By Marilyn Hacker
Be mindful of names. They'll etch themselves
like daily specials on the window glass
in a delible medium. They'll pass
transformed, erased, a cloud the wind dissolves
above the ruckus of the under-twelves
on the slide, the toddlers on the grass,
the ragged skinny guy taking a piss
in the bushes, a matron tanning her calves
on a bench, skirt tucked around her knees.
A sparrow lands in the japonica;
as if it were a signal, all at once
massed pigeons rush up from adjacent trees,
wingbeats intrusive and symphonic -- a
near-total silence is the clear response.
From this week's New Yorker, which also inexplicably has a few pretentious, horrible poems by Bob Dylan. How can the man who wrote "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" reduce himself to this?
I had lunch today with Linda, my friend who throws the annual Super Bowl parties, whom I've known since first grade. We were supposed to meet at California Pizza Kitchen in the local mall, but it's closed for the next two months for remodeling. So instead we went to the eatery, where we got sushi that was pretty good -- spicy tuna rolls, inari, salmon -- but then we saw a cockroach on the wall, which kind of ruined our mood for food. We took a walk around the mall and caught up on family news and stuff. Then she had to go drive her son's music carpool, so I walked her to her car, and I walked back through Sears, where I found three pairs of shorts (light denim, dark denim, light brown tweed) and a sleeveless blouse (medium blue with light blue trim) for $2.99 each, given that they were 40% off their already 50-75% off reduced-for-fall prices. Whoo!
A group of reenactors going one way and a group of guests going the other way at the 18th century fair this weekend.
Cows grazing in the field beyond the pumpkin patch at Mount Vernon.
Outside one of the military tents, a craftsman waits.
Tired performers taking a break on the wall around the mansion grounds.
One of the furniture-makers showing their projects while working on new ones.
The First Virginia Regiment prepares to demonstrate Revolutionary War weapons.
First they fired the very loud cannon...
...then the mortar, which hit the road over a hundred feet away.
Watched The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which had some good action sequences though there was once again way too much Take My Bible for my taste -- I don't recall so much Revelation in the movie's version of the apocalypse. Okay, it was funny when Sarah said that Cameron was outside Jesus's jurisdiction after Derek said he'd have talked to Jesus about her all night, but Ellison giving Sarah's ex a Bible as a goodbye gift...you know, if I wanted proselytizing to about how to find the One True Peace, I'd watch Sarah Palin on Fox News instead of a mediocre Fox TV show, thank you very much. At least I got to see two actresses I like, Sonya Walger -- who apparently will be recurring again this season, yay -- and Busy Phillips, whom I haven't seen since Dawson's Creek -- hugely pregnant!
Then I watched the really excellent Michael Clayton, which had me completely on the edge of my seat for two hours -- I had thought I knew what it was about, except that what it's about is only a small part of what happens in the movie, and the performances are really astonishingly good and I really loved George Clooney, which I've never done before, even in Syriana. And even though I couldn't avoid comparisons with The Insider and Russell Crowe. Michael Clayton is quite chilling, one of those movies like Bob Roberts that I would have thought ten years ago was over the top but now just seems prescient and chilling.