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

Poem for Friday


The Blue Grotto
by Henri Cole


Curlyhead was bellowing Puccini
and making the boat rock.
The sun shone like a Majolica clock.
The sea boiled noisily.
I lay down like a child in a box.
It was my birthday.

     Above, on a cliff,
a mule pissed on us.
Then the dragging chain
as we lurched into the chasm.
Archaic cooings: Byzantine blue.
J removed her tortoiseshell glasses,
crossing her pretty legs.
C thoughtfully stroked his goatee.
I sat up, as in a coffin
after three hundred lovers.
Starboard, an oar-blade splashed
emeralds against valedictory black.
Once again, description,
unemotional shorthand
for sublimated wisdom,
fails to conjure what we felt;
the poem years for something more.
Like me: childless.
My love & I: gutted words.
My prick: like an instrument for an altar
or surgeon's table,
shiny & maleficent.
     Stalactites,
like jaws, bedeviled us.
Sunlight struck the sandy bottom:
Giotto blue, the Tennessean said;
Florida blue, the tobacco queen said;
Cognitive blue, I, the unanalyzed, said.
Nothing from Curlyhead, who rowed vigorously.
Then a serpentine thing,
with five pairs of legs grasping at us,
appeared beside our little boat,
unidentifiably damaged,

     as the young man was,
who boarded our bus going home.
His arms flailed spasmodically.
His face was pinched like a retarded boy's.
I dedicate this poem to him,
whose unneediness shamed me,
demanding I acknowledge the best in myself,
whose arms & legs
racked the blue lapidary air,
as if burdened by ropes, lantern, & pick,
while he bantered brilliantly to himself,
the mind struggling
to overcome the stick that is the body.

--------

gblvr and I both found ourselves available at lunchtime on Thursday so rather than risk complications later, we ran off together to The Corner Bakery and then went clothes shopping. I had $20 in Kohl's Bucks from last weekend, and ended up buying $200 or so worth of clothes for $8.40. Boy, that's the way to shop. *g* I particularly like the $80 Chaps sweater that I got for $8. That will be very nice next winter. And really, who can go wrong with a $3 beaded turquoise sleeveless cotton shirt?

I've been working on uploading all our England photos so that we can't lose them in case of home or computer catastrophe; they aren't full-size, but they're pretty large here if anyone actually wants to see the whole collection (not yet labeled, but it might be a year before I finish that, as the rest of our vacations and family photos are up next for sorting and uploading!). I may need another Google login before I'm done. Flickr is proving to be too much of a pain -- I hate that photos disappear out of free accounts' photostreams.


The men in my family were recruited to carry pikes to pay tribute to Her Majesty at the Virginia Renaissance Faire.


The militia tried to recruit me, but I enlisted Adam instead so I could take pictures. Adam did not forgive me until we bought him a bullwhip.


There were lessons in thrusting...


...and lowering the pikes in tribute...


...and marching.


Then they headed off in advance of the court...


...to await the Queen.


It was military history weekend -- free admission for active, reserve and retired US military -- but I'm afraid my only contribution was managing to hit the target at the archery range, the first time I've done that since junior high school. Daniel hit the target right near the center every single time.
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I am fired from fandom, because my first thought upon learning that J.K. Rowling had written a brief for-charity Harry Potter story involving the Marauders was a sinking feeling that she might actually be working on a book, followed by big sense of relief when she posted on her web site that she is not writing a prequel. And -- big surprise -- Edward James Olmos says BSG will not have a happy ending. Sometimes I wish I had a new fannish obsession, but then I realize how much better I feel not being overly invested in someone else's storytelling-for-fame-and-profit.

RIP Alexander Courage, who wrote the fanfare for the Starship Enterprise, and Harvey Korman, whom I will forever picture as Hedley Lamarr from Blazing Saddles, looking up the legal precedent for land snatching, announcing that he's through being Mr. Goodbar, begging Lili Von Schtupp for one little feel, hunting desperately in his bathtub for his froggy. And in High Anxiety begging Cloris Leachman's Nurse Diesel for more bondage, less discipline. And objecting that he is not the Count de Money in History of the World, Part I...ah, a huge amount of what I love about Mel Brooks is Harvey Korman, who is as irreplaceable as Madeline Kahn and will be just as missed.
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