The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Brookside Blooms

Illiterate Progenitor
By Mary Karr

My father lived so far from the page
      the only mail he got was marked Occupant.
            The century had cored him with its war, and he paid
                  bills in person, believed in flesh and the family plan.

In that house of bookish females, his glasses slid on
      for fishing lures and carburetor work,
            the obits, my report cards, the scores.
                  He was otherwise undiluted by the written word.

At a card table, his tales could entrance a ring of guys
      till each Timex paused against each pulse,
            and they'd stare like schoolboys even as he wiped
                  from the center the green bills anted up.

Come home. I'm lonely, he wrote in undulating script. I'd left
      to scale each distant library's marble steps like Everest
            till I was deaf to the wordlessness
                  he was mired in, which drink made permanent.

He took his smoke unfiltered, milk unskimmed.
      He liked his steaks marbled, fatback on mustard greens,
            onions eaten like apples, split turnips dipped
                  into rock salt, hot-pepper vinegar on black beans.


Another from this week's New Yorker. Some weeks they're zero for three as far as I'm concerned, but I adored both of this week's poems.

I'm a week late, but I got to have a birthday lunch with cidercupcakes at California Pizza Kitchen! And even though it was her birthday, she brought me Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean! And we schmoozed a bit in the mall since we were eating in a restaurant there and since everything is on sale at this time of year. Then we came back to my house and watched the first several episodes of the second season of Merlin, of which I think "The Once and Future Queen" is my favorite -- I wish the writing for Morgana was stronger but they did a great job with Guinevere this season.

A bird-of-paradise plant at Brookside Gardens last weekend.

This is a rare white bird-of-paradise, native to South Africa, which has been at Brookside since it opened in 1969. In 1980 it was one of only two plants that survived a deep freeze when the boilers failed.

These are false bird-of-paradise, better known as heliconia. You can see why it got the former name.

This is a staghorn fern plant. I don't think I need to explain that name either.

Anthurium, one of many red flowers chosen to be displayed for the season.

A red powder puff plant, better (?) known as calliandra haematocephala.

There were many white flowers on display too, including this hanging orchid.

The flowers on this banana tree did not fit in precisely with the Christmas colors, but it's nice to see that there will be bananas soon!

Evening consisted of watching the news, being horrified by the images from Haiti and appalled by Pat Robertson, watching the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode I need to review this week before the long weekend ("Realm of Fear," the one in which Barclay discovers gremlins in the transporter and does his best Shatner Twilight Zone impression), pretending to care about the UConn game (I do not actually know or care who won), and listening to Stewart and Colbert's commentary on Game Change (hahahaha). Now I must extract my cats from the afghan currently on the couch since the couch cover had to be washed and get some sleep.

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