The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

By Margaret Atwood

Some people sell their blood. You sell your heart.
It was either that or the soul.
The hard part is getting the damn thing out.
A kind of twisting motion, like shucking an oyster,
your spine a wrist,
and then, hup! it's in your mouth.
You turn yourself partially inside out
like a sea anemone coughing a pebble.
There's a broken plop, the racket
of fish guts into a pail,
and there it is, a huge glistening deep-red clot
of the still-alive past, whole on the plate.

It gets passed around. It's slithery. It gets dropped,
but also tasted. Too coarse, says one. Too salty.
Too sour, says another, making a face.
Each one is an instant gourmet,
and you stand listening to all this
in the corner, like a newly hired waiter,
your diffident, skilful hand on the wound hidden
deep in your shirt and chest,
shyly, heartless.


Another from Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World from Atwood's book The Door, published this year by Houghton Mifflin.

It was too beautiful a day to stay indoors, so after lunch we went to Theodore Roosevelt Island and Fort Marcy. We drove down the C&O Canal side, looped around the Kennedy Center and came up the George Washington Parkway, so we got the full benefit of the changing leaves on both sides of the Potomac River...browner than last year due to the drought, but still beautiful, with red and gold and bright yellow amidst quite a bit of remaining green. There were a lot of cars in the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot, but not a lot of people on the island itself, and (of course, since I didn't bring the DSLR but only the little Nikon) we saw something we've never seen there before: deer! A large doe and a young-looking stag and doe pair. They were not in the least afraid of the people on the boardwalk, which makes me hopeful that people actually behave and keep to the boardwalks in the wildlife areas.

Driving toward home, we decided to stop at the two scenic overlooks across from Georgetown and on the Maryland-DC border, just because we never had. These are high above the Potomac River gorge and the river looks frighteningly low from up there, with big mud flats that I don't think can be seen most of the time. Then we stopped at Fort Marcy, one of the remaining Civil War defenses of Washington, nearly 300 feet above the river past Chain Bridge. There are a couple of cannons but mostly what's left are earthworks and big old trees, so it's very beautiful and while we were there almost completely empty. No deer there but we did see a big hawk.

Trees reflected in one of the basins around the memorial on Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Here is the giant statue of the island's namesake.

And here are Snape and Harry's Patronuses... *coughs* I mean, the deer we saw.

If I had known we were going to get this lucky I would have brought the better camera.

They were pretty good about posing anyway.

Here is a long view from down the side boardwalk to the wetlands.

But as you can see, they aren't very wet.

William Shakespeare

Presume not that I am the cruisedirector I was.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:


Watched Brotherhood which was pretty unpleasant...I mean, it's nice to know that both Caffee brothers are pro-choice, but both their professions and their ethics leave so much to be desired otherwise. I don't know if I could pull the lever for Tommy knowing that his entire family will use dirty racist tactics and Michael is just pathetic, sending his cousin to be with Kath during the abortion, unable to face her afterward and unwilling to shoot the professional assassin, the one guy all series who really, truly has it coming. I was pleased to see that Bee Movie and American Gangster stayed on top of Lions for Lambs, though! (I don't care how much of a Message Movie it is, I don't think I can sit through Tom Cruise pontificating at me.) Christmas movies don't do a thing for me so I couldn't care about Fred Claus doing sub-par business either. My biggest entertainment pleasure were the photos of HMS Surprise out sailing with Star of India for the first time since the San Diego Maritime Museum acquired her!

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