Put Clarence the Bird On It

ink on cardboard street art of a bird with the text "Clarence the Bird...Make the world beautiful", Pittsbugh, PA

Out and about, on our way to something-or-other. Yet another spectacular non-winter day in the middle of February. Then, from nowhere, a hand-inked and slightly-weathered swath of grainy card stock, crudely stapled to a telephone pole. On it, the image of a fluttering fantasy bird–a long beak, gloriously-oversized wings pitched high in mid-flutter, and a preposterous dangling tail feather. Bloggers with less couth would suggest this bird is a pimp. The calligraph Clarence the Bird…Make the World Beautiful frames the fine creature.

ink on cardboard street art of a bird with the text "Clarence the Bird...Make the world beautiful", Pittsbugh, PA

We pull out the trusty electronic image-preserver, do our duty, and continue on down Butler Street. Where were we going? All I remember is the light was getting low. More worried about the damn photograph than where we were headed. Anyway, the next telephone pole, another Clarence the Bird drawing, this one on corrugated cardboard. Aside from the base material, the drawings are strikingly similar–clearly by the same hand, but again an original drawing. The pole after that? Yeah: same thing. This is turning into a legitimate bird happening. What’s going on around here?

ink on cardboard street art of a bird with the text "Clarence the Bird...Make the world beautiful", Pittsbugh, PA

Four drawings in total [hopefully we didn’t miss any] on successive Butler Street light poles, roughly around Home and 47th Streets on the cemetery side. Who is Clarence the Bird? And why is he so darned determined to “make the world beautiful”? Make no mistake: we applaud this end game. The Orbit may never be able to properly answer more than the what in this curious equation, but that’s all right–being left in wonder is no great hardship. Some might even suggest that it’s the greatest reward we could ask for. Clarence–or whoever you are–you’ve done good.

ink on cardboard street art of a bird with the text "Clarence the Bird...Make the world beautiful", Pittsbugh, PA

2 thoughts on “Put Clarence the Bird On It

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