The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday, Ikebana and Bonsai

Again a Solstice
By Jennifer Chang

It is not good to think
of everything as a mistake. I asked
for bacon in my sandwich, and then

I asked for more. Mistake.
I told you the truth about my scar:

I did not use a knife. I lied
about what he did to my faith
in loneliness. Both mistakes.

That there is always a you. Mistake.
Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed,

is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris.
Not a mistake is the blue boredom
of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae!

We swim in glittering murk.
I tread, you tread. There are children

testing the deep end, shriek and stroke,
the lifeguard perilously close to diving.
I tried diving once. I dove like a brick.

It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet
for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe.

I was young and broke. I swam
in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake.
Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion

I'll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake,
kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread.

What does it even mean to write a poem?
It means today
I'm correcting my mistakes.

It means I don't want to be lonely.


Monday was a gorgeous day -- even the cats had to agree, since I had the screen doors open and they spent the part of it not asleep staring out at the crazy squirrels trying to find every last acorn before winter. I did not do anything exciting (work, laundry) besides take a walk, on part of which I was joined by a neighbor and her little boys which made it exciting since one never knows when a swordfight with sticks is going to break out with little boys around, but I saw the deer and the bunny in addition to the crazy squirrels and chipmunks (and I forgot to mention that last night turning into our neighborhood we saw the fox).

Adam went home with his girlfriend to study or something like that, so it was quiet around here till dinnertime, when Adam showed us the photo he took of his friend covered in leaves in the woods. We watched Terra Nova, which still needs to show the big picture instead of teasing us with it since a lot of it feels contrived, but the women are much less cliched than the men so it's been worth following so far. Now we are hoping the Bears will pull it off against the Eagles. Here are some photos of the ikebana, bonsai, and suiseki exhibit in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens:


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