The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Goodbye, New York (song from the wrong side of the Hudson)
By Deborah Garrison

You were the big fat city we called hometown
You were the lyrics I sang but never wrote down

You were the lively graves by the highway in Queens
the bodega where I bought black beans

stacks of the Times we never read
nights we never went to bed

the radio jazz, the doughnut cart
the dogs off their leashes in Tompkins Square Park

You were the tiny brass mailbox key
the joy of "us" and the sorrow of "me"

You were the balcony bar in Grand Central Station
the blunt commuters and their destination

the post-wedding blintzes at 4 a.m.
and the pregnant waitress we never saw again

You were the pickles, you were the jar
You were the prizefight we watched in a bar

the sloppy kiss in the basement at Nell's
the occasional truth that the fortune cookie tells

Sinatra still swinging at Radio City
You were ugly and gorgeous but never pretty

always the question, never the answer
the difficult poet, the aging dancer

the call I made from a corner phone
to a friend in need, who wasn’t at home

the fireworks we watched from a tenement roof
the brash allegations and the lack of any proof

my skyline, my byline, my buzzer and door
now you're the dream we lived before


I had a lovely afternoon with dementordelta, eating Thai food, watching Sweet November -- Jason Isaacs and Michael Rosenbaum in dresses, plus I think Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves might have been in the movie a bit too -- and talking about our respective upcoming trips to England. (elanor_isolda, I had something I intended to send with her for you and I forgot to give it to her...must get it to you some other way!) Delta and I are going to miss overlapping in London by a day, waah -- lots of days out of chat communication! I also dragged her to younger son's school for a little while because the structures they built for science were on display. My son did the Chrysler Building out of styrofoam and paper with a Powerpoint presentation that he did entirely himself. Some of the buildings looked as if they had varying degrees of, shall we say, assistance:

The Guggenheim Museum in New York. This one had working electric lights. Can we say "parental involvement in project"?

The Sydney Opera House -- I have great affection for this building because Vedek Winn's hat was based on it -- and a Parthenon and Lincoln Memorial.

The Washington Monument. This was by far the most popular structure -- there were at least half a dozen of them, plus at least three Eiffel Towers.

The Taj Mahal and a couple of St. Louis Gateway Arches.

The Sears Tower, Pentagon and Great Pyramid at Giza.

Big Ben, which I will see very soon! *bounces*

Younger son's best friend made a model of Stonehenge. He used the little ceramic one we bought at Stonehenge for reference. I will see that very soon too! *bounces more*

Rushed through a couple of Trek XI rumor articles, ate dinner, watched Digging For the Truth which this evening was about Petra, both the architectural and political-cultural history, which was fascinating even though everyone interviewed felt it necessary to bring up Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Then watched this week's Rome, though it depressed me much as last week's did. I'm not sorry the series is coming to an end; as I've said, I knew that many stories had to end unhappily and many characters were probably going to be made to pay for mistakes they had made earlier, but there's really not a single character I feel good about or root for at this point. Everyone's lying in the beds they made (in some cases, like Livia's, literally), but there's none of the manic, delightful energy of the early episodes when even venal, selfish and cruel behavior on the part of Atia, Servilia, Caesar and Antony did not make them despicable.

Is it sad that Vorenus dreams of Niobe? Yes, but as Vorena and Lucius rightly point out, it's his fault that she hasn't been a part of his life for so long. It's a great irony that he is raising Pullo's son (since Caesarion is, and he knows it), while Pullo is taking care of Vorenus' kids back in Rome. I don't even want to get started on Pullo being in love with a woman he can smack around, perhaps even more so than Antony with Cleopatra or Octavian with Livia...the sexual politics have increasingly sickened me. I gather that we're supposed to see Antony as Vorenus does, in kohl and pretty Egyptian togs, led around by his dick by a woman -- we're not supposed to like him any better than the starving crowds in Rome. And as viewers, Octavian is our default person to support, just as he is for those crowds, because he hasn't done anything unforgivably heinous (it's not like Atia didn't deserve humiliation at his hands and Antony's after her role in their quarrels years before), but who can really love him?

At least Pullo is finally good at something other than being a soldier, even if it's mostly being a glorified granary guard, and he even screws that up at a critical moment. His bitch, whom we are apparently supposed to feel sorry for in the end because she confesses her wrongdoing in killing Eirene and pays with her life, has a "let them eat cake" line that seems utterly out of place. Whereas Atia, whom I once expected to be the Marie Antoinette of this series, has only a tame line about how she's not starving so she sees no reason to go to Egypt, and unlike Antony and even Livia, she's not smart enough to figure out Octavian's game in sending her. And then she has a complete sniveling breakdown when Antony -- who has been blowing her off long distance for years -- blows her off in person. I miss the old Atia! Snitty brat Cleopatra just doesn't compare, as Antony would realize if he wiped off some of that eyeliner and paid attention.

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