The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday

By Ellen Bryant Voigt


Banging the blue shutters—night-rain;
and a deep gash opened in the yard.
By noon, the usual unstinting sun
but also wind, the olive trees gone silver,
inside out, and the slender cypresses,
like women in fringed shawls, hugging themselves,
and over the rosemary hedge the pocked fig
giving its purple scrota to the ground.

What was it had made me sad? At the market,
stall after noisy stall, melons, olives,
more fresh herbs that I could name, tomatoes
still stiched to the cut vine, the soft
transparent squid shelved on ice; also,
hanging there beside the garlic braids,
meek as the sausages: plucked fowl with feet.

Under a goose-wing, I had a violent dream.
I was carrying a baby and was blind,
or blinded on and off, the ledge I walked
blanking out long minutes at a time.
He'd flung a confident arm around my neck.
A spidery crack traversed his china skull.
Then it was not a ledge but a bridge, like a tongue.
From the window over my desk, I could look down
at the rain-ruined nest the sangliers
had scrabbled in the thyme, or up, to the bald
mountain in all the paintings. I looked up.
That's where one looks in the grip of a dream.


I spent part of the morning on the phone with people in the administration and guidance office of older son's school having an incredibly frustrating argument about scheduling -- issues I thought had been resolved months ago -- and ended up so mad that I spent an hour crocheting a little pouch just to calm myself down. (I blame the sheep and wool festivals; I hadn't crocheted since before older son was born until last week.) I also wrote a review of "The Hunted" and started uploading family photos to my second Google/Picasa account -- before 2002, there's almost nothing in electronic form, and then starting in 2002, there are thousands of photos per year.

fridayfiver: Throw your love around
1. Last laugh?
It fit perfectly.
2. What do you love? Standing waist-deep in the water on a nearly deserted beach, looking for dolphins.
3. Gold or silver? Silver if it's jewelry, gold if you're offering a chest of it.
4. Who do you hold hands with? My husband, sometimes my kids.
5. Friday fill-in: There's no time to ____. There's no time to run out to Starbucks and get mint hot chocolate.

thefridayfive: Childhood
1. What were some of the smells and tastes of your childhood?
Matzoh ball soup, sesame bagels, American cheese, pretzels, salt water taffy, corned beef, macaroons, summer in the backyard.
2. What did you have as a child that you do not think children today have? Chicken pox. Vinyl records. Hand-tuned TV antennae. Pong.
3. What elementary grade was your favorite? I remember both third and sixth as being pretty good. Definitely NOT second or fourth, we moved during first, and I had a horrible teacher in fifth.
4. What summer do you remember the best as a child? The one when Nixon resigned while we were at the beach.
5. What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self, and at what age? Elementary school: don't let your parents send you to overnight camp with those bitches.

fannish5: What were the five most painful fictional breakups?
1. Jamie and Nina
, Truly Madly Deeply. It was an inevitable breakup -- she was young and he was dead -- but that scene where he reads Neruda to her to convince her to go on with her life without him is just devastating.
2. Rose and Ten, Doctor Who. I know it's arguable that they broke up or even that they were together, but it made me cry anyway.
3. Randolph Ash and Christabel La Motte, Possession. The novel is vastly better than the film -- Byatt wrote their poetry! -- but either way it's a great love story with a bittersweet ending.
4. Elio and Oliver, Call Me By Your Name. I know pretty much no one else who's read the book, but it's beautiful from beginning to end, and the end is overwhelming -- bring tissues.
5. Clark and Lex, Smallville. Since they've thrown canon into the trash, lit it on fire, pissed on it and stomped all over it, they should have had the courage to finish the show they started in which growing up superhero is a metaphor for growing up gay.

Horses grazing at Frying Pan Farm Park on the day of the sheep-shearing festival.

Others were in the paddock following hay rides and demonstrations of old horse-drawn farm equipment.

A few calves have already been born on the farm, with more due late in the summer.

These two were lying in the sun after a day of pouring rain, hence all the mud.

This is the dairy building. Since the farm is historic, milk production is entirely organic.

The cows are milked by hand and the milk is pasteurized with heat -- no antibiotics.

Visitors could strip corn off the cobs and grind it in this machine.

And here once again is the alpaca, moving from field to barn.

We had dinner with my parents, who are going out of town for my father's birthday (Friday was my sister's; his is next Wednesday). Then we came home and watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, figuring we had better prepare the kids properly for Crystal Skull. I love this one -- I've loved anything Arthurian or Grail related since long before Indy turned his attention there, even though this is one of the more preposterous variations (and it's very obvious now that Dan Brown borrowed quite a bit for The Da Vinci Code, and that Ron Howard continued in that vein). I was wondering whatever happened to Alison Doody, and the IMDb says Peter Jackson offered her the role of Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings movies but she turned it down to have a baby! I can't even imagine that!

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