The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

By Joy Harjo

I must keep from breaking into the story by force
for if I do I will find myself with a war club in my hand
and the smoke of grief staggering toward the sun,
your nation dead beside you.

I keep walking away though it has been an eternity
and from each drop of blood
springs up sons and daughters, trees,
a mountain of sorrows, of songs.

I tell you this from the dusk of a small city in the north
not far from the birthplace of cars and industry.
Geese are returning to mate and crocuses have
broken through the frozen earth.

Soon they will come for me and I will make my stand
before the jury of destiny. Yes, I will answer in the clatter
of the new world, I have broken my addiction to war
and desire. Yes, I will reply, I have buried the dead

and made songs of the blood, the marrow.


My day was cut in half by younger son's orthodontist appointment (at which, of course, he needed brackets reglued), so this is probably going to be a dorky disjointed entry. I spent the morning alternately squeeing and seething in jealousy with my good friend in London who's a critic for The Guardian, who got taken to opening night of Sunday in the Park With George in the West End by another theatre critic and was sitting three seats over from Patrick Stewart and two rows up from Alan Rickman! This seems terribly unfair to me, who dished out good money to see Bernadette Peters on Broadway. I don't see why I couldn't have been her date, other than being on the wrong continent and the probability that I would have embarrassed her by squeeing aloud. Which I am also doing over the fact that Jason Isaacs and Viggo Mortensen will both be in the film production of Good (will Jason be playing a Jew or a Nazi this time?) and Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams are both going to be in the Bob Dylan biopic with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore and Richard Gere. (It was another slow Trek news day...yet more blather about who is joining J.J. Abrams on the Trek XI production team and yet more inventions credited to or paralleled with Star Trek tech.)

In the evening we all accompanied older son to his Bar Mitzvah tutoring, which only lasts a half-hour, so then we could go to younger son's school book fair being held at the local Barnes & Noble since there is no room in the school itself for a Scholastic book fair since all the portables have been shut due to mold issues. I behaved and did not buy anything, mostly because I have a pile of books both for fun and for review sitting next to my desk...Cooper's Victory, Sierra's Secret Supper, the new C.S. Lewis biography, Wilcox's Why Buffy Matters, Gunn Allen's Pocahontas, Wicker's Not In Kansas Anymore, Steinke's Holy Skirts, and the awesome book that comes with The Fairytale Tarot with some stories I don't know...oh and speaking of Tarot, Kris Waldherr and Lisa Hunt, who do some of my favorite contemporary Goddess art, have put together a web site,, which has free readings using their own spreads and decks. They are working on a book together, and since I love both Waldherr's Book of Goddesses and Hunt's Celestial Goddesses, I am looking forward to this.

Ironically enough, there was a special on Arlington National Cemetery on National Geographic on public television (it's on again several more times in the DC area if anyone is interested, Arlington: Field of Honor). I learned from it that John F. Kennedy was impressed to realize when he visited the cemetery that Memorial Bridge was built where it was specifically to form a link between Robert E. Lee's property and the Lincoln Memorial, as seen in the photo below. When JFK was assassinated, his brother Robert requested that he be buried at the foot of the hill on which Arlington House stands, so JFK is directly in line between the Confederate general and the Union president. RFK is buried on the same hillside a few yards away.

The graves of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and the eternal flame. Their son Patrick, who was born and died while Kennedy was in the White House, and a daughter who was stillborn are also buried there. (Sorry about the angle, there were a lot of people -- this was the most crowded spot at the cemetery.)

The platform across from JFK's grave overlooking Washington, DC.

The view from the hill above the JFK gravesite, from the front porch of Arlington House, looking over the bridge at the Lincoln Memorial (the Washington Monument, Capitol Building and Library of Congress are to the right).

Robert Francis Kennedy's grave on the hillside beneath Arlington House.

How is it possible not only that there are still basketball playoffs going on, but that they aren't even in the finals yet? And how it it possible that Dick Cheney STILL has not been indicted for anything?!

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