A Winter Without Snow
By J.D. McClatchy
Even the sky here in Connecticut has it,
That wry look of accomplished conspiracy,
The look of those who've gotten away
With a petty but regular white collar crime.
When I pick up my shirts at the laundry,
A black woman, putting down her Daily News,
Wonders why and how much longer out luck
Will hold. "Months now and no kiss of the witch."
The whole state overcast with such particulars.
For Emerson, a century ago and farther north,
Where the country has an ode's jagged edges,
It was "frolic architecture." Frozen blue-
Print of extravagance, shapes of a shared life
Left knee-deep in transcendental drifts:
The isolate forms of snow are its hardest fact.
Down here, the plain tercets of provision do,
Their picket snow-fence peeling, gritty,
Holding nothing back, nothing in, nothing at all.
Down here, we've come to prefer the raw material
Of everyday and this year have kept an eye
On it, shriveling but still recognizable--
A sight that disappoints even as it adds
A clearing second guess to winter. It's
As if, in the third year of a "relocation"
To a promising notch way out on the Sunbelt,
You've grown used to the prefab housing,
The quick turnover in neighbors, the constant
Smell of factory smoke--like Plato's cave,
You sometimes think--and the stumpy trees
That summer slighted and winter just ignores,
And all the snow that never falls is now
Back home and mixed up with other piercing
Memories of childhood days you were kept in
With a Negro schoolmate, of later storms
Through which you drove and drove for hours
Without ever seeing where you were going.
Or as if you've cheated on a cold sickly wife.
Not in some overheated turnpike motel room
With an old flame, herself the mother of two,
Who looks steamy in summer-weight slacks
And a parrot-green pullover. Not her.
Not anyone. But every day after lunch
You go off by yourself, deep in a brown study,
Not doing much of anything for an hour or two,
Just staring out the window, or at a patch
On the wall where a picture had hung for ages,
A woman with planets in her hair, the gravity
Of perfection in her features--oh! her hair
The lengthening shadow of the galaxy's sweep.
As a young man you used to stand outside
On warm nights and watch her through the trees.
You remember how she disappeared in winter,
Obscured by snow that fell blindly on the heart,
On the house, on a world of possibilities.
No one told me that Hoodwinked was Rashomon with Little Red Riding Hood! Although I agree with everyone who said the animation was amateurish, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. So did my kids. We all laughed a lot, as did pretty much everyone in the packed theater (county schools were closed today for teacher's administrative stuff); the ages ranged from three year olds through teenagers and then a bunch of parents and a handful of elderly couples. I love Glenn Close and I like Anne Hathaway, so I was probably predisposed to like characters with their voices, but I wasn't particularly expecting kick-ass female characters in a kids' cartoon...with the exception of Mulan they've almost all been disappointments. This one rocked! No love interests, no making decisions to make oneself more palatable to men...Granny bucked social expectations and got her granddaughter to do so as well. Plus there were Star Wars jokes. What a delightful surprise!
Trek news today was both Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn asserting their opinions that there will be another Star Trek movie starring the Next Generation cast, with Stewart saying he hoped Shatner would be in it as well because he likes Shatner. There was also something about a new Trek video game for the Nintendo DS, which interests me not at all but maybe I can track down a review copy for my kids. Pocket Books sent me Orion's Hounds but I haven't read the first two Titan novels and given how much I loathe the DS9 "relaunch" novels, I can't imagine I want to read the current Pocket stable's take on Riker in command.
Right now I am watching The American Experience on John and Abigail Adams, which is fascinating -- I was always under the impression that they had a very happy marriage and didn't realize he was away so much and it bothered her so much. It's nice to know that they were both friendly with Thomas Jefferson, not just collegial, though it's a shame Adams' ambitions and politics came between them for so long, but at least it had a happy ending and Adams was thinking of Jefferson with his last breath. I really am a sucker for historical reenactments in these documentaries! Makes me think of this historical reenactment of Sunday:
...which gathers and works in the second of these locally constructed log cabins.
And I have finished my usual TV-watching activity of the past several months. I don't swear that every entry is complete, but I have finally finished tagging my entire journal back to its beginning in 2002, with most entries indexed though not in as much detail in my memories. (Like, I didn't differentiate among genres of movies in the memories, but when I discovered that -60 is as far back as one can go with tags before hitting the day view, I split the movies into categories.) Now I wish ljArchive let one import tags with entries!
Does anyone know a program that will let you import images in bulk to be printed on standard size pages? I think Pagemaker can do that, but the version I have is something like 6.5 and I'm not sure whether it will mess up my Photoshop if I try to install it. I want to print my Tarot cards but can't seem to figure out an easy way to line them up for printing and cutting!