The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

Volcanic Holiday
By James Merrill

for Peter Hooten

Our helicopter shaking like a fist
Hovers above the churning
Cauldron of red lead in what a passion!
None but the junior cherubim ask why.
We bank and bolt. Shores draped in gloom
Upglint to future shocks of wheat.
Your lips, unheard, move through the din of blades.

A Mormon merman, God's least lobbyist,
Prowls the hotel. All morning
Sun tries to reason with the mad old ocean
We deep down feel the pull of. And in high
Valleys remote from salt and spume
Waterfalls jubilantly fleet
Spirit that thunder into glancing braids.

Thunder or bamboos drumming in the mist?
Tumbril or tribal warning?
Pacific Warfare reads the explanation
For a display we'd normally pass by:
Molars of men who snarled at doom
Studding a lava bowl. What meat
Mollifies the howl of famished shades?

Crested like palms, like waves, they too subsist
On one idea--returning.
Generation after generation
The spirit grapples, tattered butterfly,
A flower in sexual costume,
Hardon or sheath dew-fired. Our feet
At noon seek paths the evening rain degrades.

Adolescence, glowering unkissed:
The obstacle course yearning
Grew strong in. Check to cliff face, sheer devotion. . . .
To be loved back, then, would have been to die.
Then, not now. Show me the tomb
Whose motto and stone lyre complete
With this life-giving fever. As it fades

From the Zen chapel comes that song by Liszt.
Is love a dream? A burning,
Then a tempering? Beyond slopes gone ashen,
Rifts that breathe gas, rivers that vitrify,
Look! a bough falters into bloom.
Twin rainbows come and go, discreet,
As when together we haunt virgin glades.

Moments or years hence, having reminisced,
May somebody discerning
Arrive at tranquil words for . . . mere emotion?
Meanwhile let green-to-midnight shifts of sky
Fill sliding mirrors in our room
--No more eruptions, they entreat--
With Earth's repose and Heaven's masquerades.


Ever had someone pick a fight with you about something in your journal, repeatedly insist that you were in the wrong over something you never actually said, and then unFriend you -- after you had thought that you were actually friends, not just Friends -- someone for whom you had spent literally hours beta-reading, whose fic you now won't even be able to read because it's friends-locked? Where you can't figure out why she bitched you out so hard in the first place, and where you thought you were about as conciliatory as she was (which is to say, not very) in your last communication with her?

Jesus fuck. I hate fandom. I have PAGES of feedback for this person written up, sitting here, ready to be posted to an entry I can no longer read. I can't believe I'm sitting here in tears over someone I barely even know, whose regard for my feelings seems to be somewhere around "We could have been friends as long as you continued to worship my writing and agreed to take any real or perceived insult as your due, without explanation and without backtalk, but it's not even worth maintaining any contact with you otherwise."

Listen, M&C folk, I love you dearly, but as much as I love the source material as well, I have very bad feelings associated with the fandom. I'm going to bail. It's too small a community for the level of hostility I've encountered here. Only from two people but in a community this small, two people are enough.

There are, as I type this, huge, huge white snowflakes coming down outside -- compound snowflakes -- so big and scattered that it's very clear, not the gray fogginess in the distance that one often sees with snow. It almost looks like an effect in a movie.

So life continues to suck in small ways but there is absolutely no pollen count to speak of and I pretty much ignored everyone yesterday but ashinae and my family; it was my mother's birthday, so after an afternoon schlepping the kids to the dentist (we're looking at major orthodontal work for both) and Hebrew school (weekdays 4:30-6 is no fun, though there literally isn't another hour to spare on the weekends), we ate at my parents' house and I got to see what they've done to my childhood bedroom, which now looks like a silly girl's room with twin beds for sleepovers designed with my nieces in mind. I thought I'd be bothered that all my pictures were down from the walls and everything, but actually I'm glad it looks so completely different and there's nothing to distract from how I remember it looking for all those years.

Yesterday I was writing col_kira_nerys for theatrical_muse, answering interview questions left by the wonderful legate_damar (this is me saying "wonderful"; Kira's not nearly so sure of him), and I had to do a little research -- look up a character's name, flipping through my own reviews -- and it felt really good. The next time I am having fanfic misery, someone remind me to write some DS9.

Have been reading with horror the New York Times coverage of Deborah Voigt being fired from the Royal Opera House production of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos because the musical director has deemed her too fat for the appearance he wants to present of the character, even though Ariadne is pretty much Voight's signature role and they probably sold a lot of subscription tickets to people who specifically wanted to hear her sing it...people who don't give a flying fuck how she'd look in a cocktail dress in some avant-garde staging by some pretentious musical director. I hope they all demand their money back and Covent Garden is empty for the run of the opera.

How come not one major article on Paul Winfield, who died yesterday, mentioned that he was gay and that his longtime partner had pre-deceased him a couple of years ago?

wednesday100: I seem to have nothing to say about Smallville at present. Perhaps it would help if I actually caught up with the episodes, but I just haven't felt any urge. Today with any luck perkypaduan will come over and we will finally watch Mystery, Alaska and I will magically revive!

And did I mention that my editor is still AWOL without so much as a word about where he is or when he might be back? Is there really anyplace left in the civilized world where one cannot borrow someone else's computer for two minutes, or beg someone else to send an e-mail, saying that one's computer has died or one has the stomach flu or one's pet is ill or whatever other excuse, just so people have some idea when one might be expected to return?

I'll be in a better mood soon, I promise. Either that or I'll just post poems, no comments.

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