The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

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Poem for Tuesday

Lincoln's Dream
By Dan Chiasson

It is impossible to state just how in love I am
with my own body, the white snows of me,
the sudden involutions and crevasses of me,
my muscles tensed or slack in anger or fear.

This is why, wherever I go, I am in Lincoln's dream.
A sentry stands by, the stairway is eerily lit,
light is a little milk splash on people's faces,
the faces of my Cabinet, grotesque and funny masks.

Who is dead in the White House? I demand. Who's not?
answers a soldier, pointing to a shrouded head
on my own body, encased like a gangly insect
on the catafalque, and the loud sobs wake me up.

Reader, when you caress yourself in the morning,
amazed that you are made the way you are,
sure that yours is the finest body of all,
remember, you are Lincoln having Lincoln's dream.


The kids' first official day of spring break was not a very exciting one for them. We went to the dentist so older son could have partial veneers put on his front teeth, where the enamel didn't form correctly on the lower part so they looked too skinny. Then we went to Bagel City for lunch, since we were already in Rockville and since we were out of lox spread and bagels at home. I had to fold laundry when we got home and older son, who has been rereading Douglas Adams, wanted to watch The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so we did that...I know the movie is not the book, but I still love it a lot.

We had dinner for apaulled's birthday with my parents; my mother made chicken parmesan for him and got a white chocolate birthday cake, and the kids and I got him Steely Dan's Katy Lied, the DVD of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival and Michael Swanwick's fantasy novel The Dragons of Babel, all of which we knew he wanted. Came home and watched New Amsterdam which I liked a lot better than last week -- both the John-as-alcoholic story, particularly getting to see why he became so close with young Omar, and the potential breakup with the increasingly annoying doctor though sadly it doesn't look from the previews like that's going to last. I'm still not much liking the detective story of the week...I wish he'd go back to being a lawyer or furniture maker or musician or something else!

A statue of Lincoln at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, which supplied Southern munitions during the Civil War. Lincoln visited Richmond ten days before his death.

This foundry produced over a thousand artillery pieces during the war. Several different kinds of cannon are displayed at the site.

Though well-guarded during the burning of Richmond, the iron works still shows some signs of a fire from the 1950s.

Now the interior of the Pattern Building houses Richmond National Battlefield Park, which has interactive displays on the fighting within and around the city.

The iron works also produced steam locomotives for the railroad as well as spikes and track, plus the iron plating for the CSS Virginia.

These are the remains of the spike mill. After leaving this site in the 1950s for Chesterfield County, Tredegar kept producing spikes through the 1980s.

Now the property offers lovely views of downtown Richmond and large grassy fields out back for kids to run around.

Belated thefridayfive: Politics
1. Did you vote in your most recent applicable election?
Yes. I've never missed an election.
2. Have you ever protested or attended a march? Several times, though not as many as I should have, since I live near enough to Washington, DC to go to many.
3. What political issue is the most important to you? The rights of the individual (to privacy, freedom from censorship, reproductive choice, freedom to love and create families according to one's own values, etc.).
4. Are you a member of a party in your country? If so, which? I'm a Democrat, as I expect that everyone who reads this journal has figured out.
5. Do you ever plan to run for office? No.

fridayfiver: I promise you I'll show you
1. Are you a people watcher?
2. Who do you hang out with? My family and very good friends. I don't have a lot of patience for hanging out with people just to say I hung out with people.
3. Did you work hard this week? During the days when my husband was out of town, yes. Friday was totally for fun.
4. How do you show a date a good time? You'd have to ask dementordelta. *g*
5. What's your favorite rule to break? The Puritan work ethic.

fannish5: What are the five best uses of religion/religious beliefs in canon?
1. The Prophets
in Deep Space Nine's Bajor, balancing science and faith, in perfect keeping with Clarke's third law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
2. The Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, the thing that keeps me watching even though I really don't like most of the characters: did this race kill its creators? What did D'Anna see?
3. Eli in Xena: Warrior Princess's version of the Jesus story, clumsily done at times but brave and moving in its attempt to wrestle with the question of what the events of the New Testament would look like from a woman's point of view.
4. Scully's Catholicism in The X-Files, where they did some stupid stuff with angels but overall managed to keep open the possibility that she wouldn't remain a skeptic because she had a place for the inexplicable in her life.
5. The Luggage in Joe vs. the Volcano, a movie that admittedly ridicules religion (the Waponis who speak Yiddish and practice sacrifice to a volcano) yet at the same time is completely tuned in to the spirituality of life and the fact that your baggage not only goes with you, it sometimes keeps you afloat.

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