By Robert Gibb
Shunt and plumb bob, a whirring top
That keeps touching down on its pivot.
Wings, the book says, like blurry gauze.
The long thin nectar-threading bill
Of a bird that backs off only to start again
From its still point in midair.
The revved-up, head-first metabolism.
The stone at the throat like a heart.
High in the Altiplano, its wings spread
Hundreds of feet across, a hummingbird
Flies among the sky-faced drawings
The Nazca paced off on their tarmac.
Walk me through something like that.
Another from this week's New Yorker.
I had lunch with my oldest friend -- the one whose family hosts the Super Bowl party that my family goes to every year. I've known her since elementary school (in first grade, she was the "new girl" right after I was the "new girl") and we kept in touch writing letters all through college before there was e-mail. We had planned to meet at a Chipotle after her yoga class, but she never made it to class and the Chipotle was mobbed, so we ended up at the terrific Japanese restaurant Niwano Hana, where we had tempura and sushi and discussed our sons' upcoming Bar Mitzvahs and our travel plans and such.
...but this was the sign on the nearby alehouse (well, beer stand).
Chickens ran around outside the farmhouse...
...while, inside, herbs and flax were drying above the family's bedrolls.
At this time of year, the farmhouse was surrounded by buttercups and tulip trees in bloom.
Local herbs and other plants were on sale at the fair...
...along with fabric, sewing equipment, buttons, and wool...
...the latter produced from animals like this poor freshly-shorn sheep.
We watched the last episode of the second season of Slings & Arrows which I figured the kids would like because the production of Macbeth kicks ass and there's also a lot of swearing, nudity (implied, not onscreen), and general lunacy. Then we made the mistake of putting on Fox looking for early headlines (Gary Condit didn't kill Chandra Levy, big surprise) and saw the end of American Idol. I've never seen an episode of the series and despite the presence of some guest musicians I like, this one did nothing to make me think I will next season.
I've seen a lot of pleas online in the past few days for people to call in for Adam Whatshisname because he could be the first openly gay Idol (if he were openly gay, which so far as I can tell, he is not). All I could think was that it would be a far bigger deal for gay rights if people would call the White House to demand that Obama intervene in Dan Choi's discharge or write to any of the governors, legislatures, or jurists considering gay marriage bills and bans.
So I'm sorry if people are sad that the person they were rooting for didn't win, but I don't see how anyone can see this as a blow to gay rights. Adam will still make good money and reappear on the show during a future season, no matter what Bill O'Reilly says about him. And Fox...hey, Fox was going to make money either way. I'm not depressed about American Idol -- I'm depressed about New Hampshire, and that dope Michael Steele, who thinks gay marriage will cost small businesses too much money.