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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Wednesday 
Wednesday, 30th January 2008 12:35 am

By Katrina Roberts

I stand there under the high limbs of locust
watching my father point a black gun into the air

his arms steepled for the stillness
required to split the proverbial hair

with a BB. I would like to throw a red hat
to catch what will smack from the barrel

but instead the songbird drops fast—a warm
stone through liquid swimming between us.

The stink of yellow sulfur thick. And the twist
of his mouth, like tangled purple boughs or

the crossed legs of what he never dreamed he'd hit.
Years after, I will admit only to so much. Blue

moon tonight. Though we rarely get a second
chance. It’s what I don't say that speaks loudest.


I spent a great deal of the day dealing with phone woes -- T-Mobile can't seem to get my phone running on their EDGE data network from the slower GPRS, they can't figure out why, they tried making me go to the store for a replacement SIM card (and tried to charge me for it), then had me TWICE do a hard reset requiring me to restore all the settings, programs and files on my phone, and finally suggested I need a new handset. This phone worked fine two weeks ago on the EDGE network; they haven't thrown a switch somewhere or input the new SIM card number or something to take the Wing off and put it back. Arrrrrrrrgh. I think all the phone companies collude to get people to buy new phones every two years; they actually seem to want people to switch providers, it's easier and cheaper to do that in a lot of cases than stay on the same network. I am so frustrated.

The prison at Colonial Williamsburg, whose conditions were so horrific that hanging was considered more merciful. That's the toilet hole at the top of the steps.

The condemned rode to the execution sitting on top of his coffin, was strung up standing on it and then the wagon rode away. If you were lucky, your neck broke.

The view from outside the dark cells in the walled-in yard.

Here are dementordelta and myself just before they locked us in for public indecency failing to rein our horses.

By contrast, this is where the jailer slept.

Outside the courthouse where prisoners were sentenced for less than capital crimes...

...where this was a common punishment.

Spent the evening chilling in front of the television: first we watched Nova's "Secrets of the Parthenon," about the current restoration of the Parthenon and discoveries about how it was built using the Golden Ratio and innovative design techniques, with commentary by a University of Bath civil engineering professor and a University of Pennsylvania architecture professor. Then we left PBS on and watched Supernatural Science's "Monumental Mysteries" which was about Biblical history and archaeology -- was there a historic King David and if not who built the Temple, who built the pre-Roman aqueducts in Jerusalem, and a lot of the political issues surrounding the difficulties in excavating. And then Grease was on on cable. It hasn't aged well at all -- it was retro when it was new, but having a Brothers Gibb song at the start and Travolta in the lead makes it so much a product of my junior high school years...eek!

From the mouths of college students, from the college newspaper of which I was once an editor, The Daily Pennsylvanian: "Just because the national candidates avoid discussing race doesn't mean we should do the same here at Penn."
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