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

Poem for Saturday


if I was a gate
By Leslie Greentree


I thought I loved the cordless screwdriver
but this is something else altogether
I hold my shiny new electric drill
listen to its high-pitched whine
it is fairly leaping in my hand
tingling through my arm my shoulder
waking all my bones

I am a surgeon
drilling tidy holes
precise and perfect
I blow off the dust
step back to admire my handiwork
brandish my shrieking drill
step in again

you have to make small notches first
you see, in the cupboard doors
I could pull out
my old battered hammer
use brute force
I prefer to take the bit in hand
push it gently into the soft wood
make the small circular motions
that create the slot it
will slide into naturally
otherwise it jumps around
eager but awkward
until you guide it home

there is that small moment as the drill bit
pauses seeks slips in
a second's resistance before it sinks
I feel the wood yield under my
steady singing pressure
the bit bores deeper and deeper
until with a start I feel it
I am through

now this is power
like when a lover leaves and
your fear turns into the sudden
realization that you can do it for yourself
just as well or better
and you don't have to listen to the same
Monty Python story
over and over and over
through the course of a long
beery evening either

Darryl showed me what to do in Totem
it felt heavy and alien in my hands
I wanted to throw myself at his feet
beg him to come home with me
drill my first hole

now I'm laughing aloud
fiercely proud of the naked apertures
racing across my kitchen
like a banner
now I'm looking around my house
wondering what else I can plunge this into

I didn't put music on
wanting nothing to interfere with the
insouciant shrieking seduction of my electric drill
the song fragment that loops through my mind:
if I was a gate I'd be swinging

--------

This is what happens when your younger son who is obsessed with penguins finds out that Build-a-Bear has Happy Feet penguins and you get a free stuffed fishie if you stuff one this weekend:


This is Mumble. As you can see, he is wearing his fishie.


Here he is also wearing his hat, scarf, mittens and Halloween goody bag.


And here younger son shows off the shirt he got yesterday as well as his penguin.


But the mall penguins did not end there! Here is an inflatable carousel, $200 at Sears, with a penguin as well as a polar bear and other animals.


Also at Sears, a penguin light display. I confess I did not check the price.


And in the interests of fair disclosure I must also confess that I got the tallit and yarmulke for the bear on the left, made for me by mamadracula's mother. (See, I have a penguin too -- got him in Cincinnati, he's filled with those little foamy bead-things like in neck pillows -- and a wolf, and a Shakespeare.)
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Yeah, by the time I was finished writing my probably-nicer-than-necessary review of "Whom Gods Destroy", younger son was home from school, so we dropped his older brother off at a friend's and went to make a penguin. (Both kids had very good report cards, so everyone was in a celebratory mood.) That and a trip to the post office to mail invitations to the photographer for the first page of the Bar Mitzvah albums were the highlights of my afternoon. Am rather sad that The New York Times does not find Russell charming (The Washington Post was even more critical but it was their idiot reviewer whom I doubt anyone with half a brain ever listens to, not the halfway intelligent one) but it meant I was not all mopey that I probably won't get to see the movie for at least a week because apaulled has very little interest and perkypaduan is going out of town! I did like this Washington Post article which states the obvious but it bears repeating that Clinton told an untruth about his penis and got impeached, while Bush repeatedly has told untruths about great big enormous matters of national policy and defense and everyone always shrugs.

fridayfiver: Tell us your favorite songs / types of music for...
1. Getting in the mood to party:
Disco.
2. When you're depressed: If I want to be cheered up, feminist anthems (Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Martina McBride, etc.) If I want to wallow, drippy nostalgic stuff (Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mary Beth, etc.)
3. When you're in lust: Nothing in particular, something upbeat.
4. Exercising: Post-disco dance music -- Madonna, Cher, A Night at the Roxbury soundtrack.
5. Driving / riding in the car: This is the place I most get to listen to what I want to listen to, so just about anything loud enough to be heard over the road; very little classical and not a lot of quiet vocals because it's too hard to listen, but anything else, including new stuff I don't get a chance to listen to at home.

thefridayfive:
1. If you had to move 100 miles or more to the north, east, west, or south, which would you choose, where would you end up, and what's so great about there?
East, because it would put me on the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Do you have a favorite stretch of highway or byway for driving, touring, or wandering? I'm not a big fan of driving for its own sake. I am always happy to drive west through the Appalachian Mountains or north through New England.
3. Are you happier to start a trip or return home? Almost always starting, though I am generally very stressed out the day before.
4. Plane, train, automobile, bicycle, or foot? Plane because it's the only practical way to get to Europe or Asia from here. Automobile if it's domestic because there are so many places to stop and see everywhere. Foot if it's small and scenic.
5. Do you overplan or underplan your travels? (Assume that "no" is not a valid answer.) My husband adores planning trips and usually has them overplanned before I have even settled for certain on a destination. So I leave most of the planning to him and just chime in with what I want to make sure is included.

Adored Doctor Who, though "The Idiot's Lantern" is not going on my top five list except for how very angry the Doctor gets when Rose is in jeopardy, which is interesting because he's nearly always the one who leads her into jeopardy in the first place...not that she doesn't go very willingly and have plenty of agency, but the extent of his fury is impressive and something of a shift from the Ninth Doctor to the Tenth. I also loved his disgust with the big bully and the way he handled him: "What gender is the Queen?" "She's a female." "And are you suggesting that the Queen does housework?" Though it is very typical that Rose, after hugging the crying wife while the husband tried to shut her up, sent the son after the father who is likely just going to come back and keep making him feel worthless. And how wrong is it that every time the wire said "FEED ME!" all I could think of was Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors?

We also watched BSG, which was really not to my taste at all...when I listen to people go on at length about how Star Trek sucks and BSG is gritty and real, I get the urge to point out all the ways in which I do not think BSG is either realistic nor a useful parallel, and this week was back to the odiousness of previous seasons for me. I'm disappointed in Roslin and I'm disappointed in Adama for passing the buck without offering a clear impression of his views, but I'm also irritated that what might have been a relevant exploration of the issues surrounding torture were presented with both the visual exploitation of a sex scene as backdrop and the emotional exploitation of "what if the alternative is genocide" in the same episode. And I don't feel like thinking about it any more deeply because it's really NOT that deep on the series; in many ways B5 was more sophisticated.
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