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

Poem for Sunday


Twenty-Three
By Liam Rector


When he was 23 and beautiful
He liked to hang around
With other beautiful people.

He liked to get intoxicated with them,
Have sex with them, make money
With them. Among them,

He found, one did not have to strain.
Other people
Wanted to hang around with them

And came bearing gifts,
A little something. (These
Gift-bearers were a lot like

Politics itself is, "Showbiz
For ugly people.") In this world
If anything went wrong there

Was always enough money around
To cover it. After he was through
With this crowd he started hanging

Out with a bunch of academic
Gangsters. These were
A different crew altogether:

Smart, on the main, but mean
And eaten alive by resentment.
They never had enough money

And were bitter beyond belief,
Compared, say,
To a troupe of electricians.

Freud said somewhere
In our unconscious
We are always 23.

--------

From Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World, a poem from Rector's new book, The Executive Director of the Fallen World. "Without necessarily forgiving himself or the rest of greedy and needy humanity, Rector chooses instead a dry, somewhat charitable acknowledgment that the world is... worldly," writes Pinsky. "Understatement gives force to small, cunning touches. Against the flat landscape of phrases such as 'a little something,' the definition of politics stands out. The ordinariness of 'hanging out' and 'eaten alive' emphasizes the anger in the less casual, more energetic phrase 'academic gangsters.'" Pinsky labels the poem fatalistic about how people behave in groups and "the 'fallen' nature of the individual, as the final stanza demonstrates, with its sudden veering to Freud. No one is ever entirely immune to the forces of desire and resentment...there's a forgiving element, a sad shrug and smile, in the idea that the vulnerabilities, failings and dreams of our early 20s persist, somewhere in us, for the rest of life."

The part of my day that was not Prestige-ious was spent writing a couple of Star Trek articles, going to younger son's soccer game, watching the Cardinals' surprise victory and playing Happy Feet: Return to Emperor Land which is the most cracked board game since...I don't know, Twister or something. You start out as a little plastic egg with feet, then after you cross a certain spot on the board you turn into a little plastic penguin. There are penguin and fish cards that make you move forward or backward, and at various spots you have to either do a dance or sing, and there are these little cards that tell you what kind of dance you have to do (fast, slow, twisting, like a fish) or what kind of song you have to sing (humming, whistling, incorporating words like fa-fa-freezing)...everyone gets to make an utter fool of him or herself.


Behind the field for the soccer game, the leaves were turning...


...so even though our team lost 3-1, it was a pleasant afternoon.


Still no fannish5 but there is a belated thefridayfive: Stress and Comfort
1. How do you deal with stress?
Mostly by evasion. If I have to deal with stress, I light candles, look at pretty pictures and listen to distracting music as much as possible.
2. Do you have a favorite "comfort food" and what is it? Chocolate! If I have too much of a headache for chocolate, chicken soup.
3. Do you have a "comfort activity" and what is it? Studying Tarot cards, sometimes drawing, coloring or putting them together out of found images.
4. What days depress you and why? Any day when I have carpools going in two different directions at once, or I have to get work done and I also have family stuff to do!
5. What days excite you and why? Weekends when we don't have so many things to do and can go places!


And penguins from the Happy Feet game.
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Sunday is Frederick Family Festival @ the Farm so we are going to pick pumpkins and see sheep and alpacas and have fun!
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