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

Poem for Monday


Art Pepper
By Joshua Weiner


Scared boy, he even fled a cloud
reminding him of what might happen

when his father returned from sea,
wasted, to find him perhaps again

locked out in the cold, waiting
for other drinkers to come home

(his mother, her lover)--the catalysis
of routine violence passing close

like a storm cloud insisting rain;
until the rain did fall

and the father left, returning though
once with a clarinet . . .

And when the cloud came back
in the sound of a memory

the boy had grown, had learned
to let it swell into the note

he now holds in me

as a laser reads his tone
mastered for fidelity--

sweet prismatic splinter and
swing, a double-timing scrape

aiming for my ear
alone in a rented chamber.

Nowhere,
         and I'm with him,

fully in tune as if he stood
hot before me, his life

seeming no more dear to him
than the sax he hawked

for any kind of syrup
he hoped might creep into his heart

like fucked-up love that felt like love
in the belly meadow warmth of his measured joy.

Hungry Art, Art of wind,
of lips upon the reed;

Art of blue, foolish Art,
would you be so nice to come home to?--

Bragging his genius
for a time turned rancid in San Quentin,

swaggering with a ripped-off thuggery honor
and sick with the terror of not seeming criminal . . .

White man junky thief
whose skin glowed narco-green

with the sound of Keats
amped through Pound

I repeat his name

jacked-in to the straight
blowing of a life

clarifying
like butter over flame:

what's home, where's harm;
how to fix; how praise--

Lover, come back to me.
Why are we afraid?


--------

It felt slightly more like winter on Sunday, but that didn't keep us indoors. After younger son got out of Hebrew school -- a trial this morning, as the synagogue has an annual holiday boutique which causes the parking lot to overflow, and in order to get parents shopping they always start Sundays to overlap with dismissal -- we went to Virginia, where the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum was holding its annual holiday model train display. When the kids were little we went to this every year and spent hours there, particularly for older son who would follow the big outdoor model train around and around the old train station (a rebuilt version of the original from the 1850s which served as a Union supply base, then a holding station for Clara Barton's hospital supplies for the Union wounded). We didn't spend nearly so much time there today...walked through the indoor and outdoor model exhibits, visited the caboose which has an N-gauge model of Fairfax Station, local trains and the caboose itself, and had some of their gingerbread cookies.


Santa visits the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum.


This Southern Railroad caboose lives permanently out front...


...and inside it, there's a little model of it, as well as the station and surrounding hills, in the middle of a model train display.


Outside there are a bunch of large trains going around the station that kids can watch, follow and occasionally control.


Of course, it is not just (nor even primarily) kids who get excited about model railroads. I love the Hershey cars here!


There are also many artifacts of the station's working days, such as tracks, scales, this semaphore, lights, signals, lanterns and the old office with ancient typewriter.


Inside the stations there are many serious models from little tiny Z-gauge to a long traditional local layout, but Thomas the Tank Engine remains popular with kids.

CORRUPTION: You live in a black hole and love to have others pulled into it. No victory is satisfying unless your defeated opponent is curled in a fetal ball, sobbing and crying. The idea of public service is intriguing to you -- it has potential.
Take the Hecatomb TCG What Is Your Doom? quiz.
</center>

Then we went to Huntley Meadows Park, which was rather brown for the winter with enormous cattails and not a lot of water in the wetlands. At this time of year, we knew we wouldn't be seeing snakes, frogs or turtles but we did see some little fish, many geese, some ducks, a heron, cardinals, sparrows, assorted warblers, a woodpecker and a deer. The sun was low in the sky and mostly hidden by clouds when we got there and had disappeared entirely by the time we left (with the new unimproved signs sending us over the Wilson Bridge rather than back the way we wanted to go) but the park looked gorgeous and so different from the lush green summer meadows. (Photos tomorrow.)

Had a weird dream last night: I'm living at a clinic for unwed mothers where the doctors are conducting experiments on us, and I vaguely know that something isn't right, but I have no idea what. Lisa Kelly (of Celtic Woman) is my favorite doctor and the one I try to see most of the time, but there's a male doctor (based on Derek Shepherd from Grey's Anatomy, which I don't even watch) who is the ringleader of most of the evil going on at the clinic. I want to believe he has Lisa coerced or confused, not that she is part of the conspiracy, but they keep running tests on me together and one day I manage to steal Lisa's handwritten notes out of my file. I am looking for someplace private to read them when I run into McDreamy, and I keep the notes hidden from him but I know he knows I am up to something and am terrified Lisa is going to come announce that my last set of notes are missing while I'm standing there talking to him. I think they are trying to enhance our babies like the people in Heroes, and I'm not even sure we're going to be allowed to keep our babies after they are born or if they are going to pretend the babies died in childbirth -- or kill them in childbirth -- because no one ever talks to anyone who's already had a baby and left the clinic, which looks a lot like the facility from The Island only no Sean Bean. I am sure this means something but damned if I know what. It did seem like it would make a fun albeit derivative Jerry Bruckheimer movie.

I hear the Redskins managed to lose again after being ahead, but we didn't even listen on the radio. And I had no real opinion on the Michigan-vs.-Florida-in-the-championship lineup issue (actually I did, I was kind of secretly rooting against Michigan, don't tell my father or my brother-in-law). But I am very pleased that Maryland is going to a Bowl! Okay, so it's the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando against Purdue...it'll be on ESPN in prime time and not on New Year's Day so I don't have to worry about some relative wanting to watch some more important game! Wake Forest, which knocked the Terps out of ACC title contention, is going to the Orange Bowl so they'll be playing in the same state at least. *snickers*

I watched Prisoner of Azkaban on ABC Family on the presumption that they would be showing the Order of the Phoenix previews that they had last night during Chamber of Secrets, but no such luck...I would be irritated but I love that movie so much that even with commercials, it was fine. Eragon, whose previews we did get, looks beautifully filmed and has Jeremy Irons which is always a good thing, and the dragons looked pretty good -- this from someone who has never been much of a fan of movie dragons, the idea of dragons is so much more interesting than any way I've yet seem them realized -- but some of the Eragon dialogue sounds so cliched in the previews...I hope the actual film doesn't have so much in such a condensed period of time! Anyway, I watched the OOTP preview stuff online since I couldn't get it any other way, and again I just want to say mmmmmmmbellatrix and it's nice that Gary Oldman requites Daniel Radcliffe's crush on him. *snickers more*
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