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

Poem for Friday


Normally
By Elizabeth Harrington


I have no politics to speak of,
but last week I bought a paperback version
of American History for Beginners.
At breakfast, I turned to the plume
of Hiroshima while munching
on the dark side of toast.
I was reminded of the beauty
of gesture--the "duck and cover" we learned
in grade school and how we crouched
under our desks from the Cold War.

I never talk to strangers. But on Cobb Lane,
I smiled at a woman walking a collie
and wanted to hug her dog.
I'm not religious,
but for the first time in years,
I go to church, chant the Nicene Creed, hunger
for something clean--wings, say.

Usually I wake at 6, brew coffee,
pack my knapsack, pull the door to,
and walk six-tenths of a mile to the train.
Today I slept late, dreaming
of flying in a small plane in a wobbly sky.
At the station, passengers loaded with hearts
come aboard, checking their watches.

Normally I don't describe them.
Today I can't help noticing the upright
bodies, the feet angled in as if to stay,
the tickettaker who hitches up his pants
and waits. Usually I look out the window,
or read the Times. Today I notice how
a little boy's hair shines in the sun
and have the urge to feel his warmth
through my palm. I wonder about the synapses
that fire beneath the scalp
or our forward facing feet
when all we want is to go back.

Normally, I write about what I feel.
Now my biggest fear is failed
poems--the kind that take you
just short of understanding
and leave you there--your
hope thin, combustible
as the white flesh of cigarettes.

--------

I was stuck in the house till after 5 p.m. because one of our vehicles was getting its air conditioning repaired, and besides, I had to wait for Sears to come repair the stove (they were supposed to arrive by 4 p.m., so guess what time they got there? If you guessed 3:55, you're right!). perkypaduan was in the neighborhood and came over to keep me company even though I had nothing exciting to offer her for lunch -- she brought Lean Pockets -- and we watched Spirited Away because she had never seen it (I've never seen Castle in the Sky, so that's next), and when younger son got home, he told us where to find the Robot Chicken Harry Potter parody so she has finally seen that as well. Sears finally arrived after she left and repaired the igniter to the tune of a couple hundred bucks, but that's still a lot cheaper than replacing a gas stove.

In the evening we had to go pick up the van so we could each drive one vehicle home, so we went to dinner at IHOP, which was right next door to the repair place and which currently has both pumpkin and caramel pancakes! Then Paul took Daniel home while I stopped at Target with Adam to look for Bionicles and Halloween stuff (the bat Halloween Kelly dolls are apparently packed one to a case). Then we watched Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, as per the kids' insistence, before I put on "Hollow Pursuits" to review tomorrow. I watched some of the Pentagon memorial coverage, yet I feel more connected to the New York memorials -- despite having grown up much closer to the Pentagon, I saw and visited the World Trade Center many more times in my youth, and the people I knew personally were in New York that morning. Love and condolences to everyone affected.


Macbeth, Banquo and the Weird Sisters -- well, sister -- as performed by Shakespeare's Skum at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.


The holy sisters of Hey Nunnie Nunnie do their very best to avoid the flirtatious advances of the men in the audience.


Vases, bowls and bottles produced at the glassworks of Art of Fire.


A harpist performs in the children's entertainment area.


Miguel demonstrates that Don Juan has whipped the back cluster of pasta without cutting the one in front.


A map of the world from just after the era of Here Be Dragons.


This climbing wall allows guests to practice storming a fortress.


The House of Musical Traditions explains what will happen if you leave your children banging on their tambourines.
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Speaking of Shakespeare, I really want to go see the all-female cast Romeo and Juliet that the Taffety Punk Theatre Company is doing -- my friends mostly want to go to the all-male cast version that the Shakespeare Theatre Company is doing, but I must admit that my first reaction to hearing about that was a lot like that of Lise Bruneau of Taffety Punk, who told The Washington Post that she's really fed up with professional companies denying actresses even the few classical roles available to them to do male-only productions, while denying the actresses in mixed gender productions the chance to use the stage combat skills most of them develop. It irritates me when people pretend there are no antifeminist elements to drag.

Also, I am sure everyone else has seen these already, but I have finally been linked to these photos of Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs in Toronto publicizing Good, and it is probably wrong how much I enjoyed them. Or not. Someone lectured me a while back about how they expected me to be offended by any whiff of slash between their characters, since one is a Nazi and the other is a Jew, and I admit that it's been many, many years since I saw the play, but I remember thinking then that the hint of homoeroticism between the characters seemed intrinsic to the drama -- that a refusal to acknowledge an attraction is one of the many levels of denial that makes one of the main characters such a coward.

And I hope The Sun's casting rumors for Doctor Who are true! Paul McGann returning, possibly to show us at last what happened during the Time War! Catherine Tate returning, which makes me a bit ambivalent, since if it's going to be an insert story and Donna's going to go right back to being brain damaged, it may just make me very angry, but I love the actress so I'd probably find things to like in it anyway. And Tennant saying he'd come back for a feature film -- yes please! Now if only they can get Eccleston to make an appearance at the end of a McGann episode so we can see that regeneration...

Oh, and Ted says that Steven Soderbergh is working on a biopic of Liberace with Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover. Awesome casting!
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