The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

A Green Crab's Shell
By Mark Doty

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
-- size of a demitasse --
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this --
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
revealed some sky.


I posted this poem before, in June 2003, but I wanted to post it again as a serious complement to the silly photo series for the evening:

Like many cities, such as Harrisburg which has cows and DC which has pandas, Baltimore has a public art display in which individual artists and sponsors were invited to decorate crabs as symbols of the city to raise funds for schools. Here are some of them around the harbor in July 2005, starting with this crab-boat crab with the USS Constellation behind it.

This psychidelic crab was designed by Paula Baziz and Edward Shevitz.

A "cow crab" with the aquarium visible between its claws.

The Maryland flag on the crab at the visitor's center.

Famous Baltimore residents crab, side one, with the HMS Bounty behind it.

Famous Baltimore residents crab, side two, with Harborplace behind it.

The crystal blue crab at the National Aquarium by Paula and Elana Baziz.

"Reci-Crab" with Baltimore icons and recipes.

Construction crab near the visitor's center.

Washington Elementary School's "news" crab.

And two crabs being admired in front of the Maryland Science Center.

The Washington area was under a heat advisory Tuesday so I stayed indoors as much as possible, venturing out only to have lunch with gblvr because who could resist Thai food and fannish gossip with such a lovely date? The kids' last session at camp was entirely indoors as well, so they played chess instead of soccer late in the day yet still came home too tired to want to go to the pool with my parents and their cousin who is visiting for the week -- tomorrow they are going whether it is Code Red or not. I wrote three articles and edited a fourth, organized my photo pages (still not done with last week's family stuff) and helped Cinnamon chase some kind of flying bug that was zooming back and forth in the living room driving her absolutely insane -- Rosie of course could not be bothered to chase the bug but just sat and stared.

Younger son got Garfield and Friends volume one for his birthday so that was what was on TV in the evening before we all read some more Harry Potter. I did some more work on moving all the stuff out of this journal that is going Elsewhere, and some more work on the sequel to the last piece of fic likely ever to be posted here directly...I'm afraid that there is likely to be no more smut in Part Two than Part One, though we did promise the grumpier of the protagonists that we were working to fulfill his fantasies, honestly. Also, today I discovered that Faerie Tale Theatre is finally out on DVD! For far less than the complete video set usually sells for (around $100) which is why I never bought that, though the DVDs are almost $50 even with all the discounts so I still cannot afford it -- woe! But at least I know it will be there for my birthday in December.

Wow this is a shallow entry...Nicholas Kristof wrote a good if depressing editorial on Darfur in The New York Times, "All Ears for Tom Cruise, All Eyes on Brad Pitt," and The Times itself wrote a column saying everyone has a right to know more about Roberts before any consideration of confirming his appointment to the Supreme Court should be considered. Oh, and Frank Rich yesterday had a good column on Rove, Plame, Wilson and lies about Iraq. I've seen all kinds of fun stuff on Rove in the past few days in the alternative press -- stuff about his alleged mistress in Texas and other smear campaigns he's conducted -- but it's what makes it into the mainstream press that's going to have the biggest impact on public opinion, hence what the Times chooses to report is more significant at the moment than what any blogger may have uncovered -- hell, bloggers have been writing about Darfur for months but as Kristof points out, nobody with any real power is listening.

And yay, the shuttle made it up! Now to get it down safely.

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