After Three Chinese Poems
By David Shapiro
for Mr. Cong
One word tied to another word — that is all
You know. No cherryblossoms. In this world
The hospice workers visit the dead child.
His lack of a voice startles the sleeping words.
This world, fold upon fold.
Is there a better title for it?
Letting Go, Griefwork, Brightness Falls from the Air,
All the Angels Were There. She said it.
All night I think about my sister.
Galileo plunged into Jupiter.
O clear poetry!
No dust tonight.
I had lunch today with Guy Wassertzug, whom I haven't had lunch with since the high school lunchroom -- we reconnected on Facebook, though it turns out he lives ten minutes from me and has a son about the same age as Adam. We went to Kardo Mediterranean, where I had never been before -- I always seem to end up at Lebanese Taverna when it's Middle Eastern food in Rockville -- and had very good hummus. I was going to stop at Michael's on the way home, but it started to pour, so instead I came straight home to write a review of "Sarek". Had dinner with my parents and celebrated Daniel's birthday -- he got Brisingr, the third season of Futurama, a Stephen Colbert calendar and an mp3 player, all things he wanted, while he and Adam both got the new Kirby game. Paul made him a cookie cake at his request.
1. Who is your favorite author? If I am limited to one, there's really no contest: William Shakespeare.
2. What is your favorite book/series? I've probably reread Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet more than any others, but Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon and its prequels are pretty close. Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series is newer to me yet my favorite-ever long reading experience.
3. Who is a book hero you most wish to be like? Leisha Camden in Nancy Kress's Beggars in Spain novels.
4. Who is a book character that you envy? Dan Brown's Robert Langdon from Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. I'd have stayed in academia if I thought it would be like that.
5. Which book do you wished you lived in? That depends whether it's for a few hours or a few years. If it's for a few hours, anything set on an English estate where I'm one of the aristocrats. If it's for a few years, some Star Trek novel.
fannish5: List the five best fictional weddings. (I am declaring the classics ineligible because nothing could beat the triple wedding that ends A Midsummer Night's Dream. In fact I am leaving out great books altogether and sticking to franchise film and TV.)
1. Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean. "You may kiss...you may kiss...just kiss!" The wedding made up for everything I had doubts about in the relationship and redeemed every bad cliched wedding scene I ever sat through in a film.
2. Will Riker and Deanna Troi, Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a long time coming, and worth it.
3. Brad Chase and Denise Bauer, Boston Legal. The priest got arrested, the bride went into labor and the wedding took place over her screams as their baby was being born, but it was lovely anyway and really indicative of their roll-with-it relationship.
4. Mitch and Gayle Leery, Dawson's Creek. They were married for nearly two decades, divorced during their mid-life crises, fell back in love and had a really delightful, imperfect, sweet reunion.
5. Benjamin Sisko and Kasidy Yates, Deep Space Nine. Not because it was glamorous or even particularly happy -- Sisko had just received a chilling prophecy that almost led him to call off the ceremony -- but because it seemed very real and they really seemed to love each other.
We gave up on debate an hour in -- McCain reciting policy papers from who knows how many decades ago and Obama repeating himself each time McCain misstated his positions (did Obama's people tell him not to sound too smart to avoid Al Gore snobbishness accusations?). So took a break and watched Stargate: Atlantis, which was worth price of admission to hear Zelenka tell Sheppard that he can't dumb the math down enough to explain it to him, only to have John figure out that they can divert the city's power to shield the gate to stop it from exploding and killing them all. "Like ten nuclear blasts," indeed! And I really got a kick out of Rodney saying he won't let Daniel die because Rodney's planning to chicken out on dying, himself, so he's going to make the thing work and Daniel might as well stick around to see it. Also, Keller is much less of a bimbo when she's with Ronon -- I still don't like her but if I must have her instead of Sam or Elizabeth, keep her and Ronon teamed please! Definitely my favorite episode this season, cliffhanger and all.
We put on the news after SGA, where the pundits seemed to agree that 1) McCain was 20+ years out of date on both the economy and foreign policy and 2) even so, no one really won the debate, which made me doubly glad I didn't stick with it. The fact that polls indicate this election will be close really makes me despair about the supposed intelligence of American voters.