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

Poem for Monday


Hi Mom
By Tony Grist


The squamous waters of the Med
Have coughed a coiling monster up.
Perseus waves the Gorgon’s head
And stops the monster in mid-wriggle.

Cut, in the style of Pasolini’s
Oedipus, to a dusky house
In turn of the century Vienna.
Brother and sister in sailor suit
And pinafore peer through a crack
At mother having an intimate wash,
Reflected in the wardrobe mirror.

Freud maintains that the Gorgon’s head
Is mother’s genitals. Perseus
Warns off the other possessive mum
Who wants to neuter Andromeda.

I’m forty-nine. At forty-seven
I finally forgave my mother
All her oracular hand-me-downs
On Churchill and pre-marital sex.
I’ve realized that she was then
A good deal younger than I am now.

But Aileen’s mother is not forgiven.
She’s spent too much of her ratty life
Running her only daughter down.
She’s going dotty and why should I care?

My favourite image of the myth
Is Titian’s in the Wallace Collection.
Perseus drops from a cobalt sky,
The monster flinches. Andromeda
Is beautiful, a reclining nude
Stood on her toes and fixed with chains.
She’s doomed to be the mother of heroes.

Damn.

A wisp of something silly
Flutters in front of her genitals.

--------

Crap, it's after one, and other than having gotten my laundry folded, I have accomplished very little this morning besides getting to -150 on my flist. And that's ONE DAY'S WORTH of default list as it currently stands! Boy people had a lot to say yesterday!

Speaking of a lot to say, the cicadas have gotten loud; there's a sound like hundreds of very distant car alarms in the background all the time now. We live in a very wooded neighborhood where the birds wake up at 5 a.m. so this doesn't bother me; the whole thing is still neat, though I remember getting unhappy in 1987 being unable to walk down the sidewalks downtown without stepping on cicadas (I was interning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a conservative political think tank. in the publications office, and wasn't that an experience the summer of the Iran-Contra hearings). My local paper, The Washington Post, has a Cicada Cam for anyone who's interested!

Iraq: can't handle thinking about it anymore right now. Massachusetts: Congratulations to everyone getting married today! Shall spread the Baltimore pictures out over a few posts so there's no inundation, but I had a really lovely day yesterday so wanted to share it. This morning, the dolphin show at the National Aquarium, where three babies were born the year before last, so there are families playing together:


Nani and her calf Spirit show off their fins.


The dolphin tanks overlook the harbor, including a lighthouse and many boats and ducks.


A dolphin and a rubber duckie.


Waving to the audience...


...and greeting people up close.


Moving backwards, upright, through the water.


This photo shows why many people, including us, avoid sitting in the splash zone.
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