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


Searching For Poe's Grave On Halloween, Baltimore, Maryland
By Jim Doss


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and the other begins?
-- Edgar Allan Poe

Not here on Fayette Street
where the dull faces of commuters
stare back at us in their pilgrimage
to nowhere. Not on the sidewalk

where a dingy robin lies
like a broken doll, its missing eye
peering into the next world.
Not in the greasy smoke that braids

the air above Hardees with animal scents,
drifts into the blue haze of power plants.
Not in the used hypodermic needles
that gleam through a sewer grate,

or crushed cans of Colt 45 rusting by the curb.
Not in the red scrawl of graffiti on brick
row houses where home-boys lean
against the wall, peddle baggies of rock or weed

to walk-ups and drive-bys. Not in the purple
and black billboard advertising play by play
for the Ravens' games. "Perversity," Poe wrote,
"is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart."

In the end, he lay face-down in the gutter,
delirious with fever, poisoned by madness
and tainted alcohol, bribed to vote
under the names of dead men for shot after shot.

Now, his features carved in garish granite
come alive in stone. Sunlight reflects
off stained glass windows. Roots strain
to topple markers in their slow crawl through soil.

The path we've walked from his Amity Street
garret traces Poe's own footsteps
as he strolled with his pubescent cousin-wife
and her mother on their way to worship.

We read from Tales of Mystery and Imagination
into the sunset's orange glow, wait for his spirit
to rise through clay to accept our offerings--
this bottle of cognac, and a black rose.

--------

Nothing to report from the morning besides laundry, running out for more laundry detergent, and being incredibly frustrated with trying to talk to people about this election -- the Obama campaign is recruiting Jews to call undecided Jews in swing states. While McCain apparently can be forgiven for associating with some of the most bigoted, narrow-minded anti-Semites on the planet, Obama apparently cannot be forgiven for having the middle name "Hussein." I am embarrassed that there can be such easy acceptance of statements made out of ignorance and fear -- someone even fed me the line about Obama not even really being American because no one can find his birth certificate. If the arguments were about the economy, even though I'd still disagree with McCain supporters, I'd be a lot less distressed.


On a much happier note, in preparation for Halloween, we carved our pumpkins! Our Targ cat Daisy helped.


All right, so "helped" might be a bit of a misstatement.


This is the "warty penguin" that we got at Jumbo's pumpkin patch. It had a very tough skin and was hard to carve.


And this is the big traditional jack-o-lantern pumpkin that we always intended to turn into an Obama logo pumpkin. (We take no credit for the design; you can download it from Yes We Carve.)


Daisy was very eager to sniff the guts of the pumpkins, though she then made a face and walked away.


It is difficult to say whether she was impressed by the finished product; she was more interested in sniffing the by-then-toasted pumpkin seeds, which I must admit do smell very yummy.


Here are the completed jack-o-lanters -- Obama and "McCain"! (Although McCain never looks this sincerely cheerful, hee!)


I thought our neighbors' pumpkins were really cool until I discovered that they're reusable plastic from a craft store! Hah!
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After carving pumpkins, we watched and greatly enjoyed this week's Smallville -- finally Jimmy is coming into his traditional role and Lois is being taken seriously as a reporter. And Oliver is back! I loved all the scenes with him and Clark -- the hilarious one on the plane in which Ollie tries to convince Clark that he'd rather have three girls than one Kal-El, when we all know better (and are proven right), then the one where he impersonates Superman, and the adorable final one in which Ollie admits he's happier wearing tights than being sleazy and recommends that Clark try a costume too. Oh, but Chloe! I guess she got more from Brainiac than brains...she's gone bad! Between having to lie to Jimmy and that horrible brain download, I fear things are not going to end well for her!

Then we all watched Next Gen's wonderful "Family" -- the one with Picard's brother, Worf's parents, and Wesley's dad -- which I must find time to review on Halloween! Which is here, yay! A blessed Samhain if this is a religious holiday for you, a happy festival if this is a cultural event where you live, and lots of sweets and treats if you just celebrate for fun!
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