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

Poem for Saturday


Sensual Deprivation
By Pattiann Rogers


I've never held a monkey of any kind,
never smoothed the stubbled fur
of a collared titi's head or enclosed
the twig-thin bones of a spider monkey's
fingers in mine or followed the wrinkled
petal of its primrose ear by touch.

Though I've held a live chicken hen
full grown, I've never put my finger
under the feathers of an eagle's throat,
felt the kind of furious flutter
that must pass there continuously
as it sails in surges above the buttresses
of seacliffs or down the thunder
of river passes, that hot, pulsing
thudder under its skin, raging
even as it roosts, even all night
under a dissolving and rainy moon.

I've never pressed the ball of my thumb
against a common wombat's claw
or felt the spotted cuscus curl its pink,
naked tail tip around my finger
or pressed my hand to the bass-drum
barrel of a sea lion's ribs as it bellows
or let the tentacle of a short fin squid
suck to my fist.

What of essence can the eyes alone
truly perceive, those overrated, flighty
skimmers? After all, it was the hands
that invented fondling, the fingers
that created gentleness.

And I, who actually claim
to know you, have never once studied
with my finger the intricate assertion
of your inner wrist, have never found
your stance from neck to feet, every linked
furrow and tone, by touching them all,
or felt your breath as proof on my fingers
during a shrill snow closing in
on a day like this one.

What can I know, possessing now a touch
so restricted, a grasp so limited,
such ignorant hands, such poor,
deprived fingers, such a pitiful,
hampered heart?

--------

Guess what? I'm not in New York! My sister and her younger daughters had Coxsacki virus last week, and guess what -- the older one just came down with it this morning. By the time she called, apaulled was ready to leave work, so he came home early anyway and we went for a walk at Great Falls, where we saw herons and turtles and salamanders and insects and geese. Then we stopped at the food co-op since it's not far down the road to Glen Echo and they have wonderful organic chicken sausages, which we got to have for dinner.

In the evening we watched T2: Judgment Day, which I picked up for under $4 brand new at Best Buy earlier in the week because we all loved the first one when we watched it earlier this summer. For some reason I am able to separate Schwarzenegger onscreen from Schwarzenegger in real life in a way I have never been able to do with Mel Gibson, Sean Connery, etc. and I wonder why that is. And actually, I have the same thing with Ronald Reagan -- I can watch his stupid movies and laugh and laugh. Maybe that's why, because I do a lot of laughing at the characters (it's almost impossible not to in both cases, they're so iconic they come across as self-parodying) whereas with Connery, Gibson, etc. I don't want to feel anything even for fictional characters they play!

fridayfiver: Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes
1. Do you work hard or do you take the easy way out?
Depends what the project is and how important to me the result is.
2. How's your day going? Fine, I guess. Changes in plans but little stress, so can't complain.
3. How many pairs of shoes do you own? I don't know -- maybe 12? Some of which are like 10 years old. I have four pairs that I wear regularly -- black sandals, off white sandals, black Merrells and mushroom Merrells -- and then snow boots, dressy black flats, slightly less dressy black flats, hiking boots, sneakers...yeah.
4. Do you consider yourself cool? *laughs hysterically* Not REMOTELY cool.
5. What's the last song you listened to? "Mister Tambourine Man." See how uncool?

thefridayfive: In Character
1. What was the bravest thing you have ever done?
Told a certain person how I felt about his wife. *g*
2. Describe the meanest thing you have ever done. Told a friend in middle school that there was no room for her at our lunch table, even though we could have made room, because she had told me she wouldn't sit with another friend of mine and that friend had told me the same thing about her. I should have refused to choose, but I didn't, and she never forgave me. Man, middle school sucked.
3. Tell us about the nicest thing anything anyone has done for you. Showed me a recommendation that I was not supposed to see, written by someone from whom they knew it would mean an enormous amount to me (see #1).
4. What was the most insane thing you have ever witnessed or done? It involved my husband, one of my best friends and a hotel room. 'Nuff said.
5. Describe the most "out of character" thing you secretly want to do. I can't think of anything I want to do that's out of character! Traveling around the world with my family and magically developing a fabulous singing voice so I can star in a Broadway musical are totally in character!

Here is my review of "The Enterprise Incident", which continues to hold up as, if not my very favorite original Trek episode, at least tied with "Amok Time" and maybe "The Empath", which I need to watch again before drawing conclusions because while I remember the good parts of the latter being extraordinarily good, I have a feeling I am blocking out the really bad plot stuff, as I have a tendency to do when I like the characterization and then when I watch the episode I have big "oh wow, that was really badly written!" moments. Anyway, it reminded me of how very much I love Kathleen Dailey's fan novel Unspoken Truth, which I highly recommend to any original series fan.


This is the last set of photos you will see here of this C&O Canal barge, which is being removed in a few days now that enough money has been raised to build a replacement.


The Canal Clipper was damaged by Hurricane Isabel and has not been safe for travel since. The new barge will have two levels and will also be pulled through the locks by mules.


Since the canal has been fairly stagnant as the locks have been closed while the boat was inoperative, it has lots of turtles and plants and this man caught a decent sized fish.


I meant to go to bed an hour ago but Crimson Tide is on, and we set up to record it and are still sitting here watching. Viggo Mortensen and Denzel Washington are both terrific in this movie. I'd be useless on a nuclear submarine because I'd be fighting anyone who wanted to launch the missiles no matter what was happening and what orders were given...
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