By Adam Zagajewski
Translated by Clare Cavanagh
I watch William Blake, who spotted angels
every day in treetops
and met God on the staircase
of his little house and found light in grimy alleys—
Blake, who died
in a London thronged
with streetwalkers, admirals, and miracles,
William Blake, engraver, who labored
and lived in poverty but not despair,
who received burning signs
from the sea and from the starry sky,
who never lost hope, since hope
was always born anew like breath,
I see those who walked like him on graying streets,
headed toward the dawn's rosy orchid.
If I hadn't posted the lyrics to Vienna Teng's "City Hall" less than a year ago, I'd have posted them today -- I was singing them all of Thursday afternoon after I got the news from California. Finally news that puts an unreserved smile on my face! Because while I think the woman in the MySpace suicide case deserved to be indicted, that's not exactly happy news, and the news out of China about the quake toll keeps getting worse, and while it's nice enough that Brad and Angelina are having twins it's also boggling to me that that's a top news story.
I met gblvr for lunch, insisting on the mall so she could get sushi and I could see if Sears had the same skort I got yesterday in another pattern but they didn't have it in my size. Then I persuaded her to come back to my house because I had some stuff for the con.txt giveaway table (old fan club newsletters and zines) and art by mamadracula for the art show, which then led to me calling the artist herself to wax nostalgic about when we both loved Voyager and all related fannishness. I spent the early evening going through a huge stack of magazines -- mostly EW, Smithsonian, British Heritage and Astronomy with a few others thrown in -- trying to figure out what we wanted to save out of the huge number we need to recycle. If anyone knows a specific issue in the last three years that you're dying for and that you suspect I won't want (like, you can't have any Russell Crowe covers or Jamestown landing anniversary stuff), let me know!
I can think of no nicer way to describe the Smallville season finale than an enormous letdown, but really I could say that for the season itself, too...I wasn't bored the way I've been at times in earlier years but it was so wildly inconsistent that I didn't know what show I would be watching from week to week and I often didn't care. On the one hand, Lana was in a coma for much of the latter part of the season, thus sparing us Kristin Kreuk's acting, and her farewell message would seem to indicate that she's not going to be around so much next season...except of course they've teased us with that possibility before and then had her all over the show again. And on the other hand, we've lost Lionel for good, and possibly Brainiac as well unless there's another copy of him out there, and Martha hasn't been a presence even in occasional mentions, and Kara has been so inconsistent that I actually thought it might be her even though it made sense that it was Brainiac for the first part of the episode.
At least there was plenty of might-have-been Clark/Lex love in the finale. Lois wants to know why Lex and Clark were so close for so long, and Clark says sadly that sometimes people don't turn out to be what you thought they were. Lex justifies his attack on the Traveler and the Fortress with the wounded cry, "Who am I to turn my back on my fellow man, especially after you turned your back on me?" And then makes his farewells, "I love you like a brother, Clark, but it has to end this way. I'm sorry." Is that "I love you like a brother" the way Remus embraced Sirius like a brother in Prisoner of Azkaban? *cough*
But really, not much else made me smile, other than Brainiac taunting Clark that he can't kill another man and Clark announcing, "You're not a man" while my whole family was saying just that aloud, hah, and Lana apparently making her farewells via a mix CD except it turned out to be a DVD recording which isn't nearly as much fun. If Michael Rosenbaum isn't coming back, how are they going to recover Clark but not Lex? Do I care enough to tune in next season? Doubtful, but Adam says he still wants to watch, so I suppose I may, too.
The Next Gen episode I need to review Friday came across a lot better by comparison -- "The Defector," one of several superb bottle shows this season. With Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner doing Henry V.