The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

By Alastair Reed

may have killed the cat; more likely
the cat was just unlucky, or else curious
to see what death was like, having no cause
to go on licking paws, or fathering
litter on litter of kittens, predictably.
Nevertheless, to be curious
is dangerous enough. To distrust
what is always said, what seems,
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
leave home, smell rats, have hunches
do not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die --
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.
Only the curious
have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,
are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables
with tales of their nine lives.
Well, they are lucky. Let them be
nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay
the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.

A cat minority of one
is all that can be counted on
to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell
on each return from hell
is this: that dying is what the living do,
that dying is what the loving do,
and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do.


musigneus led me to this poem. Makes me feel like more of a cat person than I often do, since I grew up with a dog and tend to think of myself as both.

"Alexander and the Jews" is the sort of article that explains why I read, even though it is far too conservative for me both theologically and politically. The mix of spiritual and secular and the educational background I find there is unlike any I have found elsewhere, from my own Hebrew school experiences to anything I get in my Reform synagogue.
The narrative concerning Alexander's first interaction with the Jews is recorded in both the Talmud (Yoma 69a) and in the Jewish historian Josephus's Book of Antiquities (XI, 321-47). In both accounts the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, fearing that Alexander would destroy the city, went out to meet him before he arrived at the city. The narrative describes how Alexander, upon seeing the High Priest, dismounted and bowed to him. (Alexander rarely, if ever, bowed to anyone). In Josephus's account, when asked by his general, Parmerio, to explain his actions, Alexander answered, "I did not bow before him, but before that God who has honored him with the high Priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very apparel." Alexander interpreted the vision of the High Priest as a good omen and thus spared Jerusalem, peacefully absorbing the Land of Israel into his growing empire. As tribute to his benign conquest, the Sages decreed that the Jewish firstborn of that time be named Alexander -- which remains a Jewish name to this very day. And the date of their encounter, the 25th of Tevet, was declared a minor holiday.

Winning is always sweet. Winning against any New York team is particularly sweet. Winning against the Giants by 24 points is sweet indeed. Winning against the Giants without them scoring any points on offense is delightful. And watching Portis get nearly 150 yards from great seats, eating a crab cake for dinner and listening to a live classic rock cover band in the club level at halftime? Magnificent. In fact the only tiny blight all afternoon was going to our seats to watch the Redskins game after seeing the ends of the one o'clock games on the big screens indoors, believing that Baltimore had pulled out a victory against Cincinnati, only to discover that the Bengals had kicked a field goal with two seconds on the clock and won that game. But ask me if I was worrying about that while we were all singing "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" to the Giants!

From the Redskins' opening drive -- as you can see, the score was still 0-0. The Giants got the opening kickoff, did nothing for three downs and punted. The Redskins took the ball and marched 95 yards down the field.

And the extra point was good!

At the start of the game, the team rushes onto the field, surrounded by cheerleaders and serenaded by the band in their godawful fake Indian feather headdresses. Yes, I am perfectly aware of how offensive the team logo is; this is after all a city that made the Bullets change their name to the Wizards because guns don't kill people, bullets do, but has still not done anything about the worst team name in professional sports.

And an action shot! Ramsey handing off the ball as the line blocks for him. The defense was superb today, and the receivers actually caught and held on to the ball.

I needed to look at the FedEx Field scoreboard one more time. *g*

In other news, I seem to have written Proof fic. (This despite the fact that through the entire football game, Snape was telling me about the dirty fantasies he harbors while watching Quidditch -- no wonder it makes him smile.) Shall post in the morning if it isn't so bad that I cry upon rereading it.

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