By C.D. Wright
Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth
are small and even. I don't get headaches.
Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench
where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace.
If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas,
I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could
have a big time. Danger, shoulder soft.
Do not lie or lean on me. I am still trying to find a job
for which a simple machine isn't better suited.
I've seen people die of money. Look at Admiral Benbow. I wish
like certain fishes, we came equipped with light organs.
Which reminds me of a little known fact:
if we were going the speed of light, this dome
would be shrinking while we were gaining weight.
Isn't the road crooked and steep.
In this humidity, I make repairs by night. I'm not one
among millions who saw Monroe's face
in the moon. I go blank looking at that face.
If I could afford it I'd live in hotels. I won awards
in spelling and the Australian crawl. Long long ago.
Grandmother married a man named Ivan. The men called him
Eve. Stranger, to tell the truth, in dog years I am up there.
Another from Poet's Choice in Sunday's The Washington Post Book World. "The contemporary poet C.D. Wright establishes a jaunty, comic air in a lyric poem" that Robert Pinsky feels "implies the isolation of a single soul, known yet not known, with its unique peculiarities and history. Wright takes her title from a section of the newspaper. Each of the miscellaneous, even random, details has some relation to the 'I' who begins the poem. The babble of information comes from a lyric, intimate perspective."
Older son had plans with a friend and younger son was invited to the climbing gym for a birthday party for the older son of my very oldest friend (the one who has the Superbowl parties every year), so we went and hung out and chatted with the adults there for awhile, then left him to climb and eat while we got Halloween costume pieces -- he's going as a penguin, big surprise -- and took care of some other chores. It is a good thing we listened to the end of the Redskins game on the car radio rather than watching it, because we might have been tempted to bang our heads into furniture or something.
The climbing gym is right next to Croydon Creek Nature Center and the surrounding trails through the woods, so we hiked along the creek for awhile admiring the falling leaves, saw the turtles, snakes and owl inside the nature center and drove through the pine woods out of the park. St. Mary's Cemetery is right nearby, and since Rockville, Maryland registers on the national literary map largely because F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife and daughter are buried there (and since I love The Great Gatsby with a great passion), we stopped briefly to visit the family plot.
As you can see, the grave bears the last line of The Great Gatsby. Every time I have been here (perhaps three, spread out over a 20-year period), someone had left flowers.
It was this kind of afternoon -- a clear, cool, crisp, colorful autumn day.
We were going to have chili with corn bread for dinner but -- mere weeks after we had to have the microwave repaired -- the stove appears to be dead. The clock is working and the programming lights come on, but there's no gas flowing and nothing igniting. Sigh.
In the evening after the kids were in bed, we watched A History of Violence, which was superbly acted, extremely unpleasant, featuring some of the repeated themes in Cronenberg movies which has made me loathe more of his films than love them -- I hate both Naked Lunch and especially Dead Ringers despite their superb casts, mostly because watching movies involving violence against women and women who welcome violence over and over by the same director makes me acutely uncomfortable. Dead Ringers in particular so vilifies female anatomy...bleccch. Anyway, I thought Mortensen, Bello and the actor who played the son were superb, Ed Harris was utterly chilling -- I thought he gave as good a performance as William Hurt, though Hurt got the Oscar nomination -- the pacing was terrific, the ending was an interesting choice, and I am very glad I did not see the movie on the big screen.