By James Richardson
In Shakespeare a lover turns into an ass
as you would expect. People confuse
their consciences with ghosts and witches.
Old men throw everything away
because they panic and can't feel their lives.
They pinch themselves, pierce themselves with twigs,
cliffs, lightning, and die—yes, finally—in glad pain.
You marry a woman you've never talked to,
a woman you thought was a boy.
Sixteen years go by as a curtain billows
once, twice. Your children are lost,
they come back, you don't remember how.
A love turns to a statue in a dress, the statue
comes back to life. Oh God, it's all so realistic
I can't stand it. Whereat I weep and sing.
Such a relief, to burst from the theatre
into our cool, imaginary streets
where we know who's who and what's what,
and command with Metrocards our destinations.
Where no one with a story struggling in him
convulses as it eats its way out,
and no one in an antiseptic corridor,
or in deserts or in downtown darkling plains,
staggers through an Act that just will not end,
eyes burning with the burning of the dead.
I have nothing profound to report from my Wednesday. Spent lots of the morning running every spyware, adware, defragmentation, optimization and virus program imaginable trying to figure out why my laptop has unexpectedly become so slow, came to the sad conclusion that the people who think it might be McAfee demanding more memory than the computer has to spare might be right. Edited my own work, betaed someone else's. Went to the mall in search of a gift, walked past Claire's Accessories a.k.a. High School Musical Central, spotted penguin stuff in the window, bought a metal bank and a keychain for younger son and little penguin earrings for me (we'll see how hypoallergenic the ear wires really are). Pesked cats with a plastic fishing pole with feathers on the end.
These are part of an exhibit on the Confederate Navy, here illustrated by the Virginia, a.k.a. the Merrimac, during the battle that ended the great age of naval sail.
This is an original iron plate from the CSS Virginia. It is only one inch thick, while the plates on the ship when it went into battle -- made by Richmond's Tredegar Iron Works -- were two inches thick. This one likely came from the test firing at Jamestown Island.
A compass from the school ship Patrick Henry, built as a passenger vessel, taken in Virginia waters when the state seceded and converted into a warship that fought in the Battle of Hampton Roads. Thereafter she served as a school ship until destroyed by her midshipmen when Federal troops captured Richmond.
The shirt of surgeon Edward Booth, who served on the CSS Selma and treated the wounded after the Battle of Mobile Bay.
A model of the Confederate raider Shenandoah, which fired the last shot of the Civil War because the captain did not believe reports that the South had surrendered during the ship's round-the-world voyage during which it captured nearly two dozen prizes.
The anchor of the CSS Virginia in front of the museum. After being lost, it was found at the beginning of the 20th century by a fishing schooner.
Spent the evening catching up on The Tudors -- had missed the season premiere on Sunday and it turns out that Showtime already has the second episode On Demand, meaning I don't have any John Adams vs. Henry VIII dilemma (not that it was much of a contest; the Americans were winning). I seem to have developed a new appreciation for The Tudors after seeing The Other Boleyn Girl, which is just as much historical crack and missing all the religious/theological/political discussion and intrigue that The Tudors explores. (Plus George Boleyn is still gay.) There's still a lot of ludicrous historical stuff and things that one person did being attributed to another, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers is way more charismatic than Eric Bana as the king, I much prefer this portrayal of Henry and Anne's relationship, and I'd have sex with Thomas Wyatt even if I was thinking about becoming a nun.