By Ofelia Zepeda
It is 1:30 A.M.
Sleep won't come.
She listens to music.
O'odham waila music, San Antonio Rose,
a wild saxophone and accordion.
In her mind she dances.
She dances with a handsome cowboy.
His hat is white, his boots are dusty.
They turn in rhythm together.
They don't miss a beat.
Their hearts beat in sync.
Their sweat is mixed as one.
The earthen dance floor beneath them,
the stars and the moon above them.
That rhythm, that rhythm,
it makes them one.
From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World. "There's a theory that American poetry resembles jazz," writes Pinsky. "Both arts create innovations that, adapted to tamer forms, enrich popular arts: jazz harmonies in pop music, fragmented narrative structures in the movies that recall modernist poetry." Ofelia Zepeda, who is from Arizona, writes "in two mother tongues," Pinsky notes: "Some of the poems in her book Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert are in both English and the language of the Tohono O'odham, or Desert People. The sense of cultural mixing can call up a certain longing for home in a way no mere cultural purity could do...rhythm and a sexy, casual syncretism of culture are explicit themes in ['Waila Music']."
Our plan for today was to go see The New World, though Walk the Line was my first choice -- I was outvoted three to one. However, we were to be thwarted anyway; it was the first really ugly day of the season, chilly and pouring rain, and when we arrived at the movie theater we discovered that both those films were in the tiniest theaters in the multiplex and both were nearly sold out. Rather than pay nearly $30 to go sit in the front row and see a movie on an unimpressive little screen, we left and went to Best Buy, where we bought the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD for less than we would have spent at the theater, came home and watched the first. (Note: the film choice is very much the fault of cara_chapel and half_elf_lost, for which we would all like to thank them, as we all enjoyed it enormously...it hadn't dated nearly as much as I expected, our kids got the Ronald Reagan jokes and Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are still utterly charming.)
Younger son's friend has practically moved in with us; he was here this morning before I got dressed, didn't leave till lunchtime and came back a few minutes into the movie which he watched with us. He finally left at dinnertime, after which our kids took off to do their Hebrew reading and play some new Kirby game that younger son bought at Best Buy with the last of his Chanukah money, leaving the adults to discover that Blazing Saddles was on cable. Talk about a movie that hasn't aged! I have not seen the whole, uncut film in years and I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. It was actually painful during the Lili Von Schtupp routine. And I never would have thought of it this way had it not been for X Art plus Brokeback to the Future, but Blazing Saddles is kind of camp Brokeback Mountain with a happy ending...what if two marginalized cowboys rewrote the American Western myth? It seems more subversive now than it did the first 20 times I saw it, all the more so because I doubt that kind of comedy could get made now, with so much outrageously politically incorrect humor.
I had to fold laundry and we discovered Ned Kelly was on the same cable channel, so in keeping with the theme of Movies That Somehow Marginally Connect With Brokeback Mountain, we put it on. I'd seen it before, but I'd forgotten how good Heath Ledger was, and it's one of Orlando Bloom's better performances too. This movie is way too violent for me (and how it keeps from being over the top with the iron armor, I don't know), but any film with those actors plus Naomi Watts and Geoffrey Rush, a kind of slow but engrossing screenplay and that blowaway ending is worth watching more than once anyway. So it was a movie day all around despite our lack of luck at the box office. And since that last film is Australian, some photos from the Australia exhibit at the National Aquarium from last weekend...
Sunday I am going to an Imbolc celebration with vertigo66 and beeej, then to my oldest friend's annual neighborhood Super Bowl party. Whee!