Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Poem for Tuesday and Weekend Culture

By Ching-In Chen

It's not that the rains have rolled back
up to the ceiling. It's not that the frost has stopped
flirting with the dunegrass. My mother's eyes
are glass: she writes me what she sees there.

Duck waddling highway, sideways
raccoon pus, mutant
sunflower with a yen for fertilizer.

She has no time for wordshit.
Her older sister tells me my mother
doesn't understand much of poetry. Why
am I resistant?

The camera's already been here.


I spent most of Monday with Dementordelta and Colin Firth, beginning in the morning with And When Did You Last See Your Father? (which is sad but not depressing, has great performances from Colin, Juliet Stevenson, and Jim Broadbent, and has the best bathtub scene ever) and My Life So Far (which is adorable and also has great performances though I wanted to smack Colin's character many times). We had cats all over us at lunchtime, so instead of going out we just had bagels and watched Valmont (which remains my favorite version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in terms of how the female characters are treated, though I think several of the roles are more memorably played in other films). Then we decided we were in the mood for Shakespeare In Love, which the existence of Anonymous improves by comparison without even having to see the latter.

We were feeling lazy because we had a fabulous Sunday beginning at the Folger's Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible, an exhibit on the first Bibles in English and its evolution as a religious, literary, and genealogical artifact with many old Bibles and tracts about what an English Bible should be. Then we went to Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England's Dark Ages, in which more than 100 of the 3500 items found in Staffordshire are on display at the National Geographic Museum along with films about the excavation, research, and possible origins of the buried treasure. We had dinner at the Old Brogue pub where IONA played a set mostly from their new CD Silver, though they also did some wassailing songs in anticipation of the holiday season. Here are a few photos:

Hugh Broughton's tract criticizing the Bishops' Bible, which he claimed Queen Elizabeth I herself disliked, preceded the conference where the King James Bible was planned.

There were no photos allowed of the artifacts or display replicas in the exhibit on the treasures of Mercia. This was the best I could do.

We drove by Occupy DC. It was rainy but that didn't appear to be troubling the protesters.

IONA celebrates its 25th anniversary as a band at the Old Brogue, where we all had cheese strudel and those who ate fish did so.

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