In the barn studio below the amazing skylight the names were put in a large galvanized hopper and churned around.
A one-man aviary band Jeffrey cranked the curved handle on the reclaimed writer’s desk and some of them came down like sounds of wind or car horns, rude expletives or to mimic the crazy cawing from above. The names dislodged then rattled then spun down around a copper spring-tubing as with a timeless still where they slowly echoed down; in the shiver of small quills they left trail marks, as they revealed a more pure essence.
Other names got jammed at the top. They formed boldly arched natural bridges against gray metal skies; they were as dark bouillon cubes contaminated with moisture that stuck them together. No vibration of the writer’s mechanism could break them free.
Jeffrey cranked hard he blew the call. Caw. Caw. Caw.
As he cranked his name changed shape with their names and he became Jeff. Less black birds encircled in flight above the skylight and above the clattered pace of wooden gears. He thought of a windmill near the seaside and the dream of rye flour. The light of day that is special.
From our muffled station behind a sliding door we could hear the sound of cracking and cawing into a more centered sentience with the pressure of his hand against the gritty lever where he worked in the antiquities room. Then it was Jay, then it was just… and a list of small hearts which were previously homogenized with a kitchen cleaver in separate identities became like a nude perfume.
It leaked, spilled and flowed to etch identities to the desk, then rivulets down the oak legs then onto the pine floor where it mixed with dust-of-radon and congealed bird's blood, or boat varnish and copper flakes that smelled musky with a hint of greenish organic form.
As sun set the now fluid bird names eared themselves into the structure of the barn walls where all that night to next century they confused spiders and black crickets with their cackled noises.