Friday, April 02, 2010

Poem for Friday and 'The Awakening'

By B.H. Fairchild

Around that time, the city grew quiet.

You said Don't hurt me and I said If I was going to hurt you I'd have done it already.

We passed a dying store with gem-like windows. A door that banged in the wind. You said Let me go.

As in a film of the apocalypse, a gasp of newspapers blew past us.

I won't hurt you, I said.

A car had expired in the street so I looked inside but there was nothing to eat.

The moon grew like an empire, then fell like a bomb

so I said it was a beautiful night for a walk and we would find food in the dying city and take it back to share with the others, who were hungry.

Those days, the TVs stopped bothering us. The helicopters and the spotlights.

The city fell like the moon into an unbelievable ocean, it was so beautiful and sad and one night it rained and all the bodies in the graveyard washed away.

I'll tell you a story, I said, to make you stop crying for a minute. We walked down the darkening street.

I told you how the dead floated in their coffins like sailors, their boats unmoored and happy with the storm, all the way to sea.

The next morning, I searched the ground for rings and cufflinks, never finding any

and then I saw in a tree's low branch the body of a girl, long decayed. The flooding must have washed her there.

The sockets of her eyes were little caves for birds.

I touched her skull, then slid the golden ring from her dead finger. You laughed at that.

The city was a silence and the dead girl's ring felt tight around my finger. I won't hurt you, I said.

Beside a broken lamppost, you smiled. Such sharp teeth. We were always hungry then.


On Thursday we had our delayed lunch for Paul's birthday at Minerva, our favorite Indian restaurant -- we had waited instead of going on his actual birthday so we could take the kids to their lunch buffet, which is quite large and everything is always delicious. I haven't been there since I stopped eating meat and wondered whether I was going to be very sad about missing out on their rogan josh and tandoori chicken, but really I didn't miss a thing -- they had superlative navratan korma and masala egg curry and some kind of potato pancake with anise in the batter, which, along with naan, rice, chutney, and laddu, left me stuffed and very happy! In the afternoon, since I had several loads of laundry to fold, I put on New Moon, which the kids scoffed about but they sat and watched the whole thing. The dialogue is as terrible as ever but the Olympic Peninsula looks gorgeous and I must admit that my favorite character by a long stretch is Bella. Sure, she's hopeless as a feminist role model, but in that limited patriarchal world, at least most of the female vampires seem more equal to most of the males than the female humans do.

We had dinner with my parents -- mostly Seder leftovers, which was fine with me since I love Passover food, and there were lots of desserts left over too! Gefilte fish used to be one of my favorite things and now I can't even look at it; I made it through The Carp in the Bathtub years ago and kept on eating it, so maybe I am having a delayed reaction. Rather than wishing that I could have chicken tikka, I absolutely can't believe that I ate chicken for so many years. We watched FlashForward -- hahaha, I absolutely loved that scene between Demetri and Janis ("I'll make you more gay") and I liked Bryce and Nicole's conversations too, though he makes me so sad -- I like how many male-female close friendships without romance there are on the show. Then we watched a DVD about Cezanne because there's a Cezanne exhibit in Baltimore we're hoping to get to this month. Speaking of which, I didn't suffer one significant April Fool's far as I know!

So many people seemed interested in The Awakening, J. Seward Johnson's 100-foot statue of a giant man crawling out of the ground, that I figured I'd post some more photos of it. People could walk up and take photos with the limbs when it was at Hains Point, so I'm hoping the National Harbor beach will be opened to visitors soon. Adam took the first photo:

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