The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Laughing Sorrow
By Nirupama Dutt

I will not let sorrow sit still
today in my home
Pushing it into my jhola
I will take it along
to the city streets
Today I will steal a bright red
gulmohar bloom and put it
in my hair
Borrowing smiles from the
Coffee House waiter
a little joke with the
library caretaker I will share

When all these tricks
to cheer a sorrowing day fail
I will sit on the slope
outside the girls’ hostel
and light my cigarette
the ashes will mix for sure
in my poem today
and readers will get a chance
to say I am all wrong --
“Such are the constraints of
poetesses of Amrita Pritam’s age,
a cigarette is their only solace!”

Thinking of my constraints
I will be ever so pained
blaming it all on my wretched
two affairs and a half
I will go to the poet of the city
looking for life without restraint
He will have half a bottle of rum
in one pocket and a freshly
written poem in the other
He will teach me a mantra
or two of life and reading
his new poem promise to
leave drinking for all time
I too will make a list of
good resolutions and seeking
time for just one more love
I will turn myself into words

The drifting sorrowful day will stop
look back at us and laugh
I will become a part of the magic
of making a sad day snigger
Scattering lines of sorrowing laughter
I will come away


Had a quiet Monday which was exactly what I needed. Wrote three articles' worth of news bullets (Trek 40th celebrations -- no one at TrekToday bothered to write an anniversary piece since I was away that Friday night, hahaha -- remastered syndicated original Trek stuff and general news about actors, conventions, etc.). Took younger son to soccer and older son to the bank to deposit the checks he received as gifts. Discovered that we can't get a plumber out here till Tuesday at the earliest, nor someone to look at the microwave (which may have blown a fuse or may have blown, period) till Thursday. Sighed, made older son work on thank you notes even though there is no school for Election Day which he thought should make it an all-afternoon video game free-for-all.

Folded three of four laundries while watching the Redskins choke -- not that the press seemed as interested in the game as the fact that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were there with the Redskins' owner, who is now bankrolling Tom's movies. Then put on the first episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys I ever saw, "Web of Desire", which I had watched only intending to see a few episodes since wanted me to review Xena and I figured I should be familiar with the show from which it emerged; I fell instantly in love with the canonical slashiness (Gina Torres as Nebula asking Michael Hurst as Iolaus how long he and Herc have been together, Iolaus refusing to refute what she's implying) and the postmodern referentiality (Herc is off chasing the Spider Woman spouting lines like, "This is one big web site"), not to mention the magnificent New Zealand scenery, the gratuitous pirates...really, what's not to love? I wish Deep Discount DVD would drop the price on Xena, too, because I could watch both these series over and over, and it's more fun to see them back-to-back as Channel 50 used to air them here in syndication since there's so much crossover among the plots and guest actors. Seeing Kevin Smith still breaks my heart a little.

I was explaining to someone about the Hyde Park parrots, a colony of monk parrots that live on the south side of Chicago. No one is really sure whether they migrated so far north and decided to stay or if they escaped from being domesticated somewhere.

They build massive nests like this one in the trees and sometimes on the lampposts near Lake Michigan, though they occasionally move as far inland as the Midway paralleling the University of Chicago.

Here you can get a better sense of just how enormous these nests are. The city once planned to evict them citing them as a threat to Illinois agriculture, but Mayor Harold Washington, who lived in Hyde Park in the building in the background of this photo, championed protecting the birds.

I didn't get any wonderful photos of them on our last trip because the best times to see them are early morning and twilight when not a lot of light gets through the leaves, and they move around a lot so they blur.

This, for instance, is a blurry photo I have posted here before, which I like because you can see lots of birds at once.

Kids have no school but younger son does have Hebrew school and I will be stuck in the house for much of tomorrow waiting for a plumber. And I have to choose the lesser of several weevils among Democratic Senate nominees. The one who's a little less progressive on some issues is also rated 100% by NARAL, and of issues of great importance to me, that's the top one -- I'd love a candidate who was a stronger supporter of gay marriage but not one where past scandals or championing of other interests is going to get him sidelined. I'm always glad when a candidate opposes the death penalty but in terms of practical politics, it matters much more where the state governor stands than the US senator. And sadly enough, when I have to choose between protecting abortion rights and putting an end to the death penalty, I choose the former, since an end to legal termination of pregnancies will ultimately cause so many more unjust deaths -- every woman will potentially be at risk. It would be so great if all the religious fanatics currently sabotaging reproductive choices would go protest the number of executions instead.

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