The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

By Dave Smith

You see them everywhere and hardly notice the one
cranking past as you pass on the sidewalk,
that mewling, watery eye, partly bloodshot, partly
focussed on you, or some apprehension of you,
or, shrunken, one in the Giant self-checkout line,
foul as a just risen pig, in slippers, and now
the puzzled, warty face turns to you, and you're
helpless, stunned, the routine ordinary signals are
suddenly hieroglyphics, you're punching out
answers, your life savings gone, and a bug's winking.

Better, unquestionably, to walk faster, left on Main,
take the boiling sun on your back, still broad
enough to hold whatever comes next today.
That's the trick of it all, knowing you can,
without thinking, navigate, slide, cut quick
the way kids on front yards do in that smell
of mowed grass, sweat, youth, not dusk yet,
a tumbling brush of bone and skin only sweet
proof of no intent, intersection and angle, the right
desire of things as subtle as what fireflies mean.

Once my wife and I, following the girlish Realtor,
opened a parlor door, brownstone dim, cool, two
bodies in pajamas pushing up in a musky bed
no one supposed to be there, husband and wife,
I've thought all these years. Their throats opened,
calls horrific as ungreased gears, dry pistons, us
already heeling out. Did someone later come,
explain who we were, snafus, that unlocked door?
Or did they lie, walls creaking, until dawn, bugs
at windows like words in their mouths, on and off?


From this week's New Yorker.

I finally managed to have a birthday lunch with vertigo66 -- practically a month late for her birthday, but it was the soonest we could both do it. We went to our usual hangout (The Corner Bakery) and afterward I went to Target, where I bought exciting items like new laundry baskets, a plastic container for storing dry cat food, and two summer shirts on sale for about $5 each. I think everyone in the store decided to check out at precisely the same moment I did, because the cash register lines were insane considering it was neither a weekend nor a holiday. Then I got into another delay driving home, because a gas leak had made people sick inside my local grocery store and caused the shutdown of the entire shopping center -- the police had roped off the entrances, there were several fire trucks and ambulances surrounding the buildings, everyone was trying to get out of the parking lots, and there was general chaos with people making u-turns and honking. I only barely beat younger son home.

I am very sad to report that we have now watched all of Due South, having decided that we weren't impressed enough with V to keep watching (we are in mourning for Eastwick, which we liked much better and which ABC axed last night, though they're going to finish filming the last three episodes and air all 13). As sad as I am not to have any more Due South, though, I cannot be sorry that the show left me wanting more instead of wishing the whole last season never happened, like with Voyager, La Femme Nikita, X-Files, etc. And I could not have asked for a nicer ending for those characters -- well, obviously they all ended up hanging out together at a cabin above the Arctic Circle having lots of sex, including Francesca (immaculate conception hahahaha), but that said, if Fraser was going to end up with one Ray and not the other, I think they gave him to the right Ray, because Vecchio is resourceful and independent and will get along all right without him, whereas Kowalski would be a basket case, as he made very clear.

And I forgive Ray K for everything because he was so willing to make that clear, with the conversation with Thatcher about not knowing who he is without Fraser (and then denying that's what he was saying). "So, we still partners?" "If you'll have me." Awww. I love the Rays being jealous of each other and then being totally understanding, though I don't buy Ray V would walk away from Chicago and Fraser that quickly -- from police work, probably, after being undercover for so long. I feel very deprived that we did not get to hear Ray K sing ABBA, but getting to hear Frobischer butcher Henry V makes up for that to some extent. And we all howled over "There's a soccer team eating each other!" Really nicely done, even the creepy Oedipal twist of having Paul Gross's wife play his mother...somehow with Fraser that makes some sort of sense.

Autumn trees at Calvert Cliffs State Park in the woods on the hike to the beach.

A narrow, sometimes deep creek...

...widens into a bigger marshy area...

...and then a broad wetlands.

We're pretty sure the beavers who built this lodge are in large part responsible for the wetlands.

Ducks also live in the marsh... well as turtles, snakes, frogs, insects, and many other animals.

Unfortunately, the overlook that reaches furthest into the wetlands has been closed, since the wood is falling apart.

The DC sniper was killed tonight by lethal injection after being denied clemency by Virginia governor Tim Kaine -- a Catholic who personally opposes the death penalty, but vowed to uphold Virginia law if elected, and I'm not sure how to object to this because I want Catholics who personally oppose abortion to treat the law similarly. I don't understand how an execution is supposed to bring peace to the families of the victims. It doesn't bring me any peace at all. It sure doesn't bring any of the victims back. I have no idea how to talk to my children about why it's supposed to be acceptable for the state to kill someone to show that murder is wrong.

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