By Donald Justice
Picture me, the shy pupil at the door,
One small, tight fist clutching the dread Czerny.
Back then time was still harmony, not money,
And I could spend a whole week practicing for
That moment on the threshold.
Then to take courage,
And enter, and pass among mysterious scents,
And sit quite straight, and with a frail confidence
Assault the keyboard with a childish flourish!
Only to lose one's place, or forget the key,
And almost doubt the very metronome
(Outside, the traffic, the laborers going home),
And still to bear on across Chopin or Brahms,
Stupid and wild with love equally for the storms
Of C# minor and the calms of C.
Discovered via today's Poet's Choice column by Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post, on Justice's elegiac verse.
Fannish Friday Five, gacked belatedly from several people and interesting enough to jot down for posterity:
1. What celebrity would turn you into a complete and utter fangirl/fanboy if you met them in person?
I did it for Louise Fletcher during a phone interview; I'm sure I'd do it in person as well. Also Glenn Close, for whom I did it in person outside the theater where she was doing Benefactors in 1986. And maybe Anjelica Huston. But really I don't even want to meet any of the celebrities I think I admire; I learned that lesson the hard way.
2. What is the MOST fannish thing you have on public display in your home? In your office?
The entire wall over my desk, which is in a corner of the dining room and thus very public space, is covered with fannish memorabilia so it would be hard to pick just one item.
Viggo and Sean drawings by Kim Schultz, Janeway/Chakotay drawing by DRush, Trek caricature by Ben Burg, and I have no idea who took the Lee Remick and Amelia Earhart photos. To the right is a much larger collection of buttons than can be seen in this photo; on the wall perpendicular are DRush drawings of Kai Winn, Kira, Boromir and Xena, plus a mini-LOTR calendar (the one where Legolas had to be turned as on a spit), two little moon-shaped mirrors and a Lady Pendragon action figure, while to the left is a bookcase absolutely crammed full of Trek and LOTR memorabilia, plus the witch visible in the photo. You can't see the Janis Joplin action figure on my desk, nor the miniature Aragorn and Boromir busts on my computer, either.
Also, when people come into our bedroom and see the Star Trek action figures all set up on the TNG bridge set, the DS9 transporter and the engineering set (which houses the Voyager crew though it's TNG), they tend to laugh at us. Well, at me.
3. What is the most public space you've read fic? Did anyone notice?
I tend not to print fic out, there's just too much of it, so it's rare for me to be sitting on a park bench with handfuls of smut. Probably it was in a restaurant when someone gave me a zine and we sat snickering aloud over certain phrases. I have had people look at me and my friends in restaurants very strangely more than once while discussing fic.
4. What is your most embarrassing moment when you had to explain something fannish to a mundane?
I don't remember any deeply embarrassing moments, though it might have been trying to explain to my parents and children why Boromir was making a "Want to blow the Horn of Gondor" remark to Aragorn on the birthday card my husband made me.
5. Name a fannish moment for which you wish you could have a "do over" and fix.
Telling Kate Mulgrew that I would come back and run her fan club several months after I'd turned it over to someone else. THAT is a classic example of having turned into a fangirl at the worst possible moment, and I should have known better and I DID know better but I did it anyway.
My son's hamster, doing his best impression of Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit's doorway.