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

Poem for Wednesday


Only the Crossing Counts
By C.D. Wright


It's not how we leave one's life. How go off
the air. You never know do you. You think you're ready
for anything; then it happens, and you're not. You're really
not. The genesis of an ending, nothing
but a feeling, a slow movement, the dusting
of furniture with a remnant of the revenant's shirt.
Seeing the candles sink in their sockets; we turn
away, yet the music never quits. The fire kisses our face.
O phthsis, o lotharian dead eye, no longer
will you gaze on the baize of the billiard table. No more
shooting butter dishes out of the sky. Scattering light.
Between snatches of poetry and penitence you left
the brumal wood of men and women. Snow drove
the butterflies home. You must know
how it goes, known all along what to expect,
sooner or later ... the faded cadence of anonymity.
Frankly, my dear, frankly, my dear, frankly

--------

I had a nice day, though very little of it turned out as planned. I was going to take vertigo66 out for a belated birthday lunch, but her little one was sick, so we postponed. Then my mother called and asked if I wanted to have lunch with her, so I did. We went to Legal Seafood and split their coconut shrimp and crab dip appetizers, and I had their spicy tomato shrimp, scallop and fish soup, then we walked around in bookstores and stuff in the mall (I totally behaved and did not buy anything). Came home and picked up both kids since it was pouring, took younger son to Hebrew school, fed older son because he had an evening chorus concert at a high school trying to recruit the singers, sent older son off with apaulled for the concert, picked up younger son and fed him. In the middle of all this, I also wrote a review of The Desperate Housewives Cookbook, which is very enjoyable even for casual fans like me...though if I hadn't gotten a review copy, I would never have paid the full $30 cover price for it.

After dinner, younger son wanted to watch TV, I suggested that we watch a movie together, and he discovered that Hoot -- which he is reading at school -- was on pay per view, so we watched that. It's a delightful movie about a group of kids in Florida who discover that a family of burrowing owls lives in the field where a big corporate pancake house is about to build a franchise, so the kids try to save the owls. Robert Wagner plays the town mayor. Florida looks magnificent in the film -- this is supposed to be a poor small town, the twelve jobs the pancake house will bring is a big deal, yet the main character lives in a really big house and can walk to both the beach and a magnificent wildlife-filled mangrove swamp. I'd move there.

And after everyone got home and the kids went to bed, we watched Boston Legal. Whoo! In the beginning, Paul walks in on Denny in a bathrobe, which Paul can see he has a woman hiding under. Turns out it's Bethany, who claims she did nothing untoward, just didn't want to be seen in a room with Denny while he was in a bathrobe. Paul asks Denny whether he can please do something about Gracie Jane the Bitch Reporter before she contaminates the jury pool in the big murder case and Denny promises to try, though when he later discusses seducing her with Shirley, he once again fails to look down and notice that Bethany is standing right there, and her feelings are hurt. Speaking of dating, Claire tells Scott's psychiatrist that she works for Crane, Poole & Schmidt so there will be no sex; he is furious and promises that she made a big mistake making an enemy of him. And speaking of dating, again, Jerry Espenson shows up begging Alan to represent him against a lawyer he fired for being a Scientologist, and Alan learns that Sally Heep is opposing counsel. He is very interested in renewing their intimacy acquaintance, but Brad says he staked the first claim and gets dibs unless Alan wants to wrestle him for her. Undaunted, Alan suggests a private wager to Sally in which the winner of their case will slather the loser in maple syrup and lick it off.

You know it's a celebrity trial when Joan Rivers is there to comment on the clothing! Scott's parents clash before the trial in a zoo of cops. Denise does a kick-ass job with the first witness, the arresting officer, who pretty much admits they have no suspects but Scott because they became convinced he was guilty upon hearing his fantasies about harming Mrs. Judge Hooper. Mr. Judge Hooper claims that Scott always struck him as extremely unstable and only learned his wife was having an affair with Scott on the day he learned Scott harbored fantasies about hurting her from the video given him by the psychiatrist...he called his wife when he saw the video and then went out to dinner. Claire cross-examines, wondering why the wife had sex with Scott after such a revelation, and Mr. Judge Hooper insists that she must have been raped. Claire asks whether he thought about killing his cheating wife and he calls her disgusting. Then Jeffrey makes the crazy neighbor have a meltdown on the stand, first by proving that he lied about when he last saw Mrs. Judge Hooper because he gave her flowers the day she died, then by suggesting that a peeping tom should be a registered sex offender and even Mrs. Judge Hooper thought he was unbalanced.

But then Scott's father takes the stand to drop the bombshell that although the pushy dominating mother had punished Scott, insisting that adultery was a sin, the father had once walked in on Scott masturbating to a nude photo of his own mother! The victim looked like the mother, which is probably why Scott was attracted to her, according to the father. In chambers, Scott insists to the lawyers that this is not true, but Denise thinks this must be why Scott wouldn't let them see the psychiatrist's tape and notes. She wants to move for a mistrial because this information was withheld from them, but Jeffrey is too busy being furious that Scott has made it so difficult for them to defend him. More bombshells sure to come, stay tuned.

Sally gets Jerry's former legal associate on the stand and gets him to say he wasn't trying to convert anyone to Scientology. Then Alan cross-examines, quoting L. Ron Hubbard on how a man can make millions creating a religion, which the guy says people like you take out of context, and Alan asks what "people like you" means -- nonbelievers, lawyers, foot fetishists? He asks about engrams and electropsychometers, communicating with animals, whether Thetans are immortal, whether Hubbard will return again, at which point the guy asks whether Christians who believe Jesus will come again are nuts and Alan agrees that most of them are. Then Alan asks about Xenu and aliens in volcanoes and whether it's true that humans purge their influence in tears, urine, sweat, etc., and upon being told yes, he farts loudly, saying he's getting closer to immortality. Jerry says that the other lawyer impugned him for taking medication and wanted time off to get the aliens out of his system, which Jerry thought cost him credibility as a lawyer. Sally asks (quite effectively) what if the associate was Hindu and worshipped a cow, or Christian and believed Jesus walked on water -- would Jerry fire the person? Alan objects that she's mocking Christianity -- think of the troops! Then he says, "This woman is clearly a Jew." When the judge asks him incredulously if he objects to her being Jewish, Alan says he's sure someone there does.

Sally argues (again effectively) that Christian Scientists won't go to a doctor and radical Islamists believe that they'll be given virgins in heaven if they blow themselves up, but these beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, so how dare Jerry think Scientology is a little too "out there." Then Alan gets up and calls freedom of religion a dumb freedom, saying that an employee's behavior affects his place of employment...besides, religion is responsible for the Crusades, Hitler, 9/11, and really it's our greatest threat today. When a client acts like a loon, he shouldn't be allowed to fall back on the First Amendment. The Founding Fathers wanted to protect us from other people's proselytizing, not empower them to do it in the workplace. This part of the argument is pretty effective, but it's never really proven or even declared by Jerry that the Scientologist did that, so I'm a little bit uncomfortable with Alan winning this case...though it's treated like crack. Alan ends up licking his syrup off Sally and Jerry then arrives with flowers for her, thinking she's his dream real life girl to replace his inflatable one, only to be crushed when he sees Alan there.

On the balcony, Alan tells Denny how badly he feels for Jerry, but Denny -- who is reeling from Bethany saying she's not going to date someone who throws his penis around, though he promised her that when he enters into an exclusive relationship, he sees very few other people -- says that at least Jerry still has his doll as backup. Meanwhile Denny has had no luck silencing Gracie Jones the Bitch Reporter with his charm, and can't take her out to dinner or Bethany will be jealous and he really likes Bethany -- she reminds him of himself when he was younger. Alan asks why young girls make them feel relevant instead of old and fat, and wonders if it's all because there's a huge trial at the firm in which they're not involved. "Makes it hard to remember that life isn't all about me." He wonders whether they've lost it, but Denny says no: "We may be less relevant, but we're rich and famous. We've still got it...what is it we've still got?" Alan replies, "Young girls."


The Inner Harbor facing the aquarium at sunset on Saturday.


At a table with demonstrations of sailor knots, a city souvenir showing off the craft.


At this table, kids made floats out of aluminum foil lined with newspaper to see how many weights they could balance in it before it sank. I think the record was 37.


This is the harbor earlier in the day...as you can see, there were people climbing on the roof of the aquarium's Australia exhibit!
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