Portland’s pigeon whispering poet wants you to keep your head up

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Starr Sarabia is the guy you’ve seen in Congress Square talking with, kissing and feeding the pigeons. People call him the Pigeon Whisperer. He knows many of the birds by name and often poses for tourist snaps with a dozen of his feathery friends perched on his arms, shoulders and head.

Seth Koenig and I profiled Sarabia in 2013. I’ve called him a friend ever since.

Sarabia also writes poetry. He’s self-published ten volumes of verse and been recognized by the Massachusetts Arts Council for his talents. But he doesn’t call himself a poet.

“I’m a language sculptor,” he said. “I’m too sexy to be a poet.”

This is the first in an occasional series of videos giving flight to some of his word sculptures.

“Ma HEAD Up”

I gotta GET up-
Bad times’ll LET up
if I keep ma HEAD up.

Yo, I’ma RAISE up
not gonna keep ma tired WAYS up
I’m a ghetto BUTTERfly;
can’t bring me down
b’cuz I STAYS up-

I’m gon’ work a SWEAT up
when stuff won’t LET up
‘n tho more times than none
I’m FED up,

I keep
ma HEAD up.

c 2016 Starr/White Chocolate Books

To find out more about Sarabia or to buy copies of his poetry books you can friend him on Facebook or email him at whitechocolatebooks@yahoo.com. All volumes are $10.00. He donates 10 percent of the proceeds to Preble Street, which provides services to those struggling with homelessness, hunger, and poverty in Portland.

Portland's Bird Man of Congress Square, Starr Sarabia has self-published 10 volumes of poetry. He doesn't call himself a poet, though. "I'm a language sculptor," he said. "I'm too sexy to be a poet." Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Portland’s Bird Man of Congress Square, Starr Sarabia, has self-published 10 volumes of poetry. He doesn’t call himself a poet, though. “I’m a language sculptor,” he said. “I’m too sexy to be a poet.” Troy R. Bennett | BDN

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Troy R. Bennett

About Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.