By Arthur Sze
A spring snow coincides with plum blossoms.
In a month, you will forget, then remember
when nine ravens perched in the elm sway in wind.
I will remember when I brake to a stop,
and a hubcap rolls through the intersection.
An angry man grinds pepper onto his salad;
it is how you nail a tin amulet ear
into the lintel. If, in deep emotion, we are
possessed by the idea of possession,
we can never lose to recover what is ours.
Sounds of an abacus are amplified and condensed
to resemble sounds of hail on a tin roof,
but mind opens to the smell of lightening.
Bodies were vaporized to shadows by intense heat;
in memory people outline bodies on walls.
Tuesday morning involved folding laundry and another installment in The Things I Watch For Love, a.k.a. the Colin Firth Film Festival. Showtime conveniently is now showing Femme Fatale, which I knew from a friend had a fairly hot sex scene, but I am sorry to say that that is the most I can say to recommend it. To think I was complaining about his romantic comedies -- the treatment of women in those is vastly better than in the thrillers! Best line spoken to his character, though somewhat misleading: "Your wife is a drug-dealing S&M diesel dyke." At least the ending of this one isn't nearly as grim as Master of the Moor, just not at all believable, which is true of many of the major characters as well. Oh, Colin, thank goodness you did not flip my switch until long after Darcy, because if I'd seen some of your early movies without having things like The English Patient and A Single Man to mitigate them, it might be almost as bad as 1995, when I tried to watch all of Kate Mulgrew's movies until I realized that no one could be blamed for not making it through A Stranger Is Watching. (Yes, I am deliberately not talking about Obama or the budget. You don't need to hear me scream.)
The miserable pouring rain that kept our streetlights on well after 9 a.m. finally stopped in the early afternoon, so when I took Adam to tennis, I could take a walk in Cabin John Park. It was a bit muddy, but I had the trails pretty much to myself, and there were finches and woodpeckers and lots of other birds all around, plus spring peepers singing all around. After dinner, due to the generosity of Ethel King who sent it to me, we watched Untold Scandal, the Korean film based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which is wonderful -- I never warmed up to the Tourvel character (though to be fair I have never warmed up to the Tourvel character in any film version whether it was Michelle Pfeiffer or Reese Witherspoon or whoever), but the Merteiul character is smart and sympathetic, the Cecile character isn't at all wishy washy, and the costumes and landscapes are magnificent -- everything is lush and green except at seaside, where it's misty and blue, and there are spectacular gardens and brilliant use of painting and decorative arts (in fact, my favorite thing about the Tourvel character is the cherry blossom embroidery we see her working on). Speaking of flowers, some more from Richmond's Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: