The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

By Linda Bierds

Osseous, aqueous, cardiac, hepatic—
back from bone the echoes stroke, back
from the halved heart, the lungs
three years of weightlessness have cinched to gills.
From a leather chaise, the astronaut’s withered legs
dangle, as back they come, sounds
a beaked percussion hammer startles into shape.
The physician cocks his head and taps—exactly
as a splitter halves his slate, the metamorphic rock
chisel-shocked, then shocked again, halved

and halved, until a roof appears, black as space.
I’m gaining ground, he says, the astronaut,
who knows, from space, earth is just a blue-green glow,
a pilot light he circled once, lifted, swiftly flown
above the rafters and atmospheres, half himself
and half again some metamorphic click,
extinct as memory. I’m gaining ground,
he says, and back it comes, his glint
of cloud-crossed world: a pilot light
or swaddled leaf, green in the season’s infancy.


One of the suckiest aspects of migraines is that no matter how many triggers allegedly exist, I can never figure out why I get mine -- haven't had red wine in a month, had tons of chocolate for Valentine's Day with no ill effects, and this morning I felt like my brain was trying to crawl out of my skull for no apparent reason at all. It's infuriating.

Had a mostly silly day -- kids had a half-day of school for some professional something or other, so I drove them around to various play dates, then went to my parents' house for a silly reason. Okay: I had bought a miniature tea set as a gift for a friend, and this reminded me that my grandmother had given me a doll's tea set about 35 years ago, and I asked my mother if there was any chance it was still in her basement and to make a long story short, it was -- along with an original Rubik's Cube, my Sunshine Family dollhouse and dolls, a bunch of plastic animals and numerous other souvenirs of my childhood -- but we had to take apart two closets to find it, and by the time we had put it all back together, younger son was out of Hebrew school and older son was ready to come home from his friend's house and my parents suggested we have dinner there, so we did.

In other silly family news, when I was looking up the lyrics to "El Shaddai" the other day to figure out why the Hebrew made no sense to me (because it's fake Hebrew with meaningless extra syllables, hah), I looked up the lyrics to "Frere Jacques" in Hebrew, because there is a legendary family story from when I was too young to remember that I had come home from nursery school and taught the whole family to sing "Frere Jacques" in Hebrew -- "Aveenu yahoo, aveenu yahoo, althea shot, althea shot" as my mother explained to me many times -- only to have my mother told at a conference that my teacher had never taught us "Frere Jacques" in Hebrew and I must have made the whole thing up. Which I always accepted as truth until to my astonishment, I saw that the Hebrew words are in fact "Achinu Yaacov, achinu Yaacov, al tischaan, al tischaan." It seems pretty obvious that I must have heard the real thing somewhere.

Evening: first we watched Nova's "Treasures of a Sunken City" about archaeologists diving off the coast of Egypt looking for the Lighthouse of Alexandria -- one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then, because apaulled loves me and brought me A Good Year because I needed a fix of my other boyfriend, Russell Crowe, and even though it is predictable and cliched just like the reviews said, Russell is as charming as I always think he is (if you don't think Russell is charming, I doubt this film will change your mind) and the cinematography is lovely even if the golden glow over Provence gets a bit redundant. And then we watched Sunday's Battlestar Galactica, which we had skipped for the Oscars. What is this, "Make Adama and Roslin look as bad as possible after delving into their relationship last week"?

I understand that MooreRon's sense of self-importance with this show requires tackling every single social issue he can think of in 45 minutes or less, so he can say, "Look, I made a nitty gritty science fiction show that was ALSO socially relevant like Star Trek!" But he's reduced the human race to 44,000 people in a universe where all of George W. Bush's worst propaganda has come true. We're supposed to take seriously the idea of labor unions throwing tantrums when the human race is on the verge of extinction (and I hadn't noticed the fighter pilots living glamorous lives -- what's the body count among [non-regular cast] military officers?) Sure it's a shame that boy wanted to be an architect, not a farmer, and certainly not a disabled person -- would he prefer death by starvation or Cylon attack?

And BALTAR as the architect of this unrest? No one cares that he's Hitler now that he's also the author of Das Kapital? (Despite the fact that no one knows he's not an aristocrat but a self-made man?) Roslin rightly sees this as yet another effort on his part to destroy the human race, which is the only thing she does that seems genuine all episode. And Adama announcing that he'll shoot all the mutineers, which actually makes more sense than the strike itself? If MooreRon's goal this season has been to make me root for the Cylons to win the war, then MooreRon has won. However, what I find myself asking most often is, "Why did I bother to start watching this show?" Next time I have something better to do on a Sunday there's no way I'm staying up on a Tuesday to catch up.

A couple more photos from Wheaton Regional Park at Brookside Nature Center's Maple Sugaring Festival. Here's a woodpecker doing what woodpeckers do best.

The wood fire out back near where the sap was being boiled down.

This is the back of the door, "goodbye" in many languages, including Klingon.

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