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

Poem for Friday


My Father Is a Retired Magician
By Ntozake Shange


(for ifa, p.t., & bisa)

my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958

my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot

what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away        cuz
colored chirren believin in magic
waz becomin politically dangerous for the race
& waznt nobody gonna be made white
on the spot      just
from a clap of my daddy's hands

& the reason i'm so peculiar's
cuz i been studyin up on my daddy's technique
& everythin i do is magic these days
& it's very colored
very now you see it/ now you
dont mess wit me
              i come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies  
on our side
              i'll listen to yr problems
              help wit yr career     yr lover     yr wanderin spouse
              make yr grandma's stay in heaven more gratifyin
              ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son
              how to clean his room

YES YES YES                      3 wishes is all you get
     scarlet ribbons for yr hair
        benwa balls via hong kong
           a miniature of machu picchu

all things are possible
but aint no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you     white
        i mean
                                this is blk magic
you lookin at
                                & i'm fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life

& you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it
love it/ bein colored/

Spell #7 from Upnorth-Outwest Geechee Jibara Quik Magic Trance Manual for Technologically Stressed Third World People

--------

I have my new glasses! Which are a little bit heavier than my old glasses and shaped slightly differently and are going to take me awhile to get used to, but hopefully this means I will stop squinting when I read and will not get headaches. And there was no wait at all in Lenscrafters, for maybe the first time ever, and Lindt was giving out sample Halloween chocolate truffles. *g* My Thursday headache was my older son's bus being in a very minor accident, which meant that he didn't get home till almost 7 -- he stays for Shakespeare Club on Thursdays and usually gets home about a quarter to six. I folded laundry and watched Atlantis' "Childhood's End" which I really liked -- Logan's Run meets TNG's "Half a Life" -- thought the ending was a bit of a too-simple cop-out but up to that point I was really enjoying the episode, particularly Weir being pissed at McKay's idiocy in assuming their need for a ZPM overrides what the kids on the planet with whom he is so awkward might need it for.

After we finally got organized and had a quick dinner (with younger son's best friend in attendance, having announced that he loves linguini and by the way what is linguini again?), we watched Smallville, in which we learned that at school Oliver was either Draco Malfoy or James Potter, depending on which one you think was the bigger bully. I was going to say that Oliver, Alden and Jeffrey were Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle but I suppose one could make the case that actually they were James, Sirius and Peter while Lex was Snape. Um, okay, I have been in HP fandom too long! But really I didn't think the imagery of the trio of school bullies with the crests on their jackets, led by the blond, was entirely coincidental (even if it is canon from the comics which is something I have no idea about). I did love Lois comparing the boys' boarding school experience to Lord of the Flies! The episode was actually really predictable -- as soon as Alden started walking up the steps, we were all yelling, "No, don't do it, that statue is going to fall on you!" and we were close! And of course Duncan was doing it...that was a certainty even when he was supposedly dead.

But I don't think unpredictability was ever the goal, since it had that classic high school horror movie thing a la Carrie where the person at the bottom of the bullying chain has revenge on everyone, though of course Duncan had to die for it...are we supposed to assume it was the Kryptonite that made his immediate focus evil once he regained consciousness? Because if I'd been in a coma and then gained the ability to move objects across great distances, I would like to believe that my first thoughts would not be of revenge but of doing something that might enable me to recover the rest of my life. I mean, this was a kid who wanted to help the poor and heal the sick before Lex turned on him. The episode goes out of its way to make us sympathetic to adult Oliver even while showing us what a merciless bastard he was as a kid...and bizarrely, it worked for me, even though I don't completely trust his apology at the end because I think we've seen enough evidence of egotism and pleasure in pushing people around that the bully isn't really gone. At least his regrets seem sincere, but then why is he still hanging around with the same jerks?

Interesting how quick Clark is to get mad at Lex for putting Lana in danger when, as Lex rightly points out, she ended up in the hospital lots of times while she was with Clark. And Lex and Oliver naturally blame each other immediately..."Go back to Star City while you still can," Lex says, which Oliver reminds him is pretty much what he said when Lex almost beat his only friend to death back at Excelsior. "Poor little Lex, always blaming everyone else for his problems," he says. "Only when they're the cause," Lex spits back. "Like your hands are clean." Oliver admits they're not, but he's been scrubbing them real hard while Lex's keep getting dirtier. They fight, Lex is knocked out in the first wave of Duncan's attack, then Duncan sets to work torturing Oliver and Clark very prettily saves him, which conveniently kills poor Duncan who never had a chance. Lois correctly guesses that Duncan was involved in some kind of astral projection and Clark gives her a "You write for the National Enquirer" look, which is so not fair. But then they have a nice conversation where Lois says they've all done things they're not proud of and she wished Oliver didn't hide his from her, Clark uses the old line from the Lana days about how people keep secrets to protect the ones they love, and Lois tells him. "That is totally retarded!" Again I must say, I love Lois.

All the ways Lionel plays into this episode are really interesting...young Lex says he wants to work with altruistic Duncan because it would piss off his father, then his father locks Duncan away and claims it's so Lex can move on, but when Lex confronts him with the accusation that Duncan was one more person for Lionel to experiment upon, Lionel doesn't even bother to deny it but says Lex would be responsible for what happened to Duncan anyway! I suppose Lex had a stronger stomach for bullying than Duncan did, having grown up with Lionel Luthor, and I am tempted to try to come up with an Oedipal psychological theory for why Lex chose the if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em approach to Oliver and his friends. Lionel must have known what was really bothering Lex after Alden died, when Lex came home with Duncan's bloody school insignia in his hand...it certainly wasn't woe over Alden's death! At the end, Oliver simply takes it with a nod when Lex dismisses him and any olive branch he offers, but by then Lex has figured out that it's not really Oliver he's still angry at; it's Dad. It's kind of too bad, because Oliver and Lex could be good influences on each other as allies and really hot together but then Clark wouldn't trust Oliver enough to work with him, and Clark and Oliver are also really good together ("You need to learn how to knock" -- hahahaha!) So, yeah, happy with that episode, which I found both thoughtful and fun despite both problematic and predictable aspects.

Post-Smallville we watched several hours of World Series, since everything else on television was conveniently a rerun...I am rooting for Detroit but I can't help but be glad that the Cardinals are keeping things interesting! And I read about endangered Panama frogs living in a hotel and a high school principal banning Captain Underpants. And whoever would have thought I'd be saying gee, maybe we should think about moving to New Jersey? So apparently there's a rumor going around that Sean Bean will be on Heroes, based on the IMDb, which is wrong as often as they it's right, especially where he is concerned (I am still lamenting his absence from Venetian Heat). But man, that would make me so happy if true!


The teahouse at Gambrill atop High Knob.


This is how much sand a boy can get on his clothes while twisting and untwisting on a swing at Gambrill.


The view down the slope of Mount Washington, where the same stone used to build the monument is strewn.


And this is a grasshopper that lives near the summit of Mount Washington.
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Friday evening we were supposed to have a Meet Your Partner dinner at the synagogue for kids who will be B'nai Mitzvah in 2009 *gulp* but it has been inexplicably cancelled and postponed till spring. So it will be a chaotic day, as younger son has an orthodontist appointment and I must review "The Empath" which is one of my very favorite original series episodes, but at least a bit less chaotic.

So to ask a dumb question, with Marnanel.org dead, how do we find out who unfriended us recently? *g* Oh and ribby, I was in the mood for the icon is because I loved the way in The Prestige (the novel), Angier used "Mesmerise" as a capital-letter verb because it was close enough to Mesmer's era! I am due for another viewing of that movie, too.
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