The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Untitled #63
By Philip Schultz

Everyone's life is eventful. I hoist hundred-pound
sacks of coffee beans with a few caffeinated rats
and surprised snakes and then volunteer to protest
Port Chicago, where all the napalm gets shipped from,
New Year's Eve, 1967. Drive over the Golden Gate
across narrow ever-darkening roads, a VW bus packed
with rollicking ids, bumping over the countryside.
Stoned vigilantes freezing our shadows off round
a puny fire, we get punched, ridiculed and ignored
while the napalm keeps flowing east. Our honeymoon
with God is over. The world refuses to love us enough
so we quote Nietzsche: "Escape from the bad smell!
Escape the steam of these human sacrifices! Only
where the state ends, there begins the human being...."
The sky opens its accordion pleats and it's the New Year,
but we haven't escaped anything, in fact, we barely
have time to say good-bye or wish ourselves luck.


Another from Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World on another war baby, as he calls Schultz and Wrigley. "Philip Schultz's book-length sequence, Living in the Past, tells quick, vivid memories, many of them set among immigrant families in the city of Rochester, N.Y.," writes Pinsky. "The harm that is part of people, and another kind of clear-sighted observation, both come into this poem (untitled, number 63 in the sequence) from Philip Schultz's book...this is in part a charm to speak against the curse of self-importance." Schultz, he adds, "does not deny his frustration with the political organism of the state, which he cannot control."

It was visiting day at my kids' school, since the schools here are open on Columbus Day (probably because they are closed for the Jewish holidays) but many adults have the day off. I sat through an entertaining lesson on Native American traditions in preparation for younger son's class field trip to Historic St. Mary's and the beginning of a science discussion on stream organisms, but younger son managed to tear his braces loose at breakfast and we both had to interrupt the morning to take him to the orthodontist to get them fixed!

I caught up on the articles I didn't finish this weekend, sized my photos, answered about 70 comments, had confusion about when younger son was supposed to get home from Mad Science after school -- I assumed he was walking with a friend, the person in charge had been told no walkers -- wrote total crack, had long good conversations with friends, watched the Yankees lose and it was good. Older son had fencing after dinner, younger son set up a tent and went "camping" with Furby in the living room. Am reading The Days of Awe, which is one of those utterly astonishing books that sneaks up slowly and then absolutely clobbers you. Had a moment today like a moment watching Truly, Madly, Deeply where I had to stop because I couldn't see the page.

The USS Constellation from the deck of the Schooner Virginia in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Virginia, Sultana and Clipper City on a heavily overcast day following the first significant rain of the month.

The three ships from another angle, with the National Aquarium in the background. They will all sail on Wednesday.

Looking at the harbor while keeping dry from drizzle on the Virginia. The ship's pumps and vacuums were working.

The Black-Eyed Susan in the Inner Harbor. I have never seen this kind of riverboat so close to Harborplace and the aquarium before.

Looking at the schooners and the Maryland Science Center from the USS Constellation's stern.

The Constellation has been turned since March -- her prow had faced the harbor after her anniversary sail, but now her bowsprit faces the Pratt Street Pavilion again. Note the blur of seagull flying in front of the World Trade Center.

Son just had a meltdown because one of his three blankies was missing (actually had slipped between the bed and the wall). He also had a meltdown yesterday because, after we got him a $2 foam keychain on the Virginia which he named Banana Slug because it was yellow, he managed to lose it in the science center. And he is very attached to the Furby which is the only reason I can tolerate it talking. *g* Kids are so funny!

I feel like I've been sitting all afternoon and evening because I have, after running around all morning...must get better balance in my life...

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