The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and New Orleans Nostalgia

Siren Song
By Margaret Atwood

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.


I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Tuesday trying to figure out whether a prescription I take is part of a recall -- Caremark helpfully emailed me a list of NDC numbers for the recalled formulations, but Caremark does not include the NDC numbers on their bottles, so there was no way I could know whether I had the recalled formulation without contacting them, so why they didn't just figure this out for patients and then tell us specifically whether our medicine was or was not part of the recall is beyond me. (Turns out mine is fine.)

It was otherwise not an exciting day: better weather than Monday, some thunder but no big rainstorms, we managed to walk and see bunnies. I'm still behind on laundry but I got a bunch of scanning done and we Skyped my kids and parents. We watched Stargirl, which I am really loving -- nice family dynamics though I want more mom, great girls -- then some Lost Cities With Albert Lin, which has very interesting science but is much too interested in looking for physical evidence of human sacrifice in Central and South America for my taste.

Since I had all that time to spend first waiting for a callback, then on hold as I wound up in voicemail hell and getting transferred from department to department along with hundreds of other people trying to find out the same information, I caught up with posting photos from our 2008 trip out west and finished posting photos from our 2009 trip south on Facebook, which took a stupid amount of time because Facebook deleted all the date and location information plus many of the captions. But since I'm feeling nostalgic, here are a few!

The wide view of Jackson Square -- Jackson's statue at the center, surrounded by flowers and plantain trees, with the Cabildo, Cathedral and Presbytere from left to right in the back.

The room in the Cabildo where the Louisiana Purchase documents were signed, making New Orleans and a great deal of territory beyond officially part of the United States (at least, according to various European empires, with some heated debate by the Spanish about where the Texas border should be).

Inside St. Louis Cathedral, visited by Pope John Paul II in September 1987.

The boys with some of the fantastic costumes in the "100 Years of Zulu" exhibit in the Presbytere.

A riverboat in the Mississippi River near the aquarium.

Penguins at the Aquarium of the Americas, one of several Audubon facilities in the city (there's also a zoo and "insectarium" where one can snack on bugs).

A mule-drawn carriage near the market in the French Quarter.

This is the Rue Royal behind St. Louis Cathedral, but I could not resist a "Moon Over Bourbon Street" reference.

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