The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday, Mound Builders, Visionary


Stag's Leap
By Sharon Olds

Then the drawing on the label of our favorite red wine
looks like my husband, casting himself off a
cliff in his fervor to get free of me.
His fur is rough and cozy, his face
placid, tranced, ruminant,
the bough of each furculum reaches back
to his haunches, each tine of it grows straight up
and branches, like a model of his brain, archaic,
unwieldy. He bears its bony tray
level as he soars from the precipice edge,
dreamy. When anyone escapes, my heart
leaps up. Even when it's I who am escaped from,
I am half on the side of the leaver. It's so quiet,
and empty, when he's left. I feel like a landscape,
a ground without a figure. Sauve
qui peut
—let those who can save themselves
save themselves. Once I saw a drypoint of someone
tiny being crucified
on a fallow deer's antlers. I feel like his victim,
and he seems my victim, I worry that the outstretched
legs on the hart are bent the wrong way as he
throws himself off. Oh my mate. I was vain of his
faithfulness, as if it was
a compliment, rather than a state
of partial sleep. And when I wrote about him, did he
feel he had to walk around
carrying my books on his head like a stack of
posture volumes, or the rack of horns
hung where a hunter washes the venison
down with the sauvignon? Oh leap,
leap! Careful of the rocks! Does the old
vow have to wish him happiness
in his new life, even sexual
joy? I fear so, at first, when I still
can't tell us apart. Below his shaggy
belly, in the distance, lie the even dots
of a vineyard, its vines not blasted, its roots
clean, its bottles growing at the ends of their
blowpipes as dark, green, wavering groans.

--------

From Olds' new book Stag's Leap. I still haven't read the whole thing; I've been reading her poetry for so long that even though I know she's writing about a persona named Sharon Olds, not necessarily herself, I feel like someone I've known for more than half my life and listened to talk about her husband and her romantic life for most of that time is now telling me more about her divorce than I can handle hearing.

I had a fairly quiet Friday. I spent the morning working on a review of Deep Space Nine's "Visionary", an episode I really didn't remember and really liked on this rewatching; it's interesting watching episodes now without seeing them through the distraction of being in love with Voyager, which left most of DS9's third and fourth season as something of a blur to me. My cats helped me eat a bagel for lunch ("helped" here having the meaning of "practically sat on") and while walking in the gorgeous cool weather I saw two bunnies, to my surprise, as I hadn't seen any bunnies in a couple of weeks and had figured they were already hibernating.

We had dinner with my parents minus children, since Adam stayed at tech for the school show that opens next weekend. Then we came home and watched Nikita, which seems too convoluted even to me who's followed it since the start, and Arrow, which I'd never seen before but rather enjoyed despite some uneven acting and comic book dialogue because hello, John Barrowman and the Borg Queen. Here are some photos from Little Bennett Park of the huge burrows built by the Allegheny mound builder ants, the largest such colony in my county:















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