By Cynthia Cruz
Awkward, and almost always the idiot
Savant, mutant, retard, I
Travel my own effervescent weather,
In my underwater
Vessel, my sweet
Mars, and soundless
Daydream, magical sweep of Rimbaudian
Clumsy, and guileless, mind-
Blind, and deathly shy,
Winning every spelling bee,
Every math contest,
Done before the rest, finishing
First in science test.
Hiding the quarterly honor-roll awards
I won beneath the bed.
The shame of being
Seen consumes me.
And I fight it back,
A landowner warding off
Leagues of feral thieves,
With fire, handheld torch, burning back
The onslaught. In grade school,
Listening to the same Blondie song in my bedroom, over
And over for hours, days,
For years. No friends
But the one: silent, and sitting
In my head. Running laps around
The house for five, ten, fifteen
Calories of everything put
Into my mouth—desperate to ward the onslaught
Off. Until I am nothing
But a body.
Burn the body down
And, with it, out goes the pilot
Blue light of the mind.
I was pretty back then.
Maybe, way back then,
Before I began.
From this week's New Yorker.
I had a very nice Wednesday that turned out more self-indulgent than I had intended. I went to Kentlands in Gaithersburg because it has several craft stores right near each other, including a bigger Michael's than the one nearer my house, a high-end bead store with gorgeous semi-precious beads that I wouldn't trust myself with, and the bead store where dementordelta and I get our little glass animal beads that also has knock-off Pandora charms 3 for $1. There is a nice vintage/consignment shop in Kentlands too, where I found a pretty Brighton purse for $25 and a Lilly Pulitzer sweater for $30, but the purse had a fraying strap and the sweater was stained under one arm, so it was easy for me to resist because I got this shirt with tigers playing in cherry blossoms in the mail today, having paid $9 for it from an Etsy seller -- whoo! (I also have a bag made from Tiger Lilly fabric like this, only larger and with fabric straps, for which I paid $15...I love Etsy.)
I also like this arrangement of benches and the pavilion on Main Street (the movie theaters are all the way at the other end; Whole Foods is just to the west).
This was supposed to be a photo of the dollhouse inside the window, but the reflections of the real houses overwhelmed it, which I also think looks kind of cool. I really need a phone with a better camera, though!
I have nothing profound to say about the State of the Union, which I watched with my (understandably) cynical children who were disappointed we didn't have a drinking game going for each standing ovation so they could watch us keel over during the first 15 minutes. I am delighted that Obama renewed his pledge to overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but I don't understand why he is waiting for Congress -- Truman knew better, he used an executive order to integrate the armed forces, and while it's true that technically a successor could have overturned that, in practice it would be really difficult. I'm utterly skeptical of any promises concerning the economy at this point, particularly since the Republicans refused to applaud even for things that were at one time their own proposals, like tax breaks for corporations that keep jobs in the U.S. And although I appreciated the balanced look at the problems of the past year, I've seen whining already that Obama didn't give us a pat line about how the state of our union is strong...so what hope is there for bipartisanship or even grownup discussion, really?