By Mary Ruefle
loves Barry Soyers.
Please pray for Lucius Fenn
who suffers greatly whilst shaking hands.
loves a pug named Cowl.
Please pray for Olina Korsk
who holds the record for missing fingers.
Leon Bendrix loves Odelia Jonson
who loves Kurt who loves Carlos who loves Paul.
Please pray for Cortland Filby
who handles a dead wasp, a conceit for his mother.
Harold loves looking at Londa's hair under the microscope.
Londa loves plaiting the mane of her pony.
Please pray for Fancy Dancer
who is troubled by the vibrissa in his nostrils.
Nadine St. Clair loves Ogden Smythe
who loves blowing his nose on postage stamps.
Please pray for William Shakespeare
who does not know how much we love him, miss him and think of him.
Yukiko Pearl loves the little bits of toffee
that fall to the floor when Jeffrey is done with his snack.
Please pray for the florist Marieko
who wraps roses in a paper cone then punches the wrong code.
Muriel Frame loves retelling the incident
that happened on the afternoon of November third.
Please pray for our teacher Ursula Twombly
who does not know the half of it.
By the radiator in a wooden chair
wearing woolen stockings sits a little girl
in a dunce's cap, a paper cone rolled to a point
and inverted on her hair; she's got her hands
in her lap and her head bowed down, her chin
is trembling with having been singled out like this
and she is sincere in her fervent wish to die.
Take it away and give it to the Tartars
who roll gloriously into battle.
I did not have the greatest of days. I managed to break things while trying to clean/organize them in my bedroom, I had people gripe at me over things that were none of their business, I never got out of the house. I did get the laundry folded, but the movie for the folding session was An Education, which had come highly recommended -- in fact I hadn't heard one negative review from a pro or a friend, and it has Carey Mulligan, which could usually redeem just about anything -- but I didn't really like it. The acting's all good, and I'm glad Jenny isn't destroyed in the end for wanting a "sophisticated" (read: sexy) life, but overall I found the film rather depressing, with a contrived ending (hours of adoring glamorous phony life, a rushed montage of rebuilding a life that means something), and though I've been told the villain is Jewish because the story is based on a real memoir, I intensely dislike the film's contrasting of what are purported to be well-intentioned if old-fashioned English values versus sleazy upstart Jewish lack of morals.
Meanwhile, the Entertainment Weekly on my kitchen table is telling me that The King's Speech should not win Best Picture at the Oscars because it doesn't appeal enough to hip young Jesse Eisenberg types. I must be old, because I have no problem relating to a movie about a guy with a minor disability and major daddy issues who happens to be the King of England. What precisely makes this less relevant to younger viewers -- that is, the normal ones who make up the bulk of American filmgoers, not the frat boys who get jobs at EW -- than a movie about a Harvard-educated sociopath who becomes a billionaire? Evening entertainment was the Orange Bowl, which I'd have enjoyed a lot more if the announcers had not reminded us that Michael Vick went to Virginia Tech every sixty seconds. I was rooting for the Hokies since they're sort of the local team, but by halftime I no longer cared whether Stanford won! Here are some more photos from Wheaton's Garden of Lights, including the thunderstorm, the dolphin, and my kids about to be swallowed by the giant caterpillar: