The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

A Perfume
By John Koethe

There were mice, and even
Smaller creatures holed up in the rafters.
One would raise its thumb, or frown,
And suddenly the clouds would part, and the whole
Fantastic contraption come tumbling down.

And the arcade of forgotten things
Closed in the winter, and the roller coaster
Stood empty as the visitors sped away
Down a highway that passed by an old warehouse
Full of boxes of spools and spoons.

I wonder if these small mythologies,
Whose only excuse for existing is to maintain us
In our miniscule way of life,
Might possibly be true? And even if they were,
Would it be right? Go find the moon

And seal it in the envelope of night.
The stars are like a distant dust
And what the giants left lies hidden in full view.
Brush your hair. Wipe the blood from your shoes.
Sit back and watch the firedance begin.

--So the rain falls in place,
The playground by the school is overrun with weeds
And we live our stories, filling up our lives
With souvenirs of the abandoned
Factory we have lingered in too long.


Had one of those "what am I doing with my life" moments in between schlepping the kids to violin, the dentist, the bookstore, etc. and sent out a bunch of resumes, some for part-time jobs for which I am extremely overqualified but will hopefully have workable hours and some for full-time jobs that, given what commuting into DC or Virginia is like, are almost certainly more hours than I want to work now, but I figure maybe there are other positions not being advertised or freelance opportunities. Then sat down and read a bunch of course catalogues and wondered whether the University of Maryland will give me back the fellowship I walked away from, only instead of finishing my PhD I can take various creative arts and theater courses before they notice I'm not working on my dissertation.

Otherwise I posted a bunch of stuff about Pocket's new Ships of the Line Star Trek book, gorgeous illustrations, not sure why this exactly is triggering a mid-life crisis but for some reason looking at graphic designs of various Enterprises depressed me. I also summarized a bunch of reviews of The Nine, on which John Billingsley is a member of the ensemble and I decided to watch it because for every naysayer like Tom Shales of The Washington Post, there were two other critics calling it the best drama of the season. I enjoyed the pilot quite a bit because the actors are good and the cinematography is interesting, but I must agree with Shales that there is something rather grating about watching a show that jumps back and forward in time to emphasize the point that all the major characters know something you don't. I am hoping they play out the hostage drama in the first weeks and focus on what everyone does with their lives in later weeks rather than trying to do both simultaneously, because, for instance, without knowing what terrible thing the doctor did that has his fiancee questioning whether she wants anything to do with him anymore, I don't feel any desire to get attached to either of those characters.

Here again is the little blind screech owl brought by the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia to Rock Creek Park Day last weekend.

And the other screech owl, who apparently has no idea how tiny he is; he sat and ruffled his feathers and paced up and down and did not look at all intimidated.

This is Big Girl, the red-tailed hawk trained by the Conservancy. (I just love the two profiles in this picture, even though the bird moved its wing and it's out of focus.)

And here she is showing off the markings beneath her wings.

This is the hybrid falcon, part peregrine, part some other sort of falcon, with magnificent feather patterns but the conservancy is not allowed to breed this bird, since neither it nor its offspring would be accepted by any other falcons.

Am officially totally sick of coughing. Can it be bronchitis if I am not coughing anything up, my sinuses are clear and I feel fine other than my throat constricting whenever I am around a pile of dry leaves?

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