By Franz Wright
The clouds were pretending to be clouds
when in fact they were overheard comments
regarding his recent behavior, but muffled,
as though heard through a wall. Unlike
the personal messages being conveyed to him
in the form of asides by people on TV, chilling
in their calm and unequivocal malevolence.
In the garden the roses were opening,
chanting in unison, My name is Mary and
you really don't want to come near me,
not if I was the last little swastika nympho
on earth, and what was that supposed to mean!
Then there were the others who lived there.
(Was he living there now?) They were indifferent
to him with the very striking exception
of two friends. He could tell they were friends
by the marked improvement in their moods
when his was at its most truly desolate.
From this week's New Yorker. Wright's 2009 book is Wheeling Motel.
I don't actually like that poem but it reminded me both of this week's Doctor Who (not the television part obviously) and my mood reading the news this morning. I feel personally betrayed by Helen Thomas, which is stupid -- I never met her, I didn't always like her political questions. A Jewish friend told me that she was an Arab, meaning to be provocative, and I got pissed off and said that shouldn't ever be considered relevant since it obviously didn't affect her reporting. Now I am forced to wonder whether that was ever true, and I know that I can't look back at any of her questions about the Middle East or I'll start to see bias that probably isn't there. This is a terrible thing to say, but I actually hope she has a mental disorder and that's the real reason she decided to retire. A degenerating brain is the only thing that might mitigate what she said for me -- she is old enough to remember the Holocaust. I admired her so much and now I can't help despising her. Which doesn't help anything, certainly not the Israelis or Palestinians.
My day was not really eventful -- we finally have a schedule for when we're visiting colleges, so I had to move a whole bunch of appointments and spent a lot of the morning on the phone, then I folded laundry. Adam came home with two of his friends in tow -- one who was locked out of his house, another who wanted to go to the pool as a guest since his family doesn't belong -- eventually Adam and friend number two went to the pool while friend number one stayed here with me and Daniel, watching Arrested Development which was what I had put on while folding laundry. After dinner we watched a reasonably good British production of The Pirates of Penzance on DVD, though the guy playing Frederic looked older than the woman playing Ruth, which makes it more ridiculous (and offensive) than it should be.
Soon after we arrived, however, their parents marched them away. We thought at first it was because of us...
...but it turned out that another family of goslings were coming up from the pond.
These goslings were slightly older; as you can see, they had wing buds.
And they scurried away as quickly as the first family because a third family was coming up the same path.
These goslings had fully developed wings...
...and they were starting to grow feathers.
I love that their feet are just as big as their mother's. She was very protective of them anyway.