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

Poem for Sunday


Boy Breaking Glass
By Gwendolyn Brooks


To Marc Crawford from whom the commission

Whose broken window is a cry of art
(success, that winks aware
as elegance, as a treasonable faith)
is raw: is sonic: is old-eyed première.
Our beautiful flaw and terrible ornament.
Our barbarous and metal little man.

"I shall create! If not a note, a hole.
If not an overture, a desecration."

Full of pepper and light
and Salt and night and cargoes.

"Don't go down the plank
if you see there's no extension.
Each to his grief, each to
his loneliness and fidgety revenge.

Nobody knew where I was and now I am no longer there."

The only sanity is a cup of tea.
The music is in minors.

Each one other
is having different weather.

"It was you, it was you who threw away my name!
And this is everything I have for me."

Who has not Congress, lobster, love, luau,
the Regency Room, the Statue of Liberty,
runs. A sloppy amalgamation.
A mistake.
A cliff
A hymn, a snare, and an exceeding sun.

--------

From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World, a powerful and oblique political column on New Orleans. "A recurrent American nightmare involves the thought that possibly we are not really one people," he writes. "Brand names, popular music, sports logos and such can make us seem united, but emergencies and calamities reveal divisions. What if victims and thugs, large numbers of the bereft and the violent, are who they are because in some deep way they are not part of our society? This question doesn't exculpate people or pity them because of poverty or age or race. It is a cultural question, with political and historical implications." Brooks, he adds, understood the distinction in this 1968 poem, which he calls "among other things, an antidote to merely sentimental ideas of the word 'creative.' More than that, it has the ambition and generosity to consider government along with culture, lower-case lobster and luau along with upper-case Regency, Liberty and Congress. It is a reminder, in keeping with the notions of Whitman and Emerson, that our nation is itself perhaps a 'sloppy amalgamation' -- that we need to hold together."

I've posted poems about this date before, like "Searchers", but I really liked Pinsky's subtle commentary on the Katrina disaster and lack of response so I kept the Poet's Choice column today. Here, friends-locked, is my own 9/11 recollection written two years ago.

Late last night we discovered that younger son had some kind of bug bite on his shoulder with a kind of raised ring pattern around it. We panicked, figuring it might be Lyme disease, and called the doctor early in the morning to see if she could see him (which she did, though it made him quite late for soccer). She didn't even think it was a bug bite but some kind of infected pimple, for which she gave him a prescription. Another boy in the neighborhood has Lyme disease, which they caught in the very early stages because he banged his knee and had a very bad reaction to the injury, so he was put on antibiotics, and now I am wondering whether I should have had the doctor give my son a blood test even though she seemed quite certain that the particular skin thing we showed her could not be that. (Younger son seems to have very susceptible skin; he has already caught molluscum and ringworm from other kids, though he missed out on chicken pox when older son had it.)

So hubby rushed him late to soccer while I stayed home with older son, who survived his Hebrew school overnight and ended up concluding that it had been fun. I got three of four weekend TrekToday articles done, so was happy, and finished fic with ldybastet which we will post tomorrow as we concluded that more people read LiveJournal on Sunday than Saturday. *g* In the afternoon younger son had two birthday parties -- the first the son of vertigo66, a bowling party where he was very happy as the lanes had barriers to stop the balls from going into the gutters, so he had one of the highest scores (as opposed to many parties he has gone to with his brother where they did not have barriers and he had very low, frustrating scores). vertigo66's sister always makes awesome cakes and the kids got to play in the arcade as well as bowl, so this went over very well. Then he went to a party in the neighborhood (with the kid with Lyme disease) where they played video games and ate a lot of junk food. Older son was sulking because his best friend got grounded and could not play.


These are all photos from the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire either taken for specific people or just because they reminded me of certain people. Here is the glass-blowing studio -- ithilwen, are you the one who first told me to visit it? I'm pretty sure it was you!


This is not a real tall ship -- it's the pirate ship where Medieval Gallery sells weapons like Maximus' sword. boxer_ferret, annathepiper, should I buy it? (You would have loved the minstrels' instruments!)


Queen Elizabeth laughs at a joke of Sir Francis Drake's. Photo presented for the lovely hill_ who illustrated Her Majesty for me.


See, ldybastet and mamadracula, if you ever come visit me during Faire season we can go to the... *g*


valis2, this is Don Juan of Don Juan & Miguel and his daughter Esmeralda (not his real name or hers, though she really is his daughter and uses a whip extremely well). He claimed that if people threw money it would go to her college fund. We passed them in the village and they posed for this photo.


For bronzelionel, the squire and his knight. Were there actually Renaissance knights clad in Baltimore Ravens colors? I have no idea.


And for esteven, more dragons! I have a picture of some very cute ceramic ones too, but the woman let me take it on the express condition that it was for my personal use only, so I can't post it here but will e-mail.
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fridayfiver: Creature Comforts. Name your favorite...
1. Soothing sound:
The ocean.
2. Comfort food: Junior Mints.
3. Relaxing music: George Winston's Autumn.
4. Gentle voice: Enya, I suppose. Or Maire Brennan.
5. Calming smell: Pumpkin pie.

thefridayfive: Music
1. What was the first song you remember hearing and enjoying on the radio?
I honestly don't remember, but the first song I ever loved so much that I had to buy the single was Paul Davis' "I Go Crazy."
2. If you could only listen to five CDs for a year, which five would they be? Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Loreena McKennitt's The Mask and Mirror, Crosby Stills Nash & Young's The Greatest Hits, The Indigo Girls' Indigo Girls, October Project's October Project. Entire list subject to change by tomorrow at this time.
3. What was your favorite year, music-wise? 1979, the year of my Bat Mitzvah and the pinnacle of disco parties.
4. If you could witness one historical music event through all time, what would you pick, and why? Allen Tanner playing George Antheil's "Sonata Sauvage" with all the Modernist writers rioting in the audience. In fact any practice session with Tanner, Antheil, Margaret Anderson and Georgette Leblanc would be divine.
5. Do you have a song that never fails to cheer you up? What is it and why does it do that for you? "Wonder of Birds" by The Innocence Mission. Upbeat music, upbeat theme, and I love Karen Peris' voice.

fannish5: What 5 fandoms would you like to get into, but just can't?
None, really. There are shows that I just don't dig which have cool people in the fandom, like the new BSG, so it's sort of too bad the source material just doesn't do it for me. Then there are shows I really like, like BTVS, where the fandom itself scared me away. I got into X-Files fanfic-first and I fell out of Mission: Impossible infatuation when I found out how small and incestuous the fandom was. But it isn't like I really wish I could be a Stargate fan and can't; if I ever remembered to watch the damn show, maybe I could.
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