He winged out of the can and began to race around the yard, me splashing in the mud after him. Mina shouting, "Catch him, catch him. He was fast and darted from out the can each time I tried to put it over his head.
Then he turned into a fenced in section of the yard and banged his head against the fence and in his dizzy state I grabbed him, pushed him down and got hold of his legs. Mina, shouted, "Flip him," and he went limp as I put him in his coop.
What a male ego opportunity. Don't forget poetry sounds like poultry.