The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday


Breaking the Spell
By Carl Phillips


We were young again. Sex as an act of reverence was
not yet even imaginable. There was no such thing...
The point was to push eventually past mere distraction,
to achieve an effacement entirely of what, inside us,
we couldn’t bear looking long at, no, not a moment
longer, what was pleasure but this, the world beneath us,
small, masterable, that had seemed to us before so vast,
and canyoned?

                         It’s morning, now. Straggler owls in
the woods somewhere. Not far. They make their owl
sounds...The snow that’s begun falling again falls into
the tracks of what passed in the night—fox, coyote—
fills them in, but so slowly, what comes to mind is
faintheartedness, all the lives—so many of them, their
names forgotten, if indeed I ever really knew them—
whose cowardice made sense, perhaps, though that
doesn’t change what it was: not fear, which is animal,
and wild, and almost always worth trusting, but
cowardice, fear given consciousness of a finite existence
in the realm of time, inside which there’s the room
required to think too carefully; we make mistakes,
years of them, until the randomness begins to look
like pattern...

                         I admire a pattern, as I have sometimes
been able to admire retribution—abstractly, and
from a distance. I have heard there’s an hour when
the light here makes everything that it rests on seem
at once irrefragable, and therefore true. I keep meaning
to stop. To wait for it. I’ll put my hands in the light.

--------

The always-delightful cidercupcakes agreed to risk infection by being in my presence, so we went to California Pizza Kitchen for hummus -- they have this new double soup bowl so I got both the Adobe Chicken Chowder and the Sedona Tortilla Soup, lots of Southwest spices and corn and peppers, which was very filling and good for my sinuses and the perfect thing this afternoon. Then we came back to my house and watched some Futurama, which was also the perfect thing, especially the episode where Bender gets turned into a girl robot so he can compete in the Olympics and falls in love with a hunky robot movie star. Then the kids got home and we all did work and read for a while before Daniel decided we should rate LOLcats together.


A Hercules beetle in the Invertebrate House at the National Zoo.


The enormous webs of the golden orb weaver spiders cover a wall and are not behind glass...


...because the spiders are blind, can't jump and are enormous enough to scare away any zoo visitors who might be tempted to touch them.


Zebra Longwings in the Butterfly Garden behind the Invertebrate House at the zoo.


This grasshopper lives at the National Museum of Natural History Insect Zoo.


As do these lovely hissing cockroaches. Wouldn't you love a kitchen pantry that looked like this?
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I liked Smallville better this week -- partly because Ollie/Green Arrow was back, partly just because it seemed aware of its own limitations and points of stupidity. Finally Lana calls Clark on being such a jerk! It's rare for me to be passionately rooting for Lana, mostly because I am generally unconvinced by Kristin Kreuk playing passionate, but Clark is a self-righteous hypocrite and it's so good to hear her say so. On the other hand, this show is desperately in need of a good super-heroine and Supergirl doesn't count, particularly since she hasn't been around of late. Lois explaining why she can't be Oliver's girlfriend could explain equally why in the future she can't be Clark's girlfriend: "I don't think I'd be good at the dual-identity thing...I can't share you with the rest of the world." And then the whole scene with Clark, which of course Clark took as about Lana, "Can you imagine what it would be like to be with someone whose destiny is so much greater than yours..." Urgh. So give Lois, Chloe and Lana their own destinies, dammit!

I also watched Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Manhunt" so I can review it, the Lwaxana-in-menopause episode, that has lots of sexist drek but also a few charming moments and I can't decide whether to be primarily negative or primarily positive in writing it up. Will have to get done early -- my Uncle Mickey is flying in from California tomorrow for Uncle Paul's funeral and bringing his wife and son, the latter of whom never knew my Grandma Sylvia and Grandpa Herman, so Uncle Paul was the closest thing he had to grandparents on that side of the family. My sister Nicole's middle daughter's birthday party is Saturday night and was planned weeks ago, so she can't come until Sunday, and may bring her oldest daughter. I am definitely bringing Daniel to the funeral but Adam has a Hebrew school field trip, also planned for weeks, which he very strongly wants to attend...I don't know what to tell him, nor if he will change his mind when all the relatives start arriving.
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