The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Pickle Belt
By Theodore Roethke

The fruit rolled by all day.
They prayed the cogs would creep;
They thought about Saturday pay,
And Sunday sleep.

Whatever he smelled was good:
The fruit and flesh smells mixed.
There beside him she stood,--
And he, perplexed;

He, in his shrunken britches,
Eyes rimmed with pickle dust,
Prickling with all the itches
Of sixteen-year-old lust.


Worked on stupid web stuff that went nowhere -- I need a proper class in CSS, I think -- and put together final Chanukah presents, which included framing a photo of Adam with penguins while keeping the cats from either sitting on the glass, chewing on the matte or crawling into the tube in which the photo arrived from Shutterfly. It was a pretty quiet day even after the kids got home from school; both kids had homework, I was recording Crimson Tide, which is on On Demand and which I haven't seen in a few years, and the whole family ended up watching the last hour or so. I love Viggo and Denzel and James Gandolfini in that film, and Gene Hackman is really frightening and the rest of the cast is really terrific too.


I get a thrill from the posters, the idea of the rigging as the sinews of war, and the artwork in the Joan of Arc poster and the one above it with an early 1900s fantasia of apocalyptic New York with the Statue of Liberty's head lying on the ground. Journeyman -- was this the last one finished before the strike? -- was for a change not very apocalyptic but entirely a family story, though once more "family" overwhelmingly means "important stuff men do and how they bond with and relate to one another" which grates after awhile. Finally we get to see Dan's dad, but what a letdown...I was convinced that his disappearance had something significant to do with Dan's traveling, the idea of disappearing man as metaphor, and instead he's just a schmuck who decided he was a lousy father and wanted his freedom. Here the parallel tale of two fathers is about the newspaper owner and his father, with Mystery Livia and her Mystery Man still offering no answers.

As for Jack's becoming a father...he wants to be with a doctor too stupid to worry about birth control? And naturally the Pulitzer Prize-winning female journalist didn't make it on her own merits, but covering for a suspected killer and allowing people to believe she got through the door on her knees. I don't blame Katie for freaking out after everything she's been through and I loved her getting support at last from Dan's mother, but for once can't she be the strong one, the interesting one, the one who gets to do stuff besides all the things Dan takes for granted, raising his son and entertaining his friends and relatives and juggling work and trying to find one minute to herself to deal with it all? I am frankly astounded that she's not thinking about leaving while he's in the past with Livia hinting they should be together because they can't make it work well with anyone else.

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