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

Poem for Wednesday


King of the River
By Stanley Kunitz


If the water were clear enough,
if the water were still,
but the water is not clear,
the water is not still,
you would see yourself,
slipped out of your skin,
nosing upstream,
slapping, thrashing,
tumbling
over the rocks
till you paint them
with your belly's blood:
Finned Ego,
yard of muscle that coils,
uncoils.
If the knowledge were given you,
but it is not given,
for the membrane is clouded
with self-deceptions
and the iridescent image swims
through a mirror that flows,
you would surprise yourself
in that other flesh
heavy with milt,
bruised, battering toward the dam
that lips the orgiastic pool.
Come. Bathe in these waters.
Increase and die.
If the power were granted you
to break out of your cells,
but the imagination fails
and the doors of the senses close
on the child within,
you would dare to be changed,
as you are changing now,
into the shape you dread
beyond the merely human.
A dry fire eats you.
Fat drips from your bones.
The flutes of your gills discolor.
You have become a ship for parasites.
The great clock of your life
is slowing down,
and the small clocks run wild.
For this you were born.
You have cried to the wind
and heard the wind's reply:
"I did not choose the way,
the way chose me."
You have tasted the fire on your tongue
till it is swollen black
with a prophetic joy:
"Burn with me!
The only music is time,
the only dance is love."
If the heart were pure enough,
but it is not pure,
you would admit
that nothing compels you
any more, nothing
at all abides,
but nostalgia and desire,
the two-way ladder
between heaven and hell.
On the threshold
of the last mystery,
at the brute absolute hour,
you have looked into the eyes
of your creature self,
which are glazed with madness,
and you say
he is not broken but endures,
limber and firm
in the state of his shining,
forever inheriting his salt kingdom,
from which he is banished
forever.

--------

Another by Stanley Kunitz, who received an obituary and an appreciation in The Washington Post here and here. The Post also excerpted the poem above with the appreciation.

Again no major news to report -- woke up, did some writing and editing, posted articles on Stewart expressing surprise that no one at Paramount is beating down the door for another Next Generation movie even though the team behind Nemesis had an idea for one and on the new HTC STRTrk Smartphone which is not available in the US but will be in Europe very soon. Kids had their Hebrew school final exam today, so I picked them up so they could get in a little studying before the tests. I wish I had a good explanation of where my time went otherwise...I'm about three days behind on answering comments and haven't looked at my flist!









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And I am sorry to report that Boston Legal is over for the season! Though it went with a bang, pretty much...several bangs actually, and Captain Kirk kissed Seven of Nine which was my number one hope for the show! Since I was pretty darned sure Captain Kirk would not be kissing Daniel Jackson. There's plenty of Alan/Denny shippery anyway, from the beginning when Alan announces that he's in heat and Denny announces that they must be on the same cycle, then informs Alan that he is whisking him off to L.A. where they can sleep [together] on high thread-count sheets. Everyone has sex on the brain: Shirley is representing Ed Begley Jr.'s Clifford in another case, this time because he was caught with a hooker he claims at first he needed for research purposes on anti-vibrator legislation (go Clifford!) and the fallacy of phallocentrism (hahaha, I love academics), but it turns out he got a little carried away with his studies.

Marlene aka The Squid works on the case with Shirley, stealing Denise's idea to use first amendment pornography rights as a defense. Denise steals her phone and tactics back, and there is catfighting galore that's rather icky, and Denise suffers for it while Marlene only gets hit in the head with a file drawer. I am getting the sense that the writers are writing Denise out so they can move Marlene in, because Marlene is now the hard-edged bitch that Denise started out as before they turned her into an actual interesting and complex character, and I will be very, very bummed if this happens because I really love Denise while Marlene just does not interest me, especially now that she's fucked Alan (and seemingly gotten away with it, though Shirley tells Denise that the firm will not make her a partner because she fucked Brad...not that I want to see both women punished for something the men can apparently do whenever the hell they feel like with no consequences!)

Jeri Ryan is a much better bitch and I wish she was available to be a show regular, though she's probably too expensive with all the other star power...I hated Seven of Nine and what she did to Voyager but interestingly enough I have liked Ryan in everything else I have ever seen her in. After Denny (in scuba gear) gets sent off by Shirley (who says it makes him look fat) with a warning that he should not get into the kind of trouble he did when he groped Vanna White's rear end, and Denny begs her to go with him and says he will try to behave, he meets Jeri's Courtney Reese in "Crane Poole and Sperm," as he says to Courtney, or "Denny Crane West" as he introduces Robert Wagner's Barry Gold to Alan. He and Alan have a brief tiff over Denny's zeal to enforce the DNR clause in Alan's will, which Alan thinks is rather morbid -- "real friendship doesn't include one person being the person who pulls the plug on the other...I think part of you really wants to be the guy who kills me" -- but he agrees to stay away from Denny's girl, which is what Courtney is in Denny's mind. Particularly when she shoots a paparazzi stalker. It's very obvious that Alan and Denny are going to win that case -- the prosecuting attorney doesn't do a good job at all persuading the jury or the audience that she had it in for this particular psycho photographer, and Ryan brings a lot of conviction to the role of a celebrity trying to keep some iota of her private life private. Denny, naturally, asks her to marry him -- "Your fifteen minutes are almost up. Mine has lasted a lifetime." -- and sends her prurient letters, as she explains to the court in describing the sort of intrusive mail she gets even from her own lawyers.

Back home Brad is trying a serious case in which his niece gave antidepressants to a friend who overdosed and died, where Shirley manipulates the judge with whom she once had an affair (and then pulls that ethics crap on Denise, grr), and Michael J. Fox's Daniel Post comes back to ask Denise to marry him which would be a good idea if I didn't think it was a means to get her off the show! Waah! And she and Brad are extremely hot together in bed! Much more fun watching Denny and Barry each trying to grope Courtney's leg in the courtroom and winding up holding hands, only to realize what they're doing and yelp, plus Denny smoking a cigar on a balcony in L.A. wearing a hospital mask over face because he's afraid of smog! (When Alan discovers that Courtney recognized the photographer she shot, he asks if there are any other surprises in store...like is she really a man, adds Denny, who notes that he can live with that.) The highlight of the case is the victory for Alan, Barry and Denny, who get to take turns kissing her -- Barry exuberantly, Alan chastely on the cheek, but it's Denny's in-the-courtroom dip-and-smooch that makes the episode. Like I said, you know Captain Kirk would not be in a room with Seven of Nine without trying it.

When they get home, Shirley congrats Denny on his big victory and asks, "Married?" "No." She says she's sorry and he says hopefully, "Shirley? It's a sweeps month," but she says she's not kissing him anyway, though she later does, just in case. The final music for the year is David Gray's "Babylon" which is playing as Alan, bruised from rough sex with Marlene (ugh), explains that there was a spider in his office, and Denny announces, "Shirley kissed me." "Voluntarily?" "Of course...maybe I should marry her." Alan thinks Denny should get over Courtney first and admits he didn't love L.A., which used to make him appreciate Boston more, but lately the whole country is a little lala. "Bubblegum nation." Alan and Denny agree that pandering used to be reserved for politicians, and it's a shame when Hollywood has sunk to the level of Congress. "Ever wonder if you and I are lala?" Alan asks, but Denny proclaims, "We're flamingos! And good ones!" They toast coming home together, and America the Beautiful, and then, "To next season, my friend...same night, I hope." I'd drink to that, and since ABC released their schedule today it looks like we're all getting that wish.
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