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

Poem for Wednesday


Poem Ending With Three Lines From Wordsworth
By Gail Mazur


The organ donor who smiles
in the leathery dark of my wallet
from a driver's license

has already struck one woman—
elderly, confused—
who stumbled off a Somerville curb

one January dusk
and became a sickening thump,
then a bleeding body

cradled in the driver's arms
until police and ambulance came.
That old woman lived

to sue the driver who now
takes a different route each week
to the supermarket,

and on her birthday,
in line at the Registry, decides
she's old enough, if not

for a Living Will, then to leave
her kidneys or heart or liver;
the little silver label below her

Polaroid portrait is the Registry's
donor code. She envisions herself
extricated one night

from crushed burning metal
by the jaws of life,
less lucky, finally, than her victim

whose two pocketbooks (maybe
she was a purse-snatcher?) flew
in opposite directions

and landed a body's length
from the eyeglasses and left shoe.
All the eyewitnesses

exonerated the driver.
They swore to what she won't remember:
the old woman fell,

or fainted to the fender;
the car was going five miles an hour.
Still, that impact was what she'd dreaded

all her tremulous years at the wheel
which she grips for dear guilty life,
concocting terms of a bargain—

she'll bequeath what she's got in her body
so, whatever virtues she lacks,
she won't just be someone dead

unprofitably travelling toward the grave
like a false steward who has much received
and renders nothing back.

--------

Totally quiet morning at home, doing laundry and writing up incredibly slow-loading but rather interesting interview with LeVar Burton, was succeeded by usual Tuesday carpool hectic rushing and then even more hecticness at dinner, as my husband picked up my father along with the kids on the way from Hebrew school and we went to Hamburger Hamlet, only to find it utterly mobbed and with a long wait. My father having roughly the same tolerance for waiting as my kids, we left and debated where else to go -- older son wanted pizza, younger son wanted Mexican -- ended up compromising on Chicken Out which has become even more expensive and blander than last time I was there. The potatoes and gravy have no taste, the macaroni actually tastes worse than Kraft cardboard...I know my parents prefer bland, but this is more than I can handle!

I discovered Ivanhoe on TCM this afternoon and left it on while recording it. I'd thought I'd seen the film before but I think I only saw the jousting scenes because I had absolutely no memory of it beyond the tournament grounds -- I didn't even remember that Elizabeth Taylor's character was Jewish! What a great movie, with two women in competition for the same man where it managed not to be cloying and repulsive, and I just love all the gleeful King John stuff (since he's always portrayed as evil in these things, I prefer him as intelligent-evil rather than buffoon-evil) and the trial and the knights.

Tonight we watched Wallace & Gromit which my husband the fan picked up day-of-release -- quite entertaining on a second viewing, and I didn't notice the first time that the Three Wise Men in the church stained glass were first holding their ears, then doing See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil while the vicar was preaching! (And all the wilted boob jokes, and the "Cheese. Caution: May Contain Nuts." I am twelve, like my son!) Then, after that -- despite being sad about the long hiatus for Commander in Chief -- I got my weekly favorite hour of television, Boston Legal. Where despite a regrettable lack of Denny/Alan interaction yet again, there was plenty of compensation. Like lots and lots of bashing of George Bush and his Republican cronies on matters from Iraq to appointing judges with no respect for the First Amendment to redistricting to nepotism! What a lovely episode for David E. Kelley and his politics, and next week looks even better -- a girl denied emergency contraception by a hospital that felt it wasn't obligated to treat her based on religious conviction. Am wondering whether there are hospitals where the doctors refuse to give blood transfusions on the basis of religious conviction where we can send Dick Cheney after his next heart attack...oops did I say that?

I really felt for Denise, and for Daniel, though I had a bad moment of thinking they were sending him off to Switzerland for a miracle cure and then he was going to show up next season -- well, cured, which would have felt cheap to me. I do wonder what they are going to do with Denise now; I hope it's not back to the post-divorce brittle bitch. I still want her to date Brad, who had quite an episode, going from jerk reading ski vacation material during an interview to poor guy suffering from anal leakage to -- I hope -- seriously thinking about running for D.A. I guess it would suck if he won, because then he wouldn't be at the firm, but everything Alan says about him is true -- he's gorgeous, he's a vigilante Republican, he's sexy, he'll do well with women voters, he's Captain Handsome...I know Alan would never leave Denny for anyone, but he's sure been looking at Brad a lot!

And who can blame him, really, with Denny so busy with Bev. He wasn't on the balcony the night before to meet Alan, he explained, because he and Bev had something to do. "Then we did it again." Oh, Denny, you don't blow off your friends for your new woman. And then have to get yourself on a case with the woman Alan is ogling just to get quality time with Alan! Denny did have the comment of the episode, talking about the obnoxious current D.A.: "Whore! Every place there's a camera, there he is having sex with it." I love his insistence that he must be on the case, because what the case needs is Denny Crane, who doesn't have to know what a case is about to try it. "We begin life suckling on a breast and if we're lucky we end life suckling on a breast. Anybody who's against breasts is against life itself" -- that's Denny's explanation to the media for the involvement of Crane, Poole and Schmidt in defending a woman who went topless to make a political statement. Then he sits in the courtroom complaining that it isn't about breasts ("It's foreplay," Alan explains, since they haven't gotten to the breasts yet), and Denny isn't impressed by Alan's crush on the defendant, either: "You have fantasies about this college girl? She's nothing but a talker."

Did Shirley's closing rock or what? I adore that woman -- how has Denny ever hoped to replace her? "This is Boston!" The tea party and the history of rebellion! And then the ending -- Bev has Denny drinking DIET SCOTCH. "She wants me to slim down." Okay, at least she's not trying to get him to drink himself into a heart attack so she can get his money sooner, but if Alan loves Denny just the way he is...heh. (The sad thing is, I LIKE Bev -- rather the same logic as Alan's, I like that she makes Denny happy -- but I don't trust her at all.) Heartbreakingly, Alan asks Denny if they are drifting: "No." "Good." And then Alan says, "I'm going to miss you, Denny, once you're married." "I'm not going anywhere." "I've been married. Of course you are." Woe! That wedding must never be allowed to happen! Doesn't Denny realize that Alan might sleepwalk off a balcony? Who's he going to sleep with for protection...Brad? ...um. *G*

Thank you, Canada, for the park. Maybe Boston Legal can send Alan and Denny back to that wildlife preserve where they first slept together and went salmon fishing and put out a message to which certain people in my own government might pay attention. The leader apparently gets all his background knowledge (as in, the sort not handed to him on position papers he's expected to memorize) from movies and TV, anyway...


A display of lilies from the Chinese New Year celebration at Lakeforest Mall last week.


And dear GMR editors, why did I waste my Sunday morning finishing that book review for you, after you asked for it by Sunday night, when you aren't running it this issue anyway? I could have done my TrekToday news bullets then and not had an insane workload on Monday! I thought you promised that all this crap stopped when the last batch of editors left -- the ones who made me disappear for two years?

Sorry I'm behind on comments. Shall attempt to remedy in the morning.
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