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

Poem for Friday and Edison's Laboratories


Jack-in-the-Pulpit
By Kimiko Hahn

after William Carlos Williams's "Queen-Anne’s-Lace"

Remote purple lays claim to stem,
beside routine stripes of green and brown.
Dark as a patch of shade
in the marsh across the path
that the neighborhood kids and I,
were forbidden to pass. It is
that hue that overtakes,
the marsh that sucks in boots
and offers up skunk cabbage and cattails.
Nests here and overhead. Who named this plant—
also called bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, wake robin,
Arisaema triphyllum
and who told me I cannot name. But
his purple — all shadow, all remote and not-remote,
all question marks,
craving. Yes?
This herbaceous perennial, growing from corm
vertical and swollen as it is underground.
Even in late summer, it is not nothing, William
(or Jack),
turning from purple to red before his scattering.

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Thursday was a chore day that felt like a Monday, since we were away the two days previously, plus I had a morning checkup requiring that I go out in the cold and get on a scale days after the holidays. Adam landed in Israel in the morning East Coast time (it was late afternoon there); Daniel slept in and went out to lunch with my father while I did laundry. I had my leftover Greek food for lunch, yay!

In the afternoon when Daniel got back, we watched Blackhat, which he had not seen. Since he had not seen Blade Runner recently, we watched that after dinner while I sorted trip photos. Here are a few from Edison's laboratories, including his backyard motion picture studio plus the wall behind which the first motion picture camera was tested, his machine shop, one of his chemistry labs, and me in his library:

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