The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

By Reed Whittemore

But for an hour's sleep in a filthy bed
And a couple of stops for coffee, you have been driving
Steady since yesterday noon--for your country,
Your scoundrel country, suddenly cause
Of all that afflicts you: weather, a cold, a cough, and some psychic malaise
From not being where you should be, wherever that is.

But here at last is the Base; at the gate you exhibit
Your terrible summons, are passed, and pass on, in
To that old familiar wasteland of barracks and mess halls,
Where nothing, nothing has changed, could change, and no soldier,
No matter how daintily dandled and distanced by time,
Could think himself anywhere but (though unhappily) home.

You report to an insolent CQ reading the funnies.
You report to an empty supply room for sheets and blankets.
You report and report, sign your name, sign your name, and the forms
Lengthen, the files fatten, and lazily
The paperwork army marches, marches, marches
Through file-case crevasses, in-and-out-box morasses, everlastingly,

To chow. And the years come back.
Chow, time's goal, time's grail, is again before you,
A mirage from out of your past in maybe a dozen
States and countries: hundreds of heavy
Days dragging toward hundreds of lunches and suppers,
And not a step further.

It all comes back.
And you, falling in, march too, again, toward chow,
Having lost in one tedious morning five or six years
Of omething that ailed you, and found the old remedy:
"Hip, hip. Eyes front. Chin up," to the tick
Of the marvellous stomach clock.


I have very little to report from my Wednesday except that I am caught up on some things and not caught up on other things. This is in large part because I took two and a half hours to fold one load of laundry while watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, since of course I had to make sure the DVD worked correctly. *whistles* Adam's new laptop that he bought with some of his Bar Mitzvah money arrived, so there was much rejoicing...well, at least until he had problems getting it to make a backup disc, but it runs Spore properly and that is apparently all that matters. Plus we read in The Hollywood Reporter that Robin Williams and Elijah Wood are going to play penguins again in a Happy Feet sequel, so there was rejoicing about that, too.

Seasonal decorations on the smaller barn at Art of Fire on the Countryside Artisans Tour last weekend. (The snow on the bushes is real, not a decoration.)

Inside the building, some of Dancing Pig's fabulous pottery.

At the studio, professional glassblowers and students were working on projects.

The sheep at Dancing Leaf Farm...

...produce much of the wool that is spun into yarn.

They also raise their own chickens.

They seemed much more irritated about the snow than did the sheep.

And here at The Artisans in McLean is Jody Marshall playing the hammered dulcimer behind the free food at the open house.

PBS had a tribute to Peter, Paul & Mary on that was wonderful and sad, since the inevitable pledge drive interruptions were filmed after Mary Travers died and Peter Yarrow seemed older and more resigned than I've ever seen him. Then came Glee, which makes me schizophrenic -- one minute it's my favorite thing I've watched all week, and the next I want to smack someone. Usually the "favorite thing" parts are musical numbers, and the smacking is pretty much every storyline involving a female character who isn't Mercedes -- her version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was wonderful, but having seen the previews, I was already thinking, sigh, and how are they going to sideline her this week to let Rachel have the big moment? As for Rachel, she gets her five seconds NOT being a selfish bitch letting Mercedes do the ballad, then she tells Finn about Quinn entirely for her own reasons, thus negating any good karma she has ever built up. Quinn is much kinder to her than I feel.

Maybe I am being too harsh on Rachel, whom I think we are, overall, supposed to like, and who has the excuse of being 1) a teenage girl and 2) not nearly as much of a bitch as Kurt, not to mention the Cheerios except the ones we're supposed to like except when we're supposed to hate them. I wish Rachel were the gay character, since on TV there's never more than one in an entire high school -- of course she was going to do Barbra, Judy or Liza! Sue is perfectly delightful and I don't see how we're even supposed to take her evil seriously considering that she leaked the set list BEFORE it was decided that Mercedes was going to do Dreamgirls, but she's characterized as representing everything A Woman Is Not Supposed To Be while we're told that what Will really needs is a sniveling virgin. How very Disney -- Enchanted came to the same conclusion, what all men want are not real women but malleable ingenues, even if they have to be given total bitch psychos first to send them careening in that direction. Ugh. I need to remember to turn my brain off while watching, because Dawson's Creek's sexual politics was decades ahead of Glee's.

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