The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday, Great Falls, Hyde Park on Hudson

The Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World
By Jordan Davis

The please freak
And the likeness monster
Follow the pretend family
On their journey alone
Around the room.

In the middle of the night
Comes the terrifying cry—
"How may I help you"

The tree looks down
And shakes its head.

Under separate cover
Of the night, love
Stalks the streets.

The audit committee
Goes into executive session.

In a faraway bedroom,
A baby smiles. Everything
Is happening by the plan.

The sound of hoofs on brick.
Peach lights in the fog.
The bagels are poorly
But the beer is handcrafted.

A continuous stream of information
Broadcast by the insects:

At the sound of the tone,
Please leave a message.

Ah, they will think.
No one home.
It's good for them to think—
Don't do it for them.

Feel free to shout at the screen.
Feel as free as possible.
Feel freer.


I got to spend an awesome Monday with dementordelta, because we had decided we really needed to see Hyde Park on Hudson together and it is now open in two DC-area theaters! We went first to lunch at Cafe Deluxe in downtown Bethesda, which was less crowded with holiday shoppers than I had feared -- we managed to park in the covered lot with no trouble -- and shared pear-and-candied-walnut pizza and Gruyere mac & cheese, both of which were delicious. Then we walked past the Christmas-decorated shops and went to the movie, which I loved, though I'm not sure I would not say it was excellent; it's certainly not the caliber of The King's Speech, though the acting is all terrific and it's quite funny, not biopic-heavy.

Going in, I already had a prejudice: I find it annoying that someone made a movie about FDR the weekend of the King's visit, in which both his wife and his mother are minor characters, while an alleged lover -- an admiring, accommodating cousin whom most biographers say likely never had a physical relationship with him -- takes center stage. Even as played by Laura Linney, I wanted to toss her off the screen so I could see much more of Eleanor and Sara, whom we hear about more than we see, or even Missy, who worked closely with Roosevelt and was therefore much more of a partner than a fangirl...which is how Cousin Daisy is largely portrayed. I also find it hard to believe that FDR had time to juggle three mistresses while staying at his mother's house, let alone while the royals were visiting! Bill Murray's FDR is good but undercut by a script obsessed with his exploitative relationships with women rather than his overall personality and sense of duty.

That said, the portrayal of Bertie and Elizabeth is very enjoyable, particularly as a sequel of sorts to The King's Speech -- Bertie has the same self-deprecating wit and private concerns about his public image, particularly in the wake of his brother's abdication -- there are lovely scenes with Roosevelt offering him paternal advice about leadership and taking him for a private swim, a pastime where neither of their physical disabilities affected them. Elizabeth is much less supportive than in The King's Speech, afraid that they're being mocked, and on more than one occasion the tells Bertie that he's doing things his brother wouldn't do until he loses his temper -- we're never going to know what they said to each other in private but from her correspondence I have trouble accepting that on such an occasion she'd have undermined his confidence in that way.

After the movie, we came back to my house, ate toffee- and chocolate-covered almonds, and watched Angels and Demons because Delta had never seen it and I hadn't watched it in ages (nor had younger son, who joined us for the end). It's pure crack even compared to Hyde Park on Hudson but no less enjoyable for that -- McGregor and Skarsgard are such fun in it. We also watched the Beavers IMAX movie, because adorable beavers, hee. After she went home, the rest of us had dinner and watched this week's Merlin which was quite good and I wish it had come before the very end of the series. Here are some photos from Great Falls earlier this month as the sun set while we walked to the island:


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