By Vijay Seshadri
They were in the scullery talking.
The meadow had to be sold to pay their riotous expenses;
then the woods by the river,
with its tangled banks and snags elbowing out of the water,
had to go; and then the summer house where they talked—
all that was left of an estate once so big
a man riding fast on a fast horse
couldn't cross it in a day. Genevieve. Hortense. Mémé.
The family's last born, whose pale name is inscribed on the rolls
of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. As in the fresco of the Virgin,
where the copper in the pigment oxidizes to trace a thin green cicatrix
along a seam of Her red tunic,
a suspicion of one another furrowed their
consanguine, averted faces.
Why go anywhere at all when it rains like this,
when the trees are sloppy and hooded
and the foot sinks to the ankle in the muddy lane?
I didn't stay for the end of the conversation.
I was wanted in Paris. Paris, astounded by my splendor
and charmed by my excitable manner,
waited to open its arms to me.
From this week's New Yorker.
Not an eventful Friday since I feel like I'm coming down with a cold and deliberately took it easy. Slept late since I had cats snuggled against me on both sides so it was nice and warm. Did some reading. Made tuna with peanut sauce for lunch and had very helpful cats underfoot. Watched coverage of the conviction of the murderer of Dr. George Tiller. Wrote a review of "Relics", the Next Gen episode with Scotty -- definitely not my best review since I am fond of the episode but still think it could (well, should) have been so much better, using brilliant writing rather than viewer nostalgia to drive it, and I didn't want to tear it down but I did want to consider all the reasons I didn't actually like it all that much when it first aired.
The Friday Five: What would the theme song be if your life was depicted as a...
1. sitcom? "These Are Days," 10,000 Maniacs
2. prime time drama? "Closer To Fine," The Indigo Girls
3. reality TV show? "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin," Colin Hay
4. sketch comedy show? "Feelin' Groovy," Simon & Garfunkel
5. Saturday morning cartoon? "Sea of No Cares," Great Big Sea
Fannish5: List five characters you'd want on your side in any kind of trouble. In real trouble, I want girls backing me up.
1. Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess
2. Kira Nerys, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
3. Ellen Ripley, Alien
4. Martha Jones, Doctor Who
5. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A model of a T-Rex at Boston's Museum of Science.
The Foucault pendulum knocks down blocks representing the hours on a carved basalt wheel depicting the Aztec sun god Tonatiuh.
A model of the Mayflower. A full-scale reproduction can be visited in nearby Plymouth.
A Tamarin monkey in the evolution exhibit.
A snake skeleton in one of the natural history galleries.
A model of a Navajo snake dance.
An octopus collection in an exhibit on collections that included someone's collection, in plastic bottles, of air from various places he'd visited.
In the Van de Graaf generator exhibit, a representation of Benjamin Franklin's hand getting shocked by the electricity transmitted from the key attached to his kite in a lightning storm.
We had dinner at my parents' -- seafood for most of us, tofu and a veggie burger for Adam whom I think ate more than the rest of us combined -- then came home for the return of Smallville, which I enjoyed a lot now that there's a Lois & Clark. Plus it was an Oliver-centered episode, and you know what that means -- excuses for Justin Hartley to take his shirt off! I wasn't crazy about the storyline with the evil Celtic archery cult, though I loved their logo and that fabulous hedge maze trimmed in its image, and I'm bummed that yet again Lois was knocked out of the action for most of the episode, which I guess is inevitable a lot of the time given that she isn't supposed to know about Clark's powers, but sheesh, Chloe recovered so quickly while Lois was in the hospital getting stalked by Zod. Now we are watching the weather, which is warning us about piles of snow on Saturday.