Friday, February 28, 2003

Poem for Friday

by Kenneth Rexroth

I pass your home in a slow vermilion dawn,
The blinds are drawn, and the windows are open.
The soft breeze from the lake
Is like your breath upon my cheek.
All day long I walk in the intermittent rainfall.
I pick a vermilion tulip in the deserted park,
Bright raindrops cling to its petals.
At five o'clock it is a lonely color in the city.
I pass your home in a rainy evening,
I can see you faintly, moving between lighted walls.
Late at night I sit before a white sheet of paper,
Until a fallen vermilion petal quivers before me.

* * * *

Have read that Yahoo has been hacked, spammed, infected by a virus or otherwise disabled. This explains why I have gotten parts one and three of certain stories from mailing lists but am missing part two.

May I just say that I really dislike the current plan for Ground Zero and really loved the design for the open-lattice ghost towers?

I was sad about Mr. Rogers yesterday but this New York Times editorial just broke my heart.

And Nicholas Kristof suggests that Bush negotiate with North Korea, if "negotiation" is in his vocabulary -- it's a five-syllable word.

I am home in the snow with my kids...again. If you miss me, call. *g*

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Poem for Thursday

The Anactoria Poem
By Sappho
Translated by Jim Powell

Some say thronging cavalry, some say foot soldiers,
others call a fleet the most beautiful of
sights the dark earth offers, but I say it's what-
        ever you love best.

And it's easy to make this understood by
everyone, for she who surpassed all human
kind in beauty, Helen, abandoning her
        husband--that best of

men--went sailing off to the shores of Troy and
never spent a thought on her child or loving
parents: when the goddess seduced her wits and
        left her to wander,

she forgot them all, she could not remember
anything but longing, and lightly straying
aside, lost her way. But that reminds me
        now: Anactória,

she's not here, and I'd rather see her lovely
step, her sparkling glance and her face than gaze on
all the troops in Lydia in their chariots and
        glittering armor.

Farewell Mr. Rogers.

Here's my Enterprise review. It's not very inspiring but then neither was the episode, a straightforward action hour with absolutely no social or dramatic relevance and little subtext, other than Reed's concern for Archer and Tucker's oh-so-gay benchmate. I was hoping for prison movie fun!

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

There are Days
By John Montague

There are days when
one should be able
to pluck off one's head
like a dented or worn
helmet, straight from
the nape and collarbone
(those crackling branches!)

and place it firmly down
in the bed of a flowing stream.
Clear, clean, chill currents
coursing and spuming through
the sour and stale compartments
of the brain, dimmed eardrums,
bleared eyesockets, filmed tongue.

And then set it back again
on the base of the shoulders:
well tamped down, of course,
the laved skin and mouth,
the marble of the eyes
rinsed and ready
for love; for prophecy?

It's snowing. They're saying three inches by nightfall. So the roads will be a mess again and the kids will probably miss even more school, but it is so damn beautiful.

Am about to turn down a job reviewing the two C.S.I. shows for $50 a week. Could use the money but I've never seen a single episode of either show and can't help thinking that there must be better, more worthy ways to earn $50 a week. I believe I am Officially Burned Out on entertainment reporting. I seem to have come full circle; after shoving fandom aside for the chance to make money watching television, I'm back to believing that fandom is the only thing that makes watching television worthwhile.

I'm probably fucked in the head, but what the hell.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Sonnets from the Portuguese 20
Beloved, My Beloved
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
That thou wast in the world a year ago,
What time I sate alone here in the snow
And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
No moment at thy voice...but, link by link,
Went counting all my chains, as if that so
They never could fall off at any blow
Struck by thy possible hand ... why, thus I drink
Of life's great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
With personal act or speech,--nor ever cull
Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
Who cannot guess God's presence out of sight.

I'm still feeling somewhat yucky. But am in an amused mood, because I see that Karl and Viggo were very busy in Japan. And now we know how Karl's fly got unzipped. (Images shamelessly swiped from Bag End Inn and , click to see larger originals, many thanks.)

Make love, not war.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Poem for Monday

by Sharon Olds

After we flew across the country we
got into bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states united, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Simon and Garfunkel!!!! That is all I have to say about the Grammys.

Lots of Smallville in this week. One thing I have noticed in fandoms is that often as a show's writing wavers, the fic gets better. When a show's very tightly written, like Babylon 5 in its heyday, the fic sometimes doesn't offer all that much, but a really mediocre show like The Sentinel often leaves gaping plot holes to fill. Then again West Wing has spawned some wonderful fic and most Andromeda fic is as mediocre as that show deserves, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

Not in the mood for talking about the headlines. Would rather talk about Pete Hamill's Forever, which is phenomenal at the halfway point. I'm reading it slowly because I don't know what I'm going to read when I finish it, and it was hard enough to find something with which to follow up Summerland.

My wonderful husband bought me The Guru soundtrack. "I'm gonna fly so high..."

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Poem for Sunday

I'll Try to Tell You What I Know
By Martha Serpas

Sometimes it's so hot the thistle bends
to the morning dew and the limbs of trees
seem so weighted they won't hold up moss
anymore. The women sit and swell
with the backwash of old family pain
and won't leave the house to walk across
the neighbor's yard. One man takes up a shotgun
over the shit hosed from a pen of dogs.
One boy takes a fist of rings and slams the face
of a kid throwing shells at his car.
That shiny car is all the love his father
has to give. And his mother cooks
the best shrimp étouffée and every day
smokes three packs down to their mustard-colored ends.

One night the finest woman I ever
knew pulled a cocktail waitress by the hair
out of the backseat of her husband's new
Eldorado Cadillac and knocked her
down between the cars at the Queen Bee Lounge.
She drove the man slumped and snoring with his hand
in his pants home and not a word was said.
I'll try to tell you what I know
about people who love each other
and the fear of losing that cuts a path
as wide as a tropical storm through the marsh
and gets closer each year
to falling at the foot of your door.

About once every six months I actually remember to watch Saturday Night Live, usually because of the musical guest. Last night, in addition to the Foo Fighters, Christopher Walken was hosting. Now, I had rewatched The Prophecy the night before ('s fault) and I absolutely loved him in Catch Me If You Can so I was just in the mood for him.

And he sang! Both in the opening and in two different skits! But the highlight of the show was his portrayal of Colonel Ingus, southern-fried bearded ladies' man.

"Where are you headed, Colonel Ingus?"

"Down South. I like the heat and the humidity."

"Oh, my word! I've always dreamed of having Colonel Ingus in my house!"

"Well, if I overstay my welcome, just tap me on the head."

Then he got stripped of his rank and asked everyone to call him by his given name, Anal. Christopher fucking Walken. Finger-lickin' good.

Addendum: From ...someone please, please explain this Viggo/Karl picture to me. Especially Karl's unzipped fly. *g* (, make the obvious comment!)

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Poem for Very Rainy Saturday

Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae
By Carl Sandberg

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
When I awoke and found the dawn was gray:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.


Rita Dove wrote about this poem in one of the first "Poet's Choice" columns I ever read.

Gacked from , I can't decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing but it's probably not that far off-target at any rate:

Which Rocky character are you?

Friday, February 21, 2003

Poem for Friday

By Michael Redhill

Ich glaube an Nächte

Watching the garden winter under the moon,
we think of the brown animals
under the earth. Or the bulbs
of the jonquils frozen there
with their orange eyes clenched in coils.
White and silent night, the air cold as iron
and the lake like an old woman under a blanket.
We gave your grandma marijuana tea
to lull the cancer clenched in her like fists.

Our legs are weak after making love
but we walk across the solid lake.
We're wrapped in the husk of a Bay blanket,
the air smells like wool and our heat
billows around us, animal. The lake
clicks as we walk, a photograph
curling up at the edges. Far under
hibernating fish drift in the current,
their bodies curving back and forth,
while above them the moon
glows on the snowless patches--
a white heart expanding under the ice.
And in our blanket, our bodies
hold the shapes of the people
whose cells we slept in for generations.

Friday Five:
1. What is your most prized material possession?
A novel, written and autographed by someone I know, about someone else I know. Critically acclaimed and worth quite a bit of money on the antiquarian market as it's out of print, but that's not why it's valuable to me; I was insanely in love for ten years with the person who inspired the main character.

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?
The stuffed rabbit that was my very first toy (a.k.a. Big Bunny) is still in my mother's house. But in my current home, I think it's the silver baby rattle in my jewelry box.

3. Are you a packrat?
A photograph of myself and my house could appear in the dictionary under "pack rat." Though I don't save empty bottles, old envelopes and that kind of thing, just every piece of junk I ever got from a McDonald's Happy Meal, all the 45s we can't even play on our turntable, etc.

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?
The only way I could live in a spic-and-span clean house is if I were a multimillionaire with an enormous house wtih tons of storage space and a staff of five people to keep it that way. Forget that I don't mind clutter; I don't even notice clutter unless it's blocking my path through the living room. and can attest to this.

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?
My bedroom houses most of my Star Trek collection, which has been ongoing since the 1970s and includes numerous action figures, model ships and a couple of heinous Franklin Mint plates. Lately some of the Trek figures have been hidden behind Lord of the Rings stuff, though. (A photograph of myself and my bedroom could appear under "geek" in the dictionary as well.) The basement is where the kids keep the Nintendo and their old trains, but it's also where we have 17 double-layered bookcases and my husband's collection of board games, so I don't know that one could say it has a theme besides "stupid popular entertainment." There are thousands of books, videotapes and CDs all over the house, so the few classy items we own are pretty much buried.

* * * *

Here's my "Future Tense" review. I wish Enterprise could get its shit together, because sometimes I really enjoy it -- in fact I could watch it for Trip alone, if only they'd write him consistently.

points out that Neil Gaiman has written Smeagol/Gollum fanfic! I'm not a Gaiman fan and didn't follow the whole rant-fest about whether he had dissed fan fiction except inasmuch as my Green Man Review friends were involved, but I did get a kick out of this.

Take part in the Virtual March on Washington -- e-mail, fax and phone your senators to oppose war with Iraq on February 26.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Poem for Slow Thursday following Night of the Dead Livejournal

I Have Been Living
By Jane Mead

I have been living
closer to the ocean than I thought--
in a rocky cove thick with seaweed.

It pulls me down when I go wading.
Sometimes, to get back to land
takes everything that I have in me.

Sometimes, to get back to land
is the worst thing a person can do.
Meanwhile, we are dreaming:

The body is innocent.
She has never hurt me.
What we love flutters in us.

Which fandom would you burn at the stake if such a thing were possible?

None. It is very easy to walk away from a fandom that's no fun. Or to start up one's own little corner. It's questions like this that make me worry about fandom as a concept, not any given stupidity in any given fandom.

Which fandom would you roll around naked in like so many $100 bills, if you could?

Really good character-based LOTR, with lots of background from the bibliophiles but largely movie-based -- no Silm, no elf-obsessives, no long exposition showing off the writer's knowledge of Middle-earth geography.

Describe your dream fandom (ie, list-based, LJ-based, filled with True Believers, filled with fandom_wankers, etc.)

All of the above with everyone getting along and tolerating everyone else's differences and quirks. Yeah, I know, it's more likely that Dom and Elijah will get married in Central Park than that I'll find that. Personally I prefer to hang out with people who are neither obsessive True Believers nor perpetual Wankers, and I love the posting interface and communities on LJ, but I was in fandom when it was all letterzines and could probably go back to a fandom that consists just of me and my two best friends if necessary.

Name five people who you'd want in your fandom:

Limiting this to five is absolutely impossible. I'd start with , , , and . Two of those are people who live near me, and it always makes fandom more fun when you can talk to people face to face; three of them are good friends, credentialed Minions of Satan and great writers to boot. I also really love , , , and way too many others to list -- both recent friends from LOTR and going way back to early days of Trek fandom ( and , it's so cool to have found you again!) Oh, and I'm betting will follow me into my next fandom whether I want her to or not.

Name five people you'd stab if they joined your fandom:

Nobody. In fact I can't even think of a single person who'd drive me out of a fandom -- there are a couple who almost did, but I just went and hid in another corner for awhile.

Have you ever flamed anyone?

Only when they flamed me first.

Did they deserve it?

Hell yes. Not that that is really an excuse, since flames only beget flames. But sometimes I cannot sit back and watch certain BNF-types flaming and steamrolling an entire fandom while their cronies and would-be-buddies post "Yes sister!" without objecting.

What's the biggest regret of your fannish history?

That I didn't leave Voyager fandom while I was still enjoying it, when I could have left with happy memories rather than bitterness.

How bad was the worst story you ever put out for public consumption?

I have no idea -- the stories I consider my worst have still gotten good feedback from some people, while some of the stories I'm really proud of hardly even seem to have been read. I never put anything out that was unreadable in terms of grammar, spelling, etc., and in terms of plot and characterization, we all have such different tastes anyway, who can say?

What's the meanest thing you've ever done in your fannish history?

I've been brutally honest with people about their fic when I knew full well that they didn't want brutal honesty. I edited a fan club newsletter for years and rejected a lot of material less kindly than I might have. I've also had to do stuff from when I was running an actor's official fan club that I'm sure has me on many people's shit lists, but in those cases I wasn't choosing to be mean -- I had publicists and a board of directors concurring with decisions that drastic steps had to be taken.

Have you ever dated someone you met via fandom?


Have you ever killed someone you met via fandom?

Never even thought about it.

But you've wanted to, right?

Not really. The people I want to kill have done things to my family on a scale way beyond anything that ever comes up in fandom; if I met anyone in fandom whom I really wanted to kill, I'd leave the fandom immediately.

If there was a Women/Men of Fandom calendar, would you pose naked for it?

Hahahahaha! For money?

A/B I'm reading:
's "Fortifications"
's "Marked" (READ THE WARNINGS! Do not blame me if you don't!)
's drabbles over on her DeadJournal

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

I'm A Fool To Love You
By Cornelius Eady

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don't want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.
My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That's how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.
And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it's the only leverage
You've got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man's kisses
A healing.

First noticed via , Stick-Figure Smallville!

Pointed out by (may have been up awhile but I hadn't noticed it yet), Hand-Puppet Movie Theater's The Two Towers! (Fave lines -- Eowyn: "You're hot, sweaty and you have a sword. Let's fight." Aragorn: "Don't worry, Eowyn. I'm sure no cage can contain your raging hormones.")

I am barely geek at all. Though this is mostly true.
I am 33% Geek
You probably work in computers, or a history deptartment at a college. You never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But you have friends, and this is a good thing.
Take the Geek Test at

I want Aragorn from Return of the King!

And on a serious note, a Thomas Friedman NYT column on Bush administration lies and French hypocrisy that I don't agree with overall but which made some interesting points.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

...and a snowy Tuesday poem and such

Love's Acolyte
By Elsa Gidlow

Many have loved you with lips and fingers
And lain with you till the moon went out;
Many have brought you lover's gifts!
And some have left their dreams on your doorstep.

But I who am youth among your lovers
Come like an acolyte to worship,
My thirsting blood restrained by reverence,
My heart a wordless prayer.

The candles of desire are lighted,
I bow my head, afraid before you,
A mendicant who craves your bounty
Ashamed of what small gifts she brings.

I am 74% Evil Genius

Evil courses through my blood. Lies and deceit motivate my evil deeds. Crushing the weaklings and idiots who do nothing but interfere in my doings.
target="_blank">Take the Evil Genius Test at

Wow. I am MUCH more evil genius than tortured artist.

I was going to do that favorite icon thing, but there are just so many, and then I was going to limit it to one theme, like my favorite LOTR icons. So I decided to stick to Aragorn/Boromir icons I love, since there might be a manageable number of those, and I decided to post them in in the interests of sharing the love. Here they are.

In case anyone wants to see them, here are my icons -- the ones I've made for myself, some of the ones I've made for other people, and some of the ones other people have made for me.

And discovered by , href="">a new Aragorn/Boromir drawing at Shepherd Moon.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Poem for Snowy February 16

Mostly Mick Jagger
By Catie Rosemurgy


Thank god he stuck his tongue out.
When I was twelve I was in danger
of taking my body seriously.
I thought the ache in my nipple was priceless.
I thought I should stay very still
and compare it to a button,
a china saucer,
a flash in a car side-mirror,
so I could name the ache either big or little,
then keep it forever. He blew no one a kiss,
then turned into a maw.

After I saw him, when a wish moved in my pants.
I nurtured it. I stalked around my room
kicking my feet up just like him, making
a big deal of my lips. I was my own big boy.
I wouldn't admit it then,
but be definitely cocks his hip
as if he is his own little girl.


People ask me--I make up interviews
while I brush my teeth--"So, what do you remember best
about your childhood?" I say
mostly the drive toward Chicago.
Feeling as if I'm being slowly pressed against the skyline.
Hoping to break a window.
Mostly quick handfuls of boys' skin.
Summer twilights that took forever to get rid of.
Mostly Mick Jagger.


How do I explain my hungry stare?
My Friday night spent changing clothes?
My love for travel? I rewind the way he says "now"
with so much roof of the mouth.
I rewind until I get a clear image of myself:
I'm telling the joke he taught me
about my body. My mouth is stretched open
so I don't laugh. My hands are pretending
to have just discovered my own face.
My name is written out in metal studs
across my little pink jumper.
I've got a mirror and a good idea
of the way I want my face to look.
When I glance sideways my smile should twitch
as if a funny picture of me is taped up
inside the corner of my eye.
A picture where my hair is combed over each shoulder,
my breasts are well-supported, and my teeth barely show.
A picture where I'm trying hard to say "beautiful."

He always says "This is my skinny rib cage,
my one, two chest hairs."
That's all he ever says.
Think of a bird with no feathers
or think of a hundred lips bruising every inch of his skin.
There are no pictures of him hoping
he said the right thing.

Nearly a foot of snow is on the ground and it's still falling, sometimes little powdery dots, sometimes bigger sharp flakes. So beautiful. May curl up on the couch and watch the Fellowship extended DVD since I haven't for a couple of months.

Today would have been my mother's mother's 97th birthday. It's also my niece Sabrina's birthday, my sister-in-law Brooke's birthday (and she may well have twins today!) and my husband's cousin Lisa's birthday. I can justify eating the rest of my Valentine's Day candy with all these celebrations going on, right?

So in addition to that card, my husband burned me a CD for Valentine's Day of Shatner/Nimoy greatest hits ("Proud Mary," "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "If I Had a Hammer," the Shatner Priceline Suite, etc.) Utterly hilarious. I absolutely love being married to a slash-tolerant techno-geek Trekkie.

From , Jerry Springer Mad Libs!

And from a mailing list, this reasonably cute LOTR joke.

Thank Bush for small favors. Very small. But still better than nothing.

As always, Maureen Dowd cracks me up telling it like it is! From The New York Times, like the above and below articles.

Not sure I agree with much of this logic, but I did get a kick out of the column: "Did My Car Join Al Qaeda?"

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Poem for Saturday

The Valve
By David R. Slavitt

The one-way flow of time we take for granted,
but what if the valve is defective? What if the threads
on the stem wear thin, or the stuffing box or the bonnet
ring leaks, or the joints to the pipe ring fail,
and there's a backwash?
                                 It happens.
                                              And then old loves,
meeting again, have no idea what to do,
resuming or not resuming from where they were
years before. Or the dead come back to chat.
Or you are reduced for a giddy moment to childhood's
innocent incompetence. You look up
as if to see some hint in the sky's blackboard.
But then, whatever it was, some fluff or grit
that clogged the works, works free, and again time passes,
almost as before, and you try to get on with your life.

Front of the valentine my husband made me:

Anyone who lives anyplace near where The Guru is playing, GO SEE IT. ASAP. The soundtrack alone is the best thing to happen to me in weeks. Macarena, Tom Cruise "Old Time Rock and Roll" Risky Business parody and Bollywood lip-synch performance of "You're the One That I Want" from Travolta/Newton-John film version of Grease.

Like unholy merger of Chicago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Serendipity and anonymous Indian musical romance (as soon as I do find out the title, though, I'm buying it). Oh, and gay manly men with beards, too. We saw it last night before I got this card. (He gave me K/S and I gave him K-Y. Hee!)

Friday, February 14, 2003

Poem for Valentine's Day

Two Countries
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.

Skin had hope, that's what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.

* * * *

I just want to say I love you to you. And give a big hug to you and you, because I know you are anticipating having sucky days, and to you because you deserve so much better. And to you because I have been a terrible correspondent but I miss you terribly. And to you because you inspire me to the best sort of madness. And to you for being the hostess with the mostess. And to you for the rimming sugar. *g*

Today, naturally, will be spent helping out at the kids' school Valentine's Day parties. Tonight my parents are babysitting but it's supposed to snow five inches so I'm not sure whether we're going out to dinner, going to the movies or staying home and folding laundry while watching old Avengers episodes. Really either way is fine; I'm not sure I want to see The Hours or Adaptation on a night when I'm supposed to be feeling romantic, though I do want to see them while I have the chance.

pointed out this manip. Smallville fans, this is a must-see!

Finally my gratuitous het Andromeda icon is appropriate to the day!

Tomorrow I will change it.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Poem for February 13

From Hamlet, Act IV Scene 5
by William Shakespeare

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

* * * *

Am in that sort of mood.

Happy Birthday !

Discovered in the journal of , this Mirando Otto quote that made me sigh and squeal and think of for reasons too complicated to explain: "...when you see pictures, like two men going down on each other, the essence of their sexuality is fascinating. It doesn't matter what their gender is, it's desire and flesh."

Must indulge in brief political fury, even though I can't stand the man: Ariel Sharon can be tried for war crimes but Yasser Arafat can't? Every time I think Israel is fucked up, I get a reminder of how little value the rest of the world continues to put on Jewish lives...

Am wondering what it means that I got four separate and distinct e-mails this morning telling me I can increase my penis size.

Not exactly, but not bad...gacked from :


What Stone Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

Witchcraft By A Picture
by John Donne

I fix mine eye on thine, and there
      Pity my picture burning in thine eye;
My picture drown'd in a transparent tear,
      When I look lower I espy;
                Hadst thou the wicked skill
By pictures made and marr'd, to kill,
How many ways mightst thou perform thy will?

But now I've drunk thy sweet salt tears,
      And though thou pour more, I'll depart;
My picture vanished, vanish all fears
      That I can be endamaged by that art ;
                Though thou retain of me
One picture more, yet that will be,
Being in thine own heart, from all malice free.

* * * *

Part of Hell Day has been POSTPONED. Not sure which is more excruciating, living through Hell Day or knowing that I have to wait a couple of weeks and THEN live through Hell Day. Am going insane.

Read entertaining commentary on last night's Smallville and survey on how gay it is ("Makes Queer As Folk look like family entertainment"). And gacked , took Star Trek character quiz here. I am James T. Kirk! This is excellent news as have always admired him, but this probably means I cannot date him. And really, Spock has never done it for me, so not sure I want to be Kirk. Perhaps will emulate Dr. McCoy, and go get drunk with friends...

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Life in a Love
by Robert Browning

Escape me?
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again,--
So the chace takes up one's life, that's all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me--

* * * *

Was led astray by a Minion last night and so did not get lots of things done that I wanted to.

Am annoyed for Peter Jackson and disgusted about the cinematography nominations but happy TTT is up for Best Picture nonetheless. I am of the mind that Lord of the Rings will be judged by Oscar after Return of the King, not before, and if it's overlooked, it will still be remembered long after everyone has forgotten who starred in A Beautiful Mind. Which is really fine with me. Last year I was angry not that Fellowship didn't win Best Picture but that Moulin Rouge was not taken seriously as a contender -- that was where I saw the competition.

And I mean, shit -- Gwyneth Paltrow and Marisa Tomei have Oscars while Glenn Close does not. These awards don't stand for anything meaningful.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Poem for Monday

Spring Storm
by William Carlos Williams

The sky has given over
its bitterness.
Out of the dark change
all day long
rain falls and falls
as if it would never end.
Still the snow keeps
its hold on the ground.
But water, water is seething
from a thousand runnels.
It collects swiftly,
dappled with black
cuts a way for itself
through green ice in the gutters.
Drop after drop it falls
from the withered grass stems
of the overhanging embankment.

* * * *

Flurries all morning, sticking a bit to the road, and I have lots of places to which I must drive. Wish I had snow tires. Wish I could just sit inside and watch the snow fall.

Wish I could sleep, like the people who rule the world.


Sunday, February 09, 2003

End-of-weekend snow forecast

...suggests that my kids may be sleeping late tomorrow. This would be a good thing if I didn't need to meet my husband for lunch so that we can get our refinanced mortgage papers notarized. This is a good thing as it is paying for the tickets to London that were not purchased with the frequent flyer miles originally intended so we could fly to Seattle...where we are now driving over the summer, cross-country via L.A. We have passport photos that are suitably atrocious and everything.

Dead Zone was quite good again tonight -- very Thornton Wilder, lots of individual stories converging in one place at one time. Some of the characters were a little stock but Michael Hall plays with so much conviction that I'll buy just about anything. And I just loved the wanna-be geeky sci-fi writer, and that Michael Piller had Johnny pretending to buy a bunch of copies of remaindered Insurrection novelizations, which he then didn't even bother to pick up afterwards.

From , based on the Fellowship Engrish subtitle site!

You Are A Politician
You are a politician!
What Is Your Lord Of The Rings Fellowship Engrish Subtitle?
brought to you by Quizilla

Poem for Sunday and some recs

The Butterfly
by Pavel Friedman

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
       against a white stone...

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly 'way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished to
       kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
       in the ghetto.

Written in 1942. From I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944, edited by Hana Volavkova.

* * * *

What I've been reading:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. in the NY Times on HBO's Unchained Memories documentary on slavery...

's devastating Indian Runner fic, "Little Brother"...

's delightful GoldenEye fic, "Undercover," for her Invisibility Cloak challenge...

's equally delightful Aragorn/Arwen/Boromir story for ...

Last night, because of another contrelamontre submission, I watched Moulin Rouge again. And was struck by how much more thoroughly original it seems than Chicago, which seems more likely to win an Oscar. I feel badly about this, which I guess is silly. Have decided that I am rooting for Nicole Kidman because if Gwyneth Paltrow can have an Oscar, god knows she should too. Am still quietly seething that Glenn Close does not have one but that's silly too, isn't it?

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Poem for Saturday

Song (from Arcadia)
by Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

* * * *

Got this from . The second answer is my blind result but then I went through it again so I could get Boromir, because really how could I choose between them?


Which LotR Male are You Compatible with Sexually?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, February 07, 2003

Poem for Friday

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man--
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee, "Give me immortality."
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From any pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
"The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch--if I be he that watch'd--
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

Yet hold me not for ever in thine East;
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

* * * *

Due to the weather, my husband could not go into work in the early hours, so this morning I woke up to nearly eight glorious inches. Of snow.

Unfortunately this means that my children have no school, which unfortunately means that they will have school on the day after what was originally intended to be the last day of school in June. And it means that I will be busy with snow-related entertainment today. Let's hope my son's sore throat is well and truly gone.

I read this marvelous Moulin Rouge fic by last night. I highly recommend it.

From my dearest :

Congratulations! You're Aragorn!
Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

And a friends survey, gacked from :

1. How often do you read your friends page? Two to three times a day, depending on how much free time I have while I'm at my computer.

2. Does it annoy you when people post too often? It's relative. Some people post several times a day, but they're short posts and the graphics and silly stuff are behind cut tags, so that doesn't bother me. There's only one person on my friends list who regularly leaves multiple long posts, and that person's a good enough friend that I don't care all that much.

3. How often is "too often"? I tend to be a 2-3 times a day but long posts kind of poster, so I don't really have a standard for short frequent posts. I guess 15+ times a day would seem like a lot.

4. Do you worry when particular friends don't post often enough? Some friends only post a few times a week, so I don't worry about them. If I don't hear from certain friends either on LJ or via e-mail in a 24-hour period I worry.

5. Do you read every word of every post on your friends page? Not always quizzes and surveys, especially if they're behind cut tags.

6. Do you religiously check what's behind any lj-cuts? No -- see above.

7. Do you use a reading filter? I don't even know how these work. I am still an LJ ignoramus in many ways.

8. What type of entry do you most like to read? Discovering great fic always makes me very happy. So do posts where people describe places they've been, art or theater they've seen, things I can't possibly get to because they're too far away from me. But I also just like to listen to what people think about life, religion, movies, TV, etc.

9. What type of entry makes you grind your teeth? Things that seem to be in secret code. Rants where the anger is clear but the subject and object of the anger are not. "I know something you don't"-type posts. "My friends and I all know something you don't"-type posts.

10. What type of entry sends you to sleep? None, just because if I start reading a post that really bores me, I skim and go on to the next one.

11. What type of entry would prompt you to defriend someone? Constant ranting about other people (political ranting is fine). Too many big pictures without cut tags. But it wouldn't ever be just one entry -- it would be an ongoing thing and I'd probably say something, unless it was someone I barely knew.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Poem for Thursday

From 'The Tempest' Act IV Scene I
by William Shakespeare

You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismay'd: be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

From, because I just could not resist:
February 6, 2003
Note from Greg:
Actor Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum in "Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers," thinks he should be considered for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, even though the character is computer generated.

The Top 6 Science Fiction Oscars We'd Like to See
6> "Men In Black II": Best Gratuitous Means of Wasting $97 Million Dollars
5> The Remans: Best Aliens We've Never Heard of Before
4> Hayden Christensen: Most Convincing Performance as a Whiny Little Punk by a Whiny Little Punk
3> "Minority Report": Best Feature-Length Gap Advertisement
2> Christopher Lee: Best Performance of Identical Villains in Two Unrelated Films
and the Number 1 Science Fiction Oscar We'd Like to See...
1> "Star Trek Nemesis": Best, uh... Ahh, who are we kidding?

Copyright 2003 by Chris White --

* * * *

I'm sure by now we've all heard the bad LiveJournal news concerning current limitations on posting. I'm particularly pissed, as a paid user, that nobody asked us whether we'd prefer limitations on inviting new users since LJ's excuse for all this is that there are now more than a million people here, instead of posting restrictions. They're tolerable now -- I've rarely posted more than three times a day even from a free account, and have no issue with 20 posts a day including communities as a paid user. But I'm anticipating future restrictions on editing, commenting, and everything else. I'm really glad I didn't pay for a full year here, because I'm already starting to look at blurty and blogger and various other sites.

* * * *

The "plagiarism" flame war in LOTR FPS fandom has me amused and not a little disgusted. Seems that one fan borrowed another fan's Mary Sue -- oops, original character -- with credit but without permission. Where I grew up, borrowing someone else's characters was called "writing fan fiction," and as long as the writer included a disclaimer saying that ____ had created and owned the characters, that was about as legitimate as one could hope to get.

Sure, there's the whole issue of manners in fandom, of telling someone that you'd like to use their characters or link to their posted work, but these are courtesies; the idea that they should be requirements strikes me as about as ludicrous as suggesting that fans should have to get George Lucas' permission to put Luke and Han in compromising positions before writing slash about them.

I have, in my years in fandom, had people write to me asking whether they could adapt the plot elements of my stories for sequels, alternative versions, and on a couple of occasions different fandoms; there's a sequel to "Drowning," a West Wing version of "Drowning," and a version of "Drowning" in which someone pretty much went through and replaced Janeway and Chakotay's names with Mulder and Scully's, plus changed a few starship elements to be more earthbound. The latter irked me because it was nearly word for word my work, but the person who did it acknowledged fully that it was my story, that she had merely reshaped it for her own fantasies, and that people should probably read the original which was linked in the text. Two of these people did not ask for permission, but when I wrote to them, they were respectful and apologetic. And for the first time in my life, I felt like Brannon Braga in a good way. Want to write fan fiction based on my work? As long as I'm getting acknowledged, how can I be anything but flattered?

Plagiarism is the theft of one's writing. If one's characters are trademarked, then they can be stolen, but the simple use of a character's name and traits is not, strictly speaking, plagiarism by any definition I've ever heard, and I've heard plenty from my days in academia. (If I'm wrong, then I've plagiarized Tolkien, Philippa Boyens, Michael Piller, Gene Roddenberry and Sean Penn in this month alone.) It may be rude and hurtful to have a writer borrow one's characters without one's permission, but perhaps one should consider getting out of fan fiction altogether if one is so worried about the authors' prerogatives to decide where their characters should and should not be permitted to go.

* * * *

The awesome has posted screen captures of Bean in Ronin and Viggo in Witness! Go look!

I meant to do my work today but then called and asked me to meet her for crab soup and discussions of slash, and really, how could I resist?

The ever-wonderful points out The Dialectizer, which lets you translate any web page into Redneck, Jive, Moron, or Elmer Fudd among other languages. Try it with fanfic, it's hysterical.

From ...bwahahahahahaha...

I can't believe you??!! You end up eloping with
Aragorn, utterly crushing Legolas' heart
and leaving him scarred for the rest of
eternity. He is so heart-broken, so wretchedly
torn, that he decides to go to the Mirkwood
abbey and become a priest. LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO
HIM??!! HOW COULD YOU??? Such a waste of a
pretty face [his, not yours] and, sorry, but
Aragorn is still in love with Arwen.

How will you break Legolas's heart?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

By Sharon Olds

I wonder now only when it will happen,
when the young mother will hear the
noise like somebody's pressure cooker
down the block, going off. She'll go out on the yard,
holding her small daughter in her arms,
and there, above the end of the street, in the
air above the line of the tress,
she will see it rising, lifting up
over the horizon, the upper rim of the
gold ball, large as a giant
planet starting to lift up over ours.
She will stand there in the yard holding her daughter,
looking at it rise and grow and blossom and rise,
and the child will open her arms to it,
it will look so beautiful.

* * * *

Well, I seem to have liked last night's Smallville rather more than other people. I think it's because I don't want consistency of characterization, which is what other people seem to be arguing for. Here's the thing: this is a Ken Biller network show with a young demographic, and "consistent" terrifies me in such a context. I think about "consistent" Kathryn Janeway of Voyager's final two seasons versus the dynamic, evolving character of the first three years, and I shudder.

A "consistent" Lex, I imagine, would be on a perpetual downward spiral. Yes, now we have to deal with some weeks when he's pretty damn villainous and other weeks when he's a sweet messed-up guy, but at least that means there won't be a point of no return, or at least that it can be put off indefinitely -- one week we'll have Evil Lex, the next we'll have Clark's buddy. Similarly, one week we'll have surprisingly mature Clark and the next week we'll have stupid annoying selfish Clark, but that not only keeps the character dynamic, it's actually somewhat realistic for a teenager. Pete is pretty darned consistent and also pretty darned boring. Ditto Lana though multiply the boring times three.

Re: Clark/Chloe, which some people seem to think was revived in a major way last night: I note that every time they were together, it was for the voyeuristic benefit of others. Were they ever alone together after the lollipop scene? Lana's fears aside, I see no indication whatsoever that Clark wants Chloe, except when Pete or Lex is watching and jealous. Red Kryptonite or no Red Kryptonite, secrets or no secrets, one doesn't keep sabotaging one's relationship with a particular person so spectacularly unless one really doesn't want that relationship. Even on cliched television.

I love Maureen Dowd.

From the wonderful , a voice of reason from 1917.

Have to go back to the dentist today to get a 20-year-old filling replaced. I believe this is the only silver in my mouth and they're replacing it with white stuff. I almost feel nostalgic.

I did want this. I love that the lesbians got the only truly passionate romantic number in the musical.

Under Your Spell...
Which Buffy Musical Song Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Lyrics for Tuesday

The Innocent Age
by Dan Fogelberg

Capture the moment, carry the day
Stay with the chase as long as you may
Follow the dreamer, the fool and the sage
Back to the days of the innocent age

Storybook endings never appear
They're just someone's way of leading us here
Waiting for wisdom to open the cage
We forged in the fires of the innocent age

Back at the start it was easy to see
No one to own to, nowhere to be
Deep in the heartlands a sad memory calls to me

Fretful horizons, worrisome skies
Tearful misgivings burning your eyes
Yearnings unanswered reckon the wage
You pay to recapture the innocent age

I remember scrawling these lyrics from memory on the inside of a notebook cover in eleventh grade English class, and my teacher (who turned out to be one of the best teachers I ever had anywhere, and who was about to embark on a unit teaching archetypes a la Northrop Frye) left a note asking what it was and who wrote it. I ran into her the last time I saw TTT in the movie theater -- she has retired and was there with her family to see Chicago -- looks exactly the same, nearly 20 years later. I called out her first name and then had a crushing moment of, "Oh god, she's a TEACHER, I can't call her by her first name!" which was very funny. She is a good friend of my mother's best friend, so I am used to hearing her discussed by her first name, but still...

This put me in the mood for remembering my wonderful high school New Age years. And what could be more fitting than this quiz, borrowed from , with this delightful result:

border=0 frameborder=0 alt="You are a Bard!">
Take the href="" target="new"> "How Do You Use Magic?" test! Written by Brimo

Have decided that it is not worth getting stressed about fan fiction, ever -- not the fic itself, not fandom flame wars, not inane criticism. Am nearly back in an "I'm swearing this off" phase (which always pass). Am going to go do Serious Work for awhile and see where my mood takes me!

But first, of course, I have more quiz spam. From , a rather delightful choice though I was tempted to see if I could be SexualPredator!Lex:

You're Chloe Sue! You are incredibly perceptive, a
matchmaker, and a trusted friend. But tread
carefully, you have a tendency to be
manipulated into whatever other people want you
to be.

Which Smallville Slash Character Cliche Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, February 03, 2003

Poem for Monday

Telephoning In Mexican Sunlight
by Galway Kinnell
from Imperfect Thirst

Talking with my beloved in New York
I stood at the outdoor public telephone
in Mexican sunlight, in my purple shirt.
Someone had called it a man/woman
shirt. The phrase irked me. But then
I remembered that Rainer Maria
Rilke, who until he was seven wore
dresses and had long yellow hair,
wrote that the girl he almost was
"made her bed in his ear" and "slept him the world."
I thought, OK this shirt will clothe the other in me.
As we fell into long-distance love talk
a squeaky chittering started up all around,
and every few seconds came a sudden loud
buzzing. I half expected to find
the insulation on the telephone line
laid open under the pressure of our talk
leaking low-frequency noises.
But a few yards away a dozen hummingbirds,
gorgets going drab or blazing
according as the sun struck them,
stood on their tail rudders in a circle
around my head, transfixed
by the flower-likeness of the shirt.
And perhaps also by a flush rising into my face,
for a word -- one with a thick sound,
as if a porous vowel had sat soaking up
saliva while waiting to get spoken,
possibly the name of some flower
that hummingbirds love, perhaps
"honeysuckle" or "hollyhock"
or "phlox" -- just then shocked me
with its suddenness, and this time
apparently did burst the insulation,
letting the word sound in the open
where all could hear, for these tiny, irascible,
nectar-addicted puritans jumped back
all at once, as if the air gasped.

* * * *

Here are drawings of the Fellowship of the Ring characters as Harry Potter actors, recommended by EW on a mailing list -- hysterical!

Gacked from , based on these hilarious bad captions...
no i have to do sam
Do I even need to say Pervy Hobbit Fancier? XD
What Lord of the Rings engrish subtitle are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Here is the sad but not unexpected news about Dawson's Creek's cancellation.

From my friend MaquisMom, most excellent advice on self-protection from mind-control.

And a blast from the past courtesy , so true in my case...
border="0" alt="first">
first season shippiness
href=""> What kind of Shippiness are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Poem for Sunday

From "One A.M."
Major Jackson
By David Young

You'll show that toad-eater who wrote 'Night Thoughts'
what's happened in two centuries or so.

You'll make your yard the spirit's doorway
to metamorphs and comet-lit inventions.

Go ahead, walk the cathedral-volumned night.
Let Perseids stripe your eyes.


I read the other day
that giant black snowballs from outer space
created our oceans.

Center me, physics, keep me
from brooding too long on my fear,
on the pickup truck that rammed the school bus,
on the strange sea pastures of the Persian Gulf,
on love and its string of losses.

Now everything's strings, they say, cosmic strings
that pull the galaxies toward the Great Attractor
holding all matter together.

Microcosm, meet macrocosm.
Solace us with your kinship, make
one little yard an everywhere.

I think of Calvino's
dark, humorous mind,
another squirrel in the treetops--
how he made truth and wit
from troubling loops of knowledge.

And Miroslav Holub,
who lived alone in this house one spring
and pondered this yard as I do.
The appetite for fact
helped him survive, walk around
and laugh to himself, inside
this century's bluntest terrors--
the one that Hitler made,
the one that Stalin added.

A string may link me to them here,
and run
right through the blackened school bus,
the rubble of Beirut,
down to the toxic wastes, on up and out
to the ice ball punching our atmosphere--

Like Theseus in his labyrinth,
I stand here holding
my little end of string.


I caught and cupped a firefly just now
like an old miser blowing on his palms
to keep some warmth in.

I'd like that glow to be
The milky streams of star-mess overhead,
the rivulets of words below,

nacreous teeth of the speaker in the dark
words folding into the spiral that runs up

to the coiled shape of galaxies
as the brain whorls match the labyrinthine curves,

echoing stairwell, spinning DNA,
the play with nests and shrinking models,

the sidewise slide, the folding-up of sense,
the web the spider swings and spins, connecting.


Is this a dream?--I see my grandpa milking,
I watch my mother watching him.
The cats swarm round, the barn is cold,
the cows chew steadily and stamp
in random patterns, defecate
in flops and splatters, steaming heaps.

I'm the froth of the milk, the silvery pail,
the piles of hay, the cats
spiraling round my legs.
I am the frost-coated lightning rod.

We play with infinity, this is our luck,
measureless measuring, lot lines and boundaries
always deferred, always potential,
doing, undoing, doing, undoing,
we repeat ourselves so infinity
can make love to finity, kiss it,
dance with it all night.

I taste the water from that old farm's well.
The milk was warm. The water's hard and sweet.


Repetition's magic. I knew it in my bones.
Let me repeat my dream for you,
let me repeat it for myself.

Let me talk on in this starlight,
these meteor streakings of nonsense,
this chaos, these fractals and freckles.

Don't take my words away from me yet.
I'm doing my midnight weeding,
grasping the thistles close to the root,

I'm losing the dream farm, I'm
probably failing, repeating
what others have said--

but that farm, like an old brown photograph
suddenly filling the senses--
and this night, like a silver gelatin print--

and a string that runs from me to the past:
the view from the farmhouse window
across the silent fields of snow.

, this poem made me think of you. Read it and at a certain point it will become obvious why. You must tell me if there's a connection.

If I were a poem (gacked from ):

I'm the limerick, mired in muck.
I refuse to be bored or get stuck.
   I like to offend,
   But not, in the end,
As much as to thwart expectations.
HREF="">What Poetry Form Are You?

Last night, for obvious reasons, I had an overwhelming urge to watch a space movie with a happy ending. I chose Space Cowboys rather than Apollo 13 because I remembered that at the end, the damaged shuttle takes the same approach as Columbia did, flying over Texas to land at Kennedy in Florida. (Apollo 13 has a scary final descent as well, but, obviously, the crew's in a capsule, not a shuttle.) I tried to resist the impulse to watch at first, remembering Constance Penley's suggestion in NASA/TREK that Americans were all too ready to allow science fiction to substitute for an actual space program when there were disasters in the past. But in the end I decided that it really wouldn't hurt anything if I watched a movie.

And Space Cowboys is a total feel-good movie -- two movies actually. The first hour and a half is a witty drama about geezers trying to get into space, then suddenly there's a twist that I never saw coming the first time I saw the film and it's an incredibly tense beat-the-clock scenario. The first half is essential to set up the emotional impact of the second half. It's a very enjoyable flick for all the unrealism of certain aspects of the plot. And it has a real feel-good ending, somewhat sad but satisfying.

On the subject of movies, here's The New York Times on how Hollywood rallies 'round the homeland...

And here, just because she's so entertaining, is Maureen Dowd on world leaders and their Hot Rods.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Another poem and rambling

by Amelia Earhart

Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,

The soul that knows it not, knows no release
From little things;

Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.

How can Life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare

The soul's dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.


I was a sophomore in college when Challenger exploded, working at the school newspaper of which I was then books editor. When the executive editor walked in and told us, we thought at first it might be a sick joke someone had sent over the Associated Press wire -- there was no TV in the office and it took awhile for someone to pull out a radio. Then I went back to my dorm room, a quad I shared with two of my best friends and a suite-mate from France. I'm pretty sure we all missed classes that afternoon but I don't remember what I was supposed to be doing -- I just remember sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the shuttle explode over and over and watching Christa McAuliffe's parents' faces.

I still have the newspapers from the next morning. I can still name all seven of the Challenger crew. Am wondering how long it will be before we can all name Columbia's crew.

Poem for February 1

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew,
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Written in 1941. Carved on the Challenger astronauts' memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.