The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

Kissing a Horse
By Robert Wrigley

Of the two spoiled, barn-sour geldings
we owned that year, it was Red --
skittish and prone to explode
even at fourteen years -- who'd let me
hold to my face his own: the massive labyrinthine
caverns of the nostrils, the broad plain
up the head to the eyes. He'd let me stroke
his coarse chin whiskers and take
his soft meaty underlip
in my hands, press my man's carnivorous
kiss to his grass-nipping upper half of one, just
so that I could smell
the long way his breath had come from the rain
and the sun, the lungs and the heart,
from a world that meant no harm.


From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World. "Our time may be remembered as producing a poetry commensurate in range to the tremendous variety of American culture itself," writes Pinsky. "Robert Wrigley's Lives of the Animals is largely a book of the West...Wrigley knows that the title of this poem, and its action, have a funny side." The poet "puts considerable weight and precision on the final noun 'harm' and the verb 'meant,' in the sense of 'intended.' A horse may be 'prone to explode' and cause harm incidentally, but a man may mean to explode, quite intentionally. The poem acknowledges the difference between the two creatures with a cool, clear sense of the mysteriously compliant though 'barn-sour' horse as something deeply other."

Had a running-around-not-getting-anything-finished day that was perfectly lovely despite the chaos. Went to Baltimore, saw the schooners Virginia and Sultana -- the former larger than I was expecting based on the size of the latter and open for visitors, with almost nobody around in the aftermath of storms we had lots of time to talk to the crew, and the harbor looking like a disaster had hit with lots of dead jellyfish floating among urban debris. There were a number of unfamiliar schooners at the various docks in the Inner Harbor, though the Liberty Clipper has apparently not arrived yet for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race that starts Wednesday, nor has the Mystic Whaler. I wish I could be there mid-week for the Parade of Sail!

We visited the USS Constellation which has a new audio tour and several new exhibits -- one on stopping the slave trade in the ship's museum, one on the officers' quarters which are now in a much greater state of repair than the last time we were there (the gunroom had been closed and the quarters used for storing restoration equipment). It was a gorgeous day to be on deck, since we could see and hear Baltimore's Columbus Day parade going by -- there were many floats celebrating the culinary delights of Little Italy! We also visited the Maryland Science Center because the kids wanted to see the dinosaurs and some of the hands-on experiments. There is a traveling exhibit on circus technology that we need to go back to see when we have more time.

This is just a teaser because I didn't have time to size my photos -- the schooners Sultana and Virginia in the Inner Harbor with the World Trade Center and National Aquarium in the background. More photos to come.

Brought in California Tortilla for dinner, only half-watched The West Wing while trying to supervise last-minute rememebered homework etc., overall impression a little distanced because I can't imagine someone like Vinick actually managing to get the Republican Party nomination in the first place; he'd already have sucked up and lied to the Coalition of Bible-Thumpers Who Hate Women, he wouldn't be struggling with that on the campaign trail. Santos still has my vote but the series has been biased in his favor. I must admit I've had enough of the election for now and would like to get back to the rest of the regular characters. Left Desperate Housewives on because it was the middle of baseball and football games and I just could not take the noise of those but I am not really sure what happened other than poor Julie deserves better parents/step-parents/significant others of step-parents than she's got! I am still not liking one single person on the show.

Tomorrow is visiting day at my kids' schools so apaulled is driving older son to middle school and visiting his first class while I am going with younger son in the morning. I have no idea where the weekend went and I hate starting the week already behind on things!

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