The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
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Poem for Wednesday


The Diener
By Martha Serpas


We hated the early anatomists
for showing us how fragile we are,
how God's image is composite:
the liver the bright bruise of a sunset,
the thyroid wrapped around our throats
for luck. They saw our brains folded
against our foreheads and knew our hearts
pump dumbly on through the wash.
And wily guts take the brunt of it,
pushing to get rid of while we insist
on taking in and taking in and taking in.
Theirs was heresy, that is, a choice
to reach the Artist by testing the art,
human suffering always the requisite cost.

Change, what keeps all of it the same,
the Teacher says, no new thing
under the sun. What we make, let's make old
instead, older than the first tool,
which smelled much like the body—
the first blacksmith must have thought—
not quite like displaced blood, but blood at home
in its place among other parts in their places,
and that must be how we began to confuse
the power to examine and change
with the power to create, to be discrete agents,
why we like to see ourselves as whole,
despite the diener piling legs on a cot,
despite the pruned artery, tied and cut.

--------

It was a silly day, not really worth writing about. Got three loads of laundry washed, but not the sheets and towels, and not any of the folding. Rushed around at dinnertime because Paul thought there was a seventh grade meeting at the Hebrew school, only to get there and discover that it's next week (which is also older son's back-to-school night, so we can't go anyway). Came home, Paul wanted to make cookies, only to discover that the stove isn't working. Now the waiting game to get it repaired begins once we get ahold of the place in the morning. Sigh. Here, have some Maryland Renaissance Festival:















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Finally watched Paul Mazursky's Tempest, which I hadn't seen in many years and never on DVD -- we had videotaped it off television in Chicago in the early 1990s. I never get tired of John Cassavetes and Raul Julia's versions of Prospero and Caliban, and I never get tired of seeing Gena Rowlands in anything. Plus Susan Sarandon and Molly Ringwald are adorable and insanely young, and the cinematography is lovely -- Greek island not quite as ideal paradise but place that can't quite be transformed as anyone wishes. There's much more attention to female desire and how it disrupts male fantasies of dominion in this version than Shakespeare's, which I appreciate.

I need to get out more tomorrow...we're being warned that Hurricane Hanna will likely come up the coast this weekend and rain us out!
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