By Sarah Arvio
It lasted many moons--in fact decades--
but, you know, never morphed into marriage.
Slow amour, as slow as a snail,
and as armored as an armadillo.
Was imperfect love a peccadillo,
or wasn't it love, this purgatory;
in the end I think I was mortified.
Speaking of petite mort, there was also
petty murder. O ambrosia. I was
amortized, you know, or slowly murdered
while waiting for a metamorphosis.
It was disarming that it was over.
There was harm in him, and a dose of smarm--
that I wasn't dead was the miracle.
I wasn't quite dead, but almost, you know,
arm over arm with my malefactor.
And, you know, alarmingly amorous.
In marital, martial and lunar law
the dead girl can't marry her mortician.
No one was left but the Necromancer,
not the Romancer and not Amore,
something like heavens to murgatory,
and all the morphology of remorse.
To think purgatory led to heaven!
An armchair, mon cher, not a chariot,
all that old passion put out to pasture
for grazing, you know, on "past" memories.
From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in this week's Washington Post Book World. "Wit in poetry reaches beyond the genial chuckle or knowing smirk. Poetic wit is verbal, not anecdotal, and, when ebullient, it guides words into an expressive dance," writes Pinsky. "Sarah Arvio's new book, Sono -- Italian for 'I am' -- raises that process to an unusual, expressive intensity. In the accelerating riffs of these poems, the sounds of words express, in addition to comedy and insight, a nearly frantic pursuit of control. This is wit under duress, wrought to an extreme, less like a cool or amusing remark than a crying out...this is wit on a rampage, dramatizing its own excessive drama, generating a sense of desperation as well as knowledge. This is not quite a mad song, but nearly."
We went to Baltimore Saturday, originally with the intention of going to both the zoo and the science center, though we ended up spending almost no time at the latter because we stayed for a long time at the former, and then what was meant to be a quick lunch at Harborplace ended up being a long, leisurely and far better than anyone expected lunch at the Capital City Brewing Company, where we were seated with a fabulous view of the harbor and some of us had excellent fish & chips while others had quite good crab cakes and yours truly and younger son had salmon over potato salad with crabmeat that was superb.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore had just reopened Saturday for the first time in months after completing renovations, and had all sorts of events going on for its 130th birthday -- moonbounce and slides and stuff near the totally mobbed kids' area that we didn't even try to enter, zoologists out talking about the animals, and since we are members of the National Zoo and can therefore get into the Maryland Zoo for free, we should perhaps have waited till a less crowded weekend, but younger son really wanted to see the penguins and in-laws said they would meet us there. We only really walked through the Africa area, since it took three times as long as usual given the crowds. But it was lots of fun, and my perfect weather for this -- high 40s, just warm enough that I didn't need gloves to take photos and cold enough that the crowds didn't bother me.
Though it did not get to enjoy the slides, moonbounces, cotton candy, etc., which had crowds and lines but looked like lots of people were having lots of fun!
Since there are no actual flamingos at the zoo yet, given the renovations and cold weather, here is what the zoo has on display instead: the plastic lawn ornament variety!
And kissing penguins, because a post about the zoo should contain some actual animals. More penguins tomorrow!
After lunch we did go briefly to the Maryland Science Center but decided it was so late in the day that it would be silly to pay to get into the new history of flight exhibit with so little time, so we will go back and do that another weekend. At night we watched Walk the Line, which I really loved, dramatically, musically, visually and in every other way, and can officially say that it is fine with me if Joachin wins best actor at the Oscars. Though I think I am still rooting for Heath, and expect Philip to win. No matter who wins that category, it is someone who will have deserved it, and how often does that happen in any of the acting categories? Really there aren't a lot of stinkers anywhere this year.
Oh, I keep forgetting to mention (since I did not watch the interview but only read about it all over the place afterward) that I love George Clooney! ("On Barbara Walters' Oscar TV special, Academy Award nominated George Clooney was asked if he would ever consider playing a gay role. Clooney replies, 'I already have, in Batman and Robin' (1997). 'Think about it,' he explains. 'I was in a rubber suit. I had rubber nipples. I could have played him straight but I didn't. I made him gay.') And I finally posted my Farpoint Penny Johnson Jerald interview!