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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Friday and Maryland Renfaire Shows 
Friday, 6th September 2019 01:10 am

2004
By Joshua Weiner

How was it I felt nothing
that last Ides of March
in the busy downtown square
of Largo Argentina
where Caesar felt the determined
point of conspirators?
All across Europe,
the morning papers read,
five minutes of silence
held for the Spanish dead:
that noon, the buses shifted
down and motorini slowed,
trailing fashionable scarves
flapping like standards on a field.
Why was it not quiet enough
for a personal public grief,
though Rome stood dutifully
observing more than itself?
The handsome Senegalese
stopped selling for the moment
their poetry against apartheid
while carabinieri hovered by
Pompey’s portico latrine;
used exclusively by wild cats,
they spray the travertine. Goddess
of Fortune of the Present Day,
your temple is the rubble
venerated by Il Duce;
and the tired Communist Party
still prints the most colorful posters
competing with the Lotto sign
yellowing Berlusconi’s eye.
A gypsy family that sleeps
three generations outside
split sandwiches, played cards
and waited to ask for change;
and the Bengal tiger stitched
on the father’s leather back
stared down the promising awning
of the Chinese restaurant.
The warm sun reached us faithfully
through oceans of cool air,
the war had never ceased,
and all the art of the Renaissance
seemed part of this being fucked.
Then five minutes were up
and we heard the children shout
from across the ancient square
and release their bright balloons
into the afternoon air—
red and blue and gold
they rose above all things
ruined and not yet ruined,
perfected in themselves
disappearing from the world,
manmade yet natural shapes,
fresh as the painted birds
fading from Etruscan tombs
escaping the hunter’s net
also depicted there
in the living necropolis.

--------

My Thursday was chores during the day and more fighting with my computer which keeps dimming the screen for no reason I can find anywhere in the settings, then when Paul got home, we went to get haircuts and to do some shopping. I went to a Raikou raid and wound up meeting the son of a friend from junior high school there!

Paul wanted to watch the start of the football season, which I believe Green Bay won though it was still on when The Daily Show started so we didn't watch the end. Here are some of the shows we saw at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, including the Hooligans, Piper Jones, and the all-female production of Julius Caesar in the Globe Theatre:

2019-09-02 15.09.36

2019-09-02 14.27.58

2019-09-02 12.03.49

2019-09-02 12.47.29

2019-09-02 15.40.34

2019-09-02 12.04.54

2019-09-02 13.01.54
photos
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