The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

After Poetry
By David Shapiro

'I want my son to grow powerful and rich through science.' — Rimbaud

Now that I have given up poetry,
The guest of poetry,
Governed poetry,
Or rather that poetry has given up me,
Has queened my pawn, how green my pawn,
Or rather that poetry died in my lap,
Any lap, like a lousy lover
In another language, and I
A Luddite with a laptop in his lap

And now that my son is subtle
And malicious as a god any god.
And bestrides the dogmatic world
As if it were a tennis court

The clouds pass by, almost inhuman
Like passers-by, the mountains like
Churches and the churches like mountains
Beautiful and untranslatable a woman
Walks past the park like a street
Or a scream or a double and triple
Loss of meaning, and I thank whatever
Nothing we actually worship, to change
Nothing and the important thing: to leave
The world alone, largely uninterpreted
For the wet pavement
On which he may scratch his poems


We started the year with a low-key day, sleeping late, playing Mexican Train dominoes and the two pirate games the kids got as belated Chanukah presents, eating a big brunch of the New Year's Eve leftovers, and driving home in the middle of the afternoon after deciding that it was too windy to take the kids rock climbing at Devil's Den, particularly with the ground still slippery from what minimal snow we got the night before New Year's Eve.

Last night I dreamed that I had gone back to school and I had just had a baby girl and I took her with me, and I was living in a dorm and taking a class on television where we were studying La Femme Nikita and I was running late because I couldn't find my key card and keys while pushing the stroller and had no idea what I was going to do with the baby when I needed the bathroom or how I was going to carry everything up the three flights to my room. It's weird that this was such an anxiety dream, because in an abstract sense I'd love to go back to school or have a baby girl, though probably not both at the same time. *g* And I love La Femme Nikita.

National Cathedral from the balcony outside the telescope dome of the US Naval Observatory.

And around the other side, the Washington Monument.

The courtyard of National Geographic's Explorers Hall...

...and the old school across the street.

These are just some pretty buildings downtown by the Phillips Collection.

You can see Christmas trees in the central window of each floor.

And looking uptown in late afternoon as sunset approaches.

I saw bits of the many bowl games that took place on New Year's Day -- am bummed that Wisconsin lost, annoyed that Michigan won even though I generally root for the Big Ten over the SEC (Michigan is my brother-in-law's school and my father's team for no reason other than he wanted to go there instead of NYU), sorry Virginia lost, aggravated that USC beat Illinois by so much and only put up with the Sugar Bowl instead of the Boston Legal rerun at my husband's request to see if Hawaii could remain undefeated (I suspect that if Hawaii had been in the SEC, they would not have been undefeated going in). Game's not quite over but I think it's time to quit!

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