By Bob Hicok
I'm in a plane that will not be flown into a building.
It's a SAAB 340, seats 40, has two engines with propellers
is why I think of beanies, those hats that would spin
a young head into the clouds. The plane is red and loud
inside like it must be loud in the heart, red like fire
and fire engines and the woman two seats up and to the right
resembles one of the widows I saw on TV after the Towers
came down. It's her hair that I recognize, the fecundity of it
and the color and its obedience to an ideal, the shape
it was asked several hours ago to hold and has held, a kind
of wave that begins at the forehead and repeats with slight
variations all the way to the tips, as if she were water
and a pebble had been continuously dropped into the mouth
of her existence. We are eighteen thousand feet over America.
People are typing at their laps, blowing across the fog of coffee,
sleeping with their heads on the windows, on the pattern
of green fields and brown fields, streams and gas stations
and swimming pools, blue dots of aquamarine that suggest
we've domesticated the mirage. We had to kill someone,
I believe, when the metal bones burned and the top
fell through the bottom and a cloud made of dust and memos
and skin muscled across Manhattan. I remember feeling
I could finally touch a rifle, that some murders
are an illumination of ethics, that they act as a word,
a motion the brain requires for which there is
no syllable, no breath. The moment the planes had stopped,
when we were afraid of the sky, there was a pause
when we could have been perfectly American,
could have spent infinity dollars and thrown a million
bodies at finding the few, lasering our revenge
into a kind of love, the blood-hunger kept exact
and more convincing for its precision, an expression
of our belief that proximity is never the measure of guilt.
We've lived in the sky again for some years and today
on my lap these pictures from Iraq, naked bodies
stacked into a pyramid of ha-ha and the articles
about broomsticks up the ass and the limbs of children
turned into stubble, we are punch-drunk and getting even
with the sand, with the map, with oil, with ourselves
I think listening to the guys behind me. There's a problem
in Alpena with an inventory control system, some switches
are being counted twice, switches for what I don't know—
switches of humor, of faith—but the men are musical
in their jargon, both likely born in New Delhi
and probably Americans now, which is what the flesh
of this country has been, a grafted pulse, an inventory
of the world, and just as the idea of embrace
moves chemically into my blood, and I'm warmed
as if I've just taken a drink, a voice announces
we've begun our descent, and then I sense the falling.
From Poetry Magazine.
On Friday I had to run out to a store in the morning, while it was still raining. But after lunch, I looked out the window and saw a strangely familiar yellow orb in the sky. Believing that I must need my Vitamin D replenished, I went for a long walk and watched the deer and chipmunks race through the wet grass. I do not actually care what I do this weekend (maybe Boonsboro Days, maybe Kings Dominion, depending on other family members' demands) if I can be outdoors with the sun shining. My weather app has ominous thunderstorms predicted. It was so nice to have an afternoon without rain.
I posted a review of the animated Star Trek's moderately enjoyable "Albatross" and boggled at the news that Russell Crowe is going to play Javert in Tom Hooper's film of the musical version of Les Miserables, which could either be awesome or a total disaster; Hugh Jackman is signed to play Jean Valjean and supposedly Anne Hathaway is about to ink the contract to play Fantine, though my favorite rumor is that Hooper wants Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier. We had dinner with my parents, then come home for the season finale of Torchwood, which was quite satisfying and did several things that made me extremely happy, against all my expectations.
I know most people dislike Children of Earth because of Ianto's death, but for me the storytelling was starting to fall apart by the end of the third episode, and the fourth and fifth were barely watchable. Miracle Day had my complete attention heading into the finale ten installments in, and I was really braced for everyone but Jack to die -- I thought that, like previous Torchwood teams, there would be housekeeping, plus we've been braced for Rex's death since a few minutes into the first episode. And I really believed that they only gave Gwen a child to kill it off, same as Jack's grandson.
Spoilers! So imagine my delight that this time it's not Jack in Doctor Who mode playing God, but Gwen Cooper doing what she thinks is right for the world and her team and her family. The Blessing itself seems a bit hokey, but I've had that issue with the science fiction component of nearly every episode of Torchwood (not to mention The X-Files etc.), so that is by no means a deal-breaker for me. And if we're going to have a benevolent protective being running through the Earth, at least it's a sheela-na-gig and not some phallic god force. I suppose the Blessing isn't all that different than Jack's fate in the far future as the Face of Bo sustaining the power source of a planet to keep its people alive.
And how happy am I that Rex is not only alive but immortal like Jack? He's my ideal companion for Jack (take that any way you like)! I'm sad about Esther, but I knew that everyone couldn't survive, and I was a bit terrified that they'd kill off the Welsh brunette and keep the American blonde for Starz. If I have to choose, I'll choose Gwen every time. I don't want to claim that I'm an adoring fan of Jane Espenson because we all know that I have issues with aspects of BTVS and BSG and other shows she's written/produced, but I have to say that between Warehouse 13 and Miracle Day, I am appreciating her a lot right now.
Another batch of Renfaire pics:
Gertrude and Claudius try to improve Hamlet's mood with cookies in Shakespeare's Skum's production of Leave It To Hamlet...
...while Happenstance Theatre presents the tragic conclusion to Something Rotten in mime.
The Squire of the Wire juggles knives while balancing on a board on a tube on a table...after tying his shoe balanced on same.
The artisans from Art of Fire, which we visit on the Countryside Artisans tours, demonstrate glassblowing.
Young visitors enjoy elephant rides around the back of the jousting ring past the edge of the parking lot.
A wild clown pony greets a young Faire-goer.
Daniel and his friend Shelley contemplated the schedule (they then disappeared and we didn't see them till the last show of the day).
Adam and his friend Thomas, who had been to the Faire before, took photos and saw some of the same Shakespeare we did.