The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday, Brookside Lights, 'The King's Speech'

By Meghan O'Rourke

Pawnbroker, scavenger, cheapskate,
come creeping from your pigeon-filled backrooms,
past guns and clocks and locks and cages,
past pockets emptied and coins picked from the floor;
come sweeping with the rainclouds down the river
through the brokenblack windows of factories
to avenues where movies whisk through basement projectors
and children peel up into the supplejack twilight—
there a black-eyed straight-backed drag queen
preens, fusses, fixes her hair in a shop window on Prince,
a young businessman jingles his change
and does his Travis Bickle for a long-faced friend,
there on the corner I laughed at a joke Jim made.
In the bedroom the moon is a dented spoon,
cold, getting colder, so hurry sleep,
come creep into bed, let’s get it over with;
lay me down and close my eyes
and tell me whip, tell me winnow
tell me sweet tell me skittish
tell me No tell me no such thing
tell me straw into gold tell me crept into fire
tell me lost all my money tell me hoarded, verboten,
but promise tomorrow I will be profligate,
stepping into the sun like a trophy.


I had a perfectly lovely Thursday. I met gblvr at Kohl's, where we looked at their post-holiday-markdown jewelry and concluded that their add-a-beads aren't our favorites. Then we went to see The King's Speech, since she had not seen it and I was dying to see it again -- it only gets better on repeat viewings, and Colin Firth's performance even more impressive. Afterward, we went to lunch downstairs at Tara Thai, then we walked over to Bath & Body Works (which still has many items at 75% off, and was having its first January Thursday freebie giveaway) and Charming Charlie (which has a wall and a half full of half-price-or-less items). So I have vanilla lemon body wash and a long red bead necklace and half a serving of panang tofu for lunch tomorrow, all for very little money, and I have a list of scenes I absolutely adore in The King's Speech, in no particular order and by no means comprehensive:

HRH Elizabeth the first time she meets Lionel, particularly figuring out by herself how to use the lift.

Lionel telling Bertie that cigarettes (which will eventually kill Bertie) are poison, to which Bertie replies that his doctors have told him they relax the throat, to which Lionel replies that the doctors are idiots, to which Bertie replies that they've all been knighted, to which Lionel replies, "That makes it official, then."

Bertie listening to the recording of himself reading Hamlet after being certain it was rubbish.

The expression on Elizabeth's face during the breathing exercises when Lionel has her sitting on Bertie's diaphragm. "And up goes Her Royal Highness...and down comes Her Royal Highness."

Bertie showing up unannounced just after his father dies, begging for a drink. Lionel gives him one: "What are friends for?" Bertie: "I wouldn't know."

The look on Lionel's face when Bertie reveals that his brother shared a woman with him in Paris. Bertie interprets it as shock/horror and quickly adds, "Not at the same time." I don't think Lionel's shock/horror is at Bertie's revelation itself, but at how much it arouses Lionel.

Bertie, after resisting Lionel's suggestion that he sing things he can't say, confessing that he was abused by a nanny to the tune of "Swanee River." This entire scene is completely heartbreaking.

Bertie -- who is genuinely distraught -- trying not to cry at father's deathbed, while David -- who is distraught only because it'll complicate his life with Wallis -- bawls loudly on their stone-faced mother's shoulder.

Bertie arriving home (which is being packed for the move to Buckingham Palace) after a terrible first day as King, seeing his daughters, opening his arms for a hug that he desperately needs, only to have them step back and curtsy. I thought he was going to burst into tears. This scene is completely heartbreaking too.

Myrtle Logue coming home to find the Queen of England in her parlor. And the fact that Bertie brought his wife with him for support when he went to make up with Lionel.

Every second of the coronation rehearsal scenes, particularly Lionel in Saint Edward's Chair while Bertie rails about how much he loved him, excuse me, trusted him, and now the Archbishop is breathing down his neck because Lionel doesn't have a medical degree.

The various scenes of Lionel with his family thinking of Bertie while listening to national addresses on the radio -- the death of George V, the start of the war, etc.

And, of course, Bad Words therapy. (Bertie: "Shit! Fuck! Bugger! Willy! Tits!" Lionel's son: "Dad, is everything all right?")

Adam got home before me and Daniel had robotics, though the cats pretended they had not been fed yet, and I got to take a walk before dinner, for which Paul decided that we should have Welsh rarebit. We watched $#%! My Dad Says, which was not at the top of its game but now we will all start laughing if anyone ever talks about needing help with their taxes; then we watched the second-to-last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation so I can review it. I told the family I had good news -- I am going to review the Animated Series, since it's the only one TrekToday doesn't have in its database -- though younger son was not entirely sure that that counted as good news since it means he'll watch them, ha. And I got my Macbeth Superpoke Pets background complete with witches. So a really good day! Here are some final photos of Brookside's Garden of Lights before it's too late in January for them to be fun:


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