The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

The Other Woman
By Jane Shore

In the first dream she is the enemy —
spangled in love's armor, wearing
the sweater she knitted for him,
and she looks prettier than in the photo

you discover in his bottom drawer
that puts her in perspective —
all scowls and squinting at the sun,
unflattering as he has captured her.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
The dream's percentages are never fair,
reminding you how comfortably she fits
within the familiar outline his body

shapes around her; her face partially
hidden by his, they are laughing at something
private, because the mind still must admit
to the old alliance. In time you dream her

exactly the way you want to see her,
ugly, and one night you catch them
making love in the back seat
of the car you are driving.

For once you think you are in control,
but you must keep one eye on the road
and not swerve from your original fidelity,
while in the rear-view mirror they sink

below your line of vision. How did you
maneuver yourself into this position?
— as earlier, safe in your single bed,
your parents' night-cries woke you,

and locking you out of intimacy,
they more deeply locked you in.
In the next dream, with teeth and nails
tearing at her placid face, you awake

surprised at your capacity for violence,
how good it feels. And you shift
into a higher gear. You're driving
through a blizzard; she's beside you

strapping herself in. Crazy that your dream
should place a seatbelt so conveniently,
her body compliant as a test-car dummy's.
Crazy how misery loves the company inside us,

even when we'd be better off alone.
You make a U turn and invite her home.
Climbing the stairs, the two of you
reenter the battlefield of your bedroom.

Compatriots now on the double bed,
you ask what she intends to do, now
that she is almost ready to let him go,
but she's not herself, not the woman

in the photo, and by now you've forgotten
what brought you two together . . .
oh, here he is again, shouting up
through the floor for you both to pay

attention. He slams the porch door shut.
From your window, the red arc of his sleeve
is the last of him you see.
He revs the engine and, aiming the car

at the foundation of the house,
ploughs into the snowbank below you.
Backs up and ploughs again.
And nothing you can do can make him stop.


I spent a big chunk of the afternoon with younger son at the orthodontist. The good news: IF his bracket doesn't pop off again (which is a big if, as this is the one that popped off last week while we were leaving the office and was again loose when we got there today), he gets the braces off and gets a retainer in a month. He already has plans to eat gummy worms and caramel apples. I had to bring him home for lunch since he couldn't eat his sandwich with a newly glued bracket, so we had tuna panang stew before I took him back to school for the afternoon. Then I had maybe an hour to clean up and get organized before he came home and I had to drive him to violin.

Star Trek news was fun today: rudimentary replicators! I am a total geek for all the scientific advancements that parallel Trek tech (the original New York Times article was titled "Beam It Down From the Web, Scotty"). I am a bit worried about Griffith Observatory, which was just renovated for many millions of dollars -- including $1 million donated by Leonard Nimoy for a new theater -- but all the articles say that it's nearby homes and not the observatory itself that's in the greatest danger. There's a Frank Lloyd Wright house we visited not far from there and the Batcave isn't that far away either. Hope no one here is near the danger!

The pink flowering trees by the middle school two weeks ago.

These maples start red, turn greenish brown, then turn reddish again in the fall before they lose their leaves.

Early evening sunlight shows lots of shades of green.

A neighbor's cat lurks beneath the bushes by the daffodils, azaleas and flowering trees.

Sunset by the elementary school the night of the book fair.

Everyone here who will care has probably known this for months, but it took iTunes recommending it to me -- after a long list of annoying Christian rock hits because I bought one Amy Grant song, sheesh -- for me to discover that Russell Crowe and The Ordinary Fear of God, the new TOFOG, recorded "Darby's Castle" on The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson. (I blame Russell for every cent I have spent in iTunes because I only downloaded the program in the first place when it was the only way to get My Hand, My Heart!) I'm not a huge Kristofferson fan but there's some good stuff on here -- Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis -- and of course I had to have the Russell track!

Also discovered that Mike Binder has a MySpace page and he says The Search For John Gissing will be out soon on DVD! Only available online! But available at least!

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