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

Poem for Wednesday


From "Ants"
By Joanie Mackowski


Two wandering across the porcelain
Siberia, one alone on the window sill,

four across the ceiling's senseless field
of pale yellow, one negotiating folds

in a towel: tiny, bronze-colored antennae
"strongly elbowed," crawling over Antony

and Cleopatra
, face down, unsurprised,
one dead in the mountainous bar of soap.

Sub-family Formicinae (a single
segment behind the thorax), the sickle

moons of their abdomens, one trapped in bubbles
(I soak in the tub); with no clear purpose

they come in by the baseboard, do not bite,
crush bloodless beneath a finger. Peterson's

calls them "social creatures," yet what grim
society: identical pilgrims, . . .

--------

No real news here. Finished most of the posting-photos project I started Monday, still have to resize a bunch of pics of my kids. Wrote articles about Connor Trinneer and William Shatner, aka the Bravest Man Alive -- see notes on Boston Legal below. Drove Tuesday Hebrew school carpool, then had to have McDonald's for dinner once younger son had been retrieved because the elementary school does a fundraiser every year where the teachers are cashiers there for a night and some percentage of the money goes to the school...fortunately this is the last year for it! I like the California Tortilla and Ledo's Pizza fundraisers much better, not to mention the Scholastic Books fundraisers. Oh, that's right, next week is book fair and I need to figure out what Scholastic publishes school editions of that we want. I already have The End on order from Amazon.com along with The Beatrice Letters because with free shipping they were both cheaper from there if we wait for them, and younger son is reading Digital Fortress because they had to read a mystery novel for school this month so that is going to take him awhile anyway! Am mad at myself because I bought a blouse on eBay specifically because I had a discount coupon which I then forgot to use.

Right when we got back with dinner we discovered that Little Shop of Horrors was on and watched it, which we have not done in years -- this is the musical, not the Roger Corman movie, though we have both on ancient VHS tape off HBO. Oh MAN I forgot how funny that is! Hey, does anyone have the original very limited-release DVD with the original ending which is now only available for exhorbitant prices? Or does anyone know where the original ending itself might be available? *bats eyelashes* The song is on the soundtrack, which we have owned since the movie came out -- we saw it at a free screening in college before it officially opened -- but I have never seen the "Don't Feed the Plants" scene! It's on again on Sunday morning and I need to remember to record it, because I am not spending money on the later, excised DVD. My other entertainment for the night was the aforementioned Boston Legal, less insane than previously this season and still running an arc story...and Armin Shimerman and Rene Auberjonois onscreen together making me so happy!

The episode starts with little person lawyer Bethany nervous about the case she and Denny are trying together; when he catches her smoking, he starts to warn that it will stunt her growth, and she asks Paul why he's staring: "What, you've never seen a smoking dwarf before?" When Denny starts to suggest sex to relax, she pinches his ear, telling him he's a pervert. Naturally this excites him and she explains that the pinching increases his blood flow. "When's the last time you got that without taking a pill?" The opposing counsel tries to rattle her by offering a settlement which he then withdraws after thirty seconds, and after another attack of nerves, she delivers a kick-ass opening about HMOs and the ridiculous things they have to do because Congress won't do a damn thing about lack of funding for health care. Ultimately it's Brad who settles the case, out of court for nearly a million dollars, but Denny assures Bethany that the defendant settled because they were so afraid of her closing after that opening. He asks Bethany whether they can start over, calling her an extraordinary woman, and since she agrees that "somewhere inside that vile disgusting shell of yours, there might be nice person," she agrees to have lunch with him after taking a couple of weeks to forget that he keeps calling her a midget.

In the ongoing big murder case, Denise and Claire play Rock Paper Scissors to determine which of them will have to flirt with the psychiatrist to see if they can get information out of him, and Claire loses. She picks him up in a bar by commenting loudly on the case when it's on the news, and true to form he admits that he knows both the suspect and the victim. But she doesn't manage to get any really useful information about him before he starts hitting on her. Meanwhile, Denise looks at photos from the crime scene and points out to Jeffrey that someone had brought the dead Mrs. Judge Hooper flowers, which wouldn't have been the kid who was trying to leave no evidence, nor the husband who was having problems with her. She guesses the freaky peeping tom neighbor whom they already know is obsessed with gardening, and when Jeffrey visits him to ask whether he resented the court order keeping him away from Mrs. Judge Hooper, he asks Jeffrey to leave. Meanwhile Paul goes to visit Mr. Judge Hooper and they argue like Odo and Quark, only in reverse! Hooper accuses Paul of profiteering from his wife's death, Paul asks for his cooperation as a friend because they know all about the shared psychiatrist and the wife's extramarital affairs, Hooper feels threatened when Paul says that if he won't talk in private then he'll have to question him on the stand, Hooper says your client killed my wife since no one else was there, Paul says except you and yes, that is a threat. (Next week we get the two of them plus Ethan Phillips as the kid's father, whoo!)

The rest of the episode is about the Alan-Denny-Shirley triangle played out against a case involving cannibalism, which Shirley asks Alan to work on with her since it's disgusting, distasteful and she thought of him immediately. He says he drools over the idea of two consenting adults savoring each other's meat and she says she will bring the condiments, but she won't consider sleeping with him even if she wanted to because it would hurt Denny and she won't let Alan do that. She tells Alan that he would have to have Denny's blessing even to try to get it on with her, even though she is, in her own words, very good in bed -- "In fact, I'm phenomenal" -- and men never get over her. In their legal case, a homeless man cremated his dead best friend and ate his flesh; he explains that he was weak from hunger and he never planned it, but he couldn't bear to let the guy rot on a slab which is what happens to all homeless people since only next of kin can approve cremation which was what the friend wanted. The DA, who is running for office, salivates over having what he considers such an easy case, and gets lots of TV news publicity by talking about the repulsiveness of homeless cannibals and the need for human dignity. Shirley asks why the DA picked this issue -- "Is pedophilia taken?" -- but it's obvious that the DA expects a quick victory.

Alan visits Denny (who has clothespins on his ears based on Bethany's pinching). He talks about what a special relationship they share, and Denny agrees: "We're flamingoes." Alan says that the root of the relationship is their ability to share their intimacies, fears, even their minds. "My mind is blank," offers Denny, though he concedes, "My root is your root." But not Shirley. "Don't go to Shirley, Keep your root away from her. She's mine." Alan complains that Denny can't claim women for all time, but Denny says he doesn't claim all women, just Shirley; Alan, he says, can have the girl he married last year. Finally they agree to a wrestling match over Shirley, which makes her indignant, insisting that she is not a prize to be won between two fat boys sweating on the mat. But Alan is certain that she finds this primal male display a little thrilling, talks about social cages and passion, and Denny is so impressed that he adds, "What he said."

Even so, Shirley is increasingly impressed with Alan when the homeless man says maybe he is the monster the DA says -- he doesn't have a single friend to speak as a character witness -- and when the DA makes conservative arguments about how in a world where no one blinks over gay marriage, there should at least be dignity in death, Alan retorts that he's much more offended by homeless people starving in the city in which the DA is running for office than he is by a starving man eating the body of his dead friend. He cites the sacrament of Communion (which infurates the judge), points out that cannibalism is not technically illegal in Massachusetts and wonders where is the dignity in an expensive trial that's about TV cameras rather than helping anyone. The DA, he notes, is not starving for anything except attention. But then, this trial fits the DA's notion of society, not trying to understand the homeless but trying to prosecute them. "Kind of makes you wonder who here is really the cannibal?"

Denny shows up to the wrestling match in a ring with a big audience including Denise, Brad, etc., wearing a skin-tight red wrestling outfit which is the reason I say William Shatner is the bravest man alive. Then Alan shows up in Indian skins and a headdress, preceded by Catherine Piper a.k.a. Betty White in Indian princess garb, which prompts Denny to warn Alan that he looks like one of the Village People. Alan wants them both to pee in a cup before they start as he doesn't trust his testosterone, with good reason -- Denny sits on Alan's face, sticks a cigar in his mouth and wins easily. "Five seconds," Alan whispers to Shirley as they sit in court waiting for what the judge calls the "outrageous verdict" of not guilty for the homeless cannibal. "Do you think we win too much? Are we losing all suspense?" Alan asks Shirley rhetorically. Then he gives a check for $5000 to the homeless man in what he calls a program to help the less fortunate. Shirley and later Denny are both astounded by this generosity.

But Alan still wants a rematch because he believes Denny cheated, though Denny says the first time he had sex with Shirley, it went exactly like their wrestling match: he flipped her on her back and sat on her face and it only lasted five seconds. Alan says he hopes it was better for Shirley than it was for himself. Then he asks, very sincerely, "Do you think you could ever bring yourself to eat me? If we were on a desert island and you were starving?" Taken aback by the question, Denny turns the question around: "Could you eat me? Alan admits that he might be afraid of catching mad cow, but he says that he wants to be buried, not incinerated into nothingness. When pressed by Denny, who believes that when you're dead, you're dead and therefore won't care, Alan confesses to believing in an afterlife. "Alan Shore believes that man has a soul! Stop the presses!" exlaims Denny. Then Alan asks him what he would do if he met God, and Denny says he would take him fishing...though God would probably want to wrestle him for Shirley.


At Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park's Harvest Festival, two children pet pigs.


There were also alpacas...


...and cows and horses...


...and goats...


...and honeybees (the queen is the one with the white dot painted on her back to make her easier for kids to spot)...


...but I must admit that the muddy little piggies are probably my favorites.
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