By Linda Gregg
The woman walks up the mountain
and then down. She wades into the sea
and out. Walks to the well,
pulls up a bucket of water
and goes back into the house.
She hangs wet clothes.
Takes clothes back to fold them.
Every evening she crochets
from six until dark.
Birds, flowers, stars. Her rabbit lives
in an empty donkey pen. The sea is out
there as far as the stars.
No one there. She may not believe
in anything. Not know
what she is doing. Every morning
she waters the geranium plant.
And the leaves smell like lemons.
From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World. He cites Wallace Stevens' "Poetry is a Destructive Force", saying that poetry "breaks and devours comforting sentiments, soothing language, elevated humbug, wishful thinking. It re-imagines in language what we are used to." In this poem, he adds, "The violence is figurative...it menaces or devours not flesh and blood but cozy preconceptions."
Just a quick update as I am at my in-laws, having arrived late in the day after several chaotic but wonderful hours at Shore Leave -- I did not manage to find totallykate or any other familiar faces from here but I managed to do both interviews I had hoped for TrekToday, despite the fact that my schedule and the guests' had changed. I have interviewed Penny Johnson Jerald before but it is always such a thrill to interview an articulate, witty, passionate woman in person -- she is absolutely gorgeous in person and very vivacious, can go from Kasidy Yates to Sherry Palmer in seconds but she comes across as extremely nice, someone who wants to make sure that everyone else in the room is comfortable and enjoying the moment. Harve Bennett is just a totally fascinating man; we talked quite a bit about the Trek films and Starfleet Academy but also about his World War II and Korea experiences, things I had not known about him. I did not get any unexpected Shatner anecdotes but it is obvious that he has affection and respect for that entire cast.
My husband took the kids to a nature center while I was interviewing, and by the time we met up we were all absolutely starving -- it was nearly 3 p.m. -- so we had a late lunch at Panera before coming to Hanover, meaning that we were not all that hungry for my father-in-law's birthday dinner. I was trying to keep up with RPG tags while being sociable and got really stressed out over a game disagreement, and am really, seriously wondering again whether I am cut out for this. It's hard to write a character who is isolated both by canon situation and by the choices you have felt that you had to make for him in the game to keep him in character, even if those choices by definition mean that you won't be interacting with certain characters and you will have a lot of tension with others. I know that most people are involved for the porn -- they've said as much -- and I wish I could let go of some of my sense of what's in character just in that regard. But most RPGs I have followed at all degenerated into crack in some spots and I wouldn't want this one to -- there is too much good writing.
Dinner was excellent if more food than I needed, we watched some Olympics, I read the rest of Mr. Popper's Penguins aloud to younger son because he wanted to be read to (which I keep screwing up and calling Mr. Potter's Penguins now, due to evil influences, to my family's amusement). Father-in-law's 90-year-old other is having health issues -- she lives with his sister in Seattle -- they are discussing possible assisted living for her, so there is stress on both coasts and long late night birthday phone calls about the situation. She actually would prefer to move, being in a house now with too many stairs, and her daughter and son-in-law both work long hours which means that she is alone a lot of the time.
Ginger, my in-laws' beagle, who wanted to sleep rather than be dragged outside at 11:30 in the 10-degree weather.