The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Tuesday and Riversdale Mansion 
Tuesday, 12th June 2012 12:11 am

One Night
By Mathias Svalina

I am scared of one night. One night might come upon me while I sleep. One night might kiss me & never unzip its lips. I never try to leave the bed, never try to sit up. One night is always there like a tumor: a drum machine fear. I've known one night my whole life. It chases me off the edge of the screen at the end of each act. It speaks & I listen with all my wounds & all my fingerprints. I want an operation to connect me to one night. It is lost in the dark, surely alone, surely shivering, & there is nothing I can do to protect it.

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Monday was relatively dull and quiet after the weekend. Adam got up early to wait for FedEx to deliver a new lens he bought himself for his birthday, then biked with his girlfriend to the mall. Daniel, who was not even out of bed yet when Adam left, eventually got up and discovered that we were out of bread to make sandwiches, so I took HIM to the mall, running into Adam just as he was leaving -- he told us that Hot Topic was closing, so we went in to get Daniel a Tool shirt while it was 50% off. Then we came home to hysterical starving cats who were fed 8 minutes late.

There were several bunnies on my walk this afternoon and several neighbors with whom I stopped to chat, then dinner -- the only time of the day I had both kids in the same room, since Daniel was busy solving a friend's computer problems and Adam went for a run -- then we watched the Nationals beat the Blue Jays and the Elvis episode of Relic Hunter. Now I am surrounded by sleepy cats who are using their cat gravity to make me sleepy too. Here are some photos from Riversdale, the estate of Rosalie Stier and George Calvert near College Park:


George Calvert's office, with fantastic wallpaper...


...which depicts an English country hunt from the gathering at the mansion to the picnic afterward.


I'm not sure whether there was a bust there originally, but some of the wallpaper is original and the rest was tracked down to match.


The candelabras in this room are original as well, though the walls have not yet been restored to their former paint color.


Some of the furniture in this room is original, like this seat, though many of the Empire style furnishings are now in museums.


The dining room has been fully restored, including the couch that for some reason Rosalie kept there.


The dining room windows overlook the cannon in the rear garden.


And this is the kitchen, in a detached building, fully stocked. Maryland was a slave state when the Calverts lived there and an extensive family of slaves worked here.
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