The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday

The Sisters of Sexual Treasure
By Sharon Olds

As soon as my sister and I got out of our
mother's house, all we wanted to do
was fuck, obliterate
her tiny sparrow body and narrow
grasshopper legs. The men's bodies
were like our father's body! The massive
hocks, flanks, thighs, male
structure of the hips, knees, calves --
we could have him there, the steep forbidden
buttocks, backs of the knees, the cock
in our mouth, ah the cock in our mouth.
             Like explorers who
discover a lost city, we went
nuts with joy, undressed the men
slowly and carefully, as if
uncovering buried artifacts that
proved our theory of the lost culture:
that if Mother said it wasn't there,
it was there.


This week's Poet's Choice column in The Washington Post Book World is about Sharon Olds, one of my very favorite poets. (Robert Pinsky wrote about her in a column three years ago and even printed one of the same poems.) "Even 33 years after I first read Sharon Olds, I remember the fresh shock her poems delivered like a body blow," writes Mary Karr. "In 'The Sisters of Sexual Treasure,' when the speaker and her sibling escape a brutal childhood home aflame with Calvinism, they begin behaving promiscuously, as though to obliterate their cruel mother...Olds colors these freeing adventures in the dark tones of our ultimate taboo. She eases us into this outrageous idea with a metaphor, which concludes by reintroducing the girls' need to escape their punishing mother."

All our plans for Saturday were washed out by Tropical Storm Hanna, which knocked down tree branches and caused flooding across several major roads around here, making it dangerous to try to go to a museum and difficult to go anyplace nearby. So after retrieving Adam from his overnight and Daniel from his first day volunteering at Hebrew school for the semester, we stayed inside, having grilled ham and cheese for lunch, reading -- Adam just got the new Warriors cat books, Daniel just got I Am America (And So Can You!) -- working on assorted homework and photo projects, watching Spirited Away -- probably the best animated film ever made -- and watching the squirrels hiding under the deck to stay out of the rain and wind (plus watching the cats watch the squirrels, which was extremely comical).

The storm had finally moved on by dinnertime (tacos, since we had the shells and cheese in the house), and when we went out to get ice cream at 7, we could actually see the sun beginning to set. We missed getting to go to a tour of the Peacock Room at the Sackler Gallery and a concert that has been postponed till Sunday since it's in an outdoor venue, but we only lost power for a few minutes and there are only a few moderate-sized tree branches down in our immediate vicinity, so really it was not a bad storm for us. In the evening we watched Men In Black, which seems rather dated but is still pretty funny...and hey, it was free on Comcast. Hope everyone south of me came through the storm okay, the flooding in northern Virginia looked scary!

The Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

Nearly fifty American painters and sculptors contributed to the building's artwork.

Statues and mosaics of goddesses of wisdom illuminate many of the walls and the ceiling.

The Four Virtues -- Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Philosophy -- adorn the doorways of the north side.

The Four Seasons by Frank Weston Benson decorate the doorways of the south side.

Mosaics representing learning and the arts can be found all over the Jefferson Building.

The facade of the building, which houses the books from Thomas Jefferson's library that formed the original collection of the Library of Congress...

...include Jefferson's friend and fellow brilliant thinker Benjamin Franklin.

Snicked from juniperus, I don't know whether to be pleased or horrified based on the questions that led to this result:

You are Uhura
Deanna Troi
Beverly Crusher
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Geordi LaForge
Will Riker
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Sulu
Jean-Luc Picard
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
You are a good communicator with a
pleasant soft-spoken voice.
Also a talented singer.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...


Sunday is Pagan Pride Day in Northern Virginia, so we are going to a festival for that, then to the concert we thought we were going to on Saturday!

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