The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday

Preludes for Prepared Piano: Such Sweet Thunder
By Estill Pollock

The simple formula is:
the time of the bullet's flight, times the speed of prey
gives lead-bullet flight time,
one length for the kill zone front half of the trophy

I've never smelled anything like it—
dank, earthy wetlands,
underlying notes of chocolate, anise, redwood.

The rig dog caught the scent; the others
whine, squeal, yip from hollows to hardwood ridges,
inhaling its heat, long quivering wails fading.
It seemed everywhere at once, and then
turned towards us, one mutual cry forever
with the aberration.

I usually observe one constellation at a time,
my last in Canes Venatici, the greyhounds of Boötes.
Luckily, above the sky glow of the cities,
removed from the horizon haze, you see
that much more clearly, something
feral, hi fi.


Friday was entirely a travel day, with all stops being for meals or to stretch legs; not one sightseeing expedition. We left Ohio early in the morning, stopped for gas at the cleanest and friendliest rest stop I have ever seen (brand new off the turnpike near Newton Falls), then headed into Indiana under threatening skies that never quite turned to a thunderstorm. Had a picnic lunch at an Indiana rest stop that wasn't nearly as nice as the one in Ohio, drove into Chicago under partly sunny skies and admired the skyline from the Skyway. Got stuck in atrocious traffic on the Dan Ryan that reminded me of all the things I don't miss about living in Chicago...and since I couldn't see the lake from where we were, I didn't get to see the principal thing I do miss. Headed north, drove into Wisconsin, checked into a motel in Madison where the kids went swimming for a bit and we used the microwave for dinner.

Driving past downtown Chicago on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

We lived here for three years before we had children and older son was born here.

Here is where my true baseball loyalty lies: Comiskey Park.

Before driving through Chicago, we stopped at this plaza on the Indiana Turnpike to get drinks to have with lunch.

Lots of little birdies had made nests in the McDonald's sign.

There were many trains on the tracks paralleling the turnpikes and interstates.

Because what's a trip without seeing a castle, here's the Chicago-area Medieval Times.

And here are Paul and the boys relaxing in the motel pool!

I know I said I was skipping these while on vacation but I glanced at the questions and had to do this week's thefridayfive: This week, you get your choice between 2 sets of questions. If you want to answer both, we certainly won't stop you!

1) Theme: International Travel
    1. You have the summer and plenty of money to travel abroad. Where all would you go?
All over Europe -- fly into Paris and maybe cruise the rivers stopping in cities and towns along the way. Though I also want to go to Spain and Portugal, and Budapest and St. Petersburg and various places in Scandinavia...maybe I should get a train pass instead.
    2. What foods would you be sure you got to eat? Really excellent cheese and chocolate and tea.
    3. What landmarks would you be sure you got to see? I have a long list of Cathar sites in the south of France, plus castles, churches and synagogues.
    4. What airline would you use? United's where I have frequent flyer miles.
    5. Would your knowledge of other languages influence where you went? (i.e. would you be more likely to go to France if you spoke French) French is the one European language I do speak, but I wouldn't let that stop me from going elsewhere.

2) Theme: USA Road Trip
    1. Who would you take with you on a road trip?
My family. Though there are various people I would like to see along the way (mamadracula, for instance, who I am seeing in a few weeks) and other people I'd happily take along if I thought they wouldn't go nuts in the van with my entire family!
    2. What states would you visit? As many of the continental 48 as I could.
    3. What national parks and/or monuments would you go see? Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, the Space Needle, Mount St. Helens, Yosemite, Hearst Castle, Topanga Canyon, La Brea Tar Pits, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Cadillac Ranch, Asheville, and about twelve dozen others.
    4. Las Vegas: Overrated or a Must-See? I've only been there once, for a single day, largely to see the Star Trek Experience, but we had a great time seeing Siegfried and Roy's tigers, the pirate show at Treasure Island, the massive swimming pools with slides and all the free entertainment for kids. I couldn't have cared about the gambling -- I bet a grand total of about $5 and won most of it back at a slot machine.
    5. How long would you be gone? Each time we've driven across the US with our kids, it's been for a month. This is the last time, though, because my husband's company merger means no more extra two-week sabbatical every five years!
Tags: trip west 08

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