Monday, February 08, 2010

Poem for Monday and Super Bowl

Money Talks
By Rae Armantrout


Money is talking
to itself again

in this season's
and safari look,

its closeout camouflage.

Hit the refresh button
and this is what you get,

money pretending
that its hands are tied.


On a billboard by the 880,

money admonishes,
"Shut up and play."


"I wrote 'Money Talks' in the fall of 2008 when we were hearing that the banks that had grown 'too big to fail' were about to fail unless our representatives voted to give them huge subsidies," writes Armantrout in Poet's Choice. "The poem really got started when I was thumbing through Vogue magazine and saw that "bondage and safari looks" were being touted that season. I thought those were some pretty interesting get-ups for the wealthy to wear as the middle class is driven towards bankruptcy. I began to imagine a personified Money sporting such styles...stop complaining, Money says, and get back in the endless game." Personally, the title makes me start singing "Forever In Blue Jeans."

We had a very quiet morning courtesy the Blizzard of 2010, which has left many local roads impassable and most parking lots unusable. My kids' schools have already been closed for the next two days, and since we're supposed to get another storm with another 4-5 inches of snow on Tuesday night, that may not be the end of it. My parents finally got their power back, as did my oldest friend, who sent an e-mail announcing that her family's annual Super Bowl party was on, though they couldn't get the foot long subs and chicken wings they usually serve so there would be more of an emphasis on shrimp and cheese. I would have been delighted to go no matter what we ate, but she warned that her neighborhood hadn't really been plowed, so we might have to park several blocks away and walk. The prospect of walking back and then driving home on slippery roads after dark made us nervous enough to decide, reluctantly, that we probably shouldn't go.

So we had our own Super Bowl party, for which Paul served homemade low-salt tortilla chips and cheese dip, plus veggie buffalo wings, hummus and pita, fresh bread with peanut butter, and homemade Mississippi Mud Cake. We were all rooting for the Saints here, mostly because we love New Orleans and felt that the city deserved to have something nice happen, though as Maryland residents we also have some residual resentment toward the Colts for sneaking out of Baltimore in the middle of the night. I like Indianapolis's new coach, I like Peyton Manning, I'd certainly have rooted for them over Dallas or Philly, but it was the Saints' turn. And after that gutsy post-halftime on-side kick that changed the momentum of the game, I'd have been a New Orleans fan regardless, though I'd thought they might have been too gutsy when earlier in the game they went for it and blew it on fourth down.

To take nothing away from Drew Brees, who played really well when it counted, the MVP could easily have been Saints kicker Garrett Hartley, who made three long field goals and kept New Orleans in the game early on -- a consistent kicker is such a blessing (I grew up with Mark Moseley hitting everything the Redskins asked of him and it was really nice to know that he at least wouldn't blow it). I saw lots of tweets about how misogynistic the Super Bowl ads were, which made me wonder what I was missing because I thought they were worse the previous two years. I didn't listen to Tim Tebow's mother -- she didn't happen to say she made a choice, did she? -- and I really liked the ads with Betty White, Puxatawney Palomalu, and the Green Police, though don't ask me what any of them were for! Adam said he only wants to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to drink butterbeer. And can I just mention how much I loved the trailer for Robin Hood with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett?

The Who still have it even if Daltrey's voice is gone. I realize they were chosen by CBS as much for the CSI theme song promos as because they were next in line for Old White Guys of Classic Rock halftime show status, but I enjoyed the performance; I liked that there was no gratuitous pit of screaming girls, and I loved that they got to play nearly-full songs, not just a verse of each. Plus Daltrey and Townshend still play well together and have great stage chemistry. Now we're watching the news, warning us that local roads are still bad and will get worse when temperatures go below 10 degrees tonight...

The sidewalk and major street through my neighborhood, plowed but piled high with snow.

The sun rose bright and clear through the snow-covered trees behind our house.

Many of the houses looked like this on their sunny sides -- dripping with icicles from balconies and windows.

The main road outside the immediate neighborhood had been plowed more thoroughly...

...but the paths through the woods hadn't been dug out at all.

We had our own curtain of icicles looking out the back...

...and out front, most of the cars had been dug out, though nobody appeared to be going anywhere.

My Super Bowl garb -- Baltimore sweatshirt (Colts, what Colts), fleur de lis necklace bought in New Orleans last summer.

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