The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Reruns

Almost Sixty
By Jim Moore


     No, I don't know

the way to get there.
     Two empty suitcases sit in the corner,
if that's any kind of clue.


     This spring night,

everyone at the party
     younger than me
except for one man.
     We give each other the secret password.


     Tears? Of course, but also the marsh grass

near the Mississippi:
     your whispers and mine,
and the dog's long contented sighs.


My phone has (mostly) been restored, I still have no answer as to why every time Verizon pushes an update suddenly it can't talk to Google -- the rest of my family have the same phones and do not have this problem, though they've had other problems with the market suddenly not working -- and I am tired because I was up too late fighting with this. Plus my eye, which is now more itchy than painful, still looks really gross, and this is getting old, as is feeling like I am whining all the time, for which I apologize. At one point on Wednesday I had plans with both vertigo66 and gblvr but they both got postponed considering that none of us were feeling well.

So it was a quiet day during which I mostly worked on my LiveJournal backup project, which has taken me back to February 2004 -- at which time, instead of posting one big entry most days, I was posting three or four times a day with lots of random links and quizzes and stuff and it takes longer to download and save everything. 2004 was not a great year for me online -- I had lots of wankiness in my life and really if it had not been for ldybastet I think I would have left fandom completely. It was interesting, though, to read through a blowup with one of the biggest BNFs in fandom, which I had not saved in my memories, where I had wondered whether I was somehow misremembering and was I actually rude to her or something that warranted how she treated me, but no -- just as I'd remembered, she read a locked post, twisted what I'd said in it to write a rant of her own for reasons that are still not clear to me, and defriended me in a huff when I would not apologize to her for being angry that she repeatedly and deliberately misquoted what I'd said to make an argument that had nothing to do with what I'd been talking about among friends.

I am sorry that Steve Jobs is dead -- it is always a tragedy when someone dies at 56, and I appreciate the impact he had on our culture, though I'm not really a fan of his corporate practices. But the hysteria on Facebook and Twitter finally made me stop reading both. Civil rights icon Fred Shuttlesworth also died and I'm betting his obituary ends up getting buried by the "What's Next For Apple?" articles, because most of the media attention seems to be not on the loss of a life but on the irreplaceable corporate leadership. TV news has already been distracted back to grand slams and the non-news about Sarah Palin's non-run, anyway. I was going to post some more Renfaire photos, but LiveJournal is down again, so here is a rerun from 2004:

The House of the Seven Gables with Salem Harbor beyond. 2004 marks the 200th birthday of Nathaniel Hawthorne and all of Salem seems to be celebrating, as he was connected with the things for which the city is famous -- seafaring trade, literature, witchcraft and the struggle with religious intolerance.

Before going to Salem, however, we started our day at Saugus Iron Works, a working blast furnace, forge, slitting mill and sailing transport rebuilt on the site of the original from the 1640s. This is where the first cast and wrought iron were produced in North America.

It also happens to be a beautiful national park site, set on the river chosen to provide power, transport and nearby lumber for the ironworks. There are rangers at the forge and bellows at different times; iron is worked here. There's also a room full of artifacts from the original 350+ year old site.

The Old Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, backing up to the Witch Trials Memorial. The victims are not buried here -- indeed, no one is certain where they are buried, since they could not be buried in consecrated ground; apparently it is believed that their families took them from Gallows Hill and interred them privately. The stones in this cemetery date to the 1600s, and include a judge from the trials and a Mayflower passenger.

In front of the Salem Witch Museum, a statue of Roger Conant, the first settler of Salem in 1626.

At the New England Pirate Museum, a model of Rachel Wall, the last woman hanged in Massachusetts; though she admitted to piracy, she denied having killed the man for whose murder she was executed.

The front of the Custom House. At one time, I learned today, 90 percent of US revenue came from taxes on imports. Nathaniel Hawthorne worked here and based parts of The Scarlet Letter on his experiences as a customs inspector.

The light at the end of Derby Wharf. During the early 1700s, local merchants traded local fish, lumber and manufactured goods all over the world, bringing in so many imports that its captains met people in Asian ports who believed that Salem was an independent country. During the American Revolution and the War of 1812, many of the merchant vessels became privateers and helped make the US a naval power.

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