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

Poem for Thursday


The Virgin King
By John Ashbery


They know so much more, and so much less,
"innocent details" and other. It was time to
put up or shut up. Claymation is so over,
the king thought. The watercolor virus
sidetracked tens.

Something tells me you'll be reading this on a train
stumbling through rural Georgia, wiping sleep
from your eyes as the conductor passes through
carrying a bun. We're moving today,
today on the couch.

--------

From this week's New Yorker.

It was kind of a weird schleppy day in which things did not quite go as planned, though nothing really bad happened. I was supposed to meet a friend -- someone I've known for years but more as the mother of kids my own kids' ages than someone I've been really close to -- at lunchtime for sushi, but she ran late and I ended up with nearly an hour to kill in a small boutique mall. I bought a couple of tiny Halloween decorations in one of those gift stores that sell lots of Vera Bradley and chunky glass bead jewelry. Ran into an old friend of my parents' and we had a nice conversation about her kids, my kids and stuff. Then my friend arrived and we had very good sushi (spicy tuna and inari, mmm) and said we'd do it again soon.

I had an hour before my kids would be home from school, so I went to a local jewelry boutique in an even more expensive strip of stores to look for a leather cord -- you know, the kind with a silver clasp that you can put big pendants on like my new tree pendant -- and I found one that looked perfect, with a little silver bead on the end, for $20, though there was another pendant hanging from it when I asked her if I could see it. The friendly lady who had helped me offered to get the price tag off and polish it for me, and when she returned, it was already in the bag. I got home, pulled it out...and she'd swapped necklaces on me, given me one without the silver bead and with a silk cord that isn't quite as thick. There is no doubt that she knew exactly what she was doing, as I'd asked if they had another in the store like the one I wanted and she said no, she'd have to get the pendant off it from the locked case. They have a "no return" policy. Last time I ever set foot in Blanca Flor Silver, I can tell you that.


This is where my son takes tennis lessons...


...the Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center.


It's named for Wimbledon champion Pauline Betz.


There's a timeline of Betz's career on the wall, including several US Open victories.


She married a Washington Post sports writer, moved to the DC area and taught tennis at a school here for many years.


I took a photo from my seat of the dedication plaque, so I'm posting it here for posterity.


Mostly I was watching this.
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So, yeah, took Adam and his best friend to tennis, came home for dinner, made the kids do homework, and watched -- yes, you may lose all respect for me right now -- Sex and the City: The Movie. I have no excuse except that I started watching that show on a particularly horrendous night of my life, and then I stuck with it as the TV equivalent of comfort food, even though I despise Carrie Bradshaw and her values and her shoes. I did love Candice Bergen's five minutes in the movie as a fashion editor -- much less stereotypical than Meryl Streep's movie-long caricature in The Devil Wears Prada -- and I've always loved Samantha's filthy mind, though I've always been completely apathetic to pretty vapid Charlotte, and I've never gotten the impression that the writers have a clue who Miranda is (which may explain why she doesn't seem to know, either).

I figured it would have a stupid happy ending without Carrie and Big working out the REAL issues between them, like the fact that he goes to New Year parties where she'd be bored out of her mind but I don't see him having Chinese with the girls either. And as for Miranda and Steve, why do men always seem to think they can get away with saying "It just happened" about cheating? I wish it were a movie cliche but I know enough people in real life who were handed that excuse. If there is one thing not true, it's that cheating "just happens"! The whole idea that Miranda has to forgive him or it means she's an unforgiving bitch really irritates me. If she loved him and her upset stemmed from having been badly hurt, I'd have agreed with Charlotte -- ego shouldn't get in the way of trying to fix the relationship -- but like Carrie screaming, "I am humiliated!" at Big when he freaked out and bailed on the wedding, there mostly seems to be self-love from Miranda. And since I am all in favor of Samantha following her bliss and not staying tied down, I can't root for Miranda to stay with a guy who may well let "it just happened" happen again, and probably forgive him again, losing a bit more of herself each time.
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