By Alistair Noon
I seem so short of decent words for water,
my one good guide over the next three days.
It falls and flows, freezes, melts, forms a border,
then evaporates in the Dead Sea’s haze.
No single terms will sing a pool’s green hue,
the jellyfish-pirated Eastern Med,
dead coral off Kota Kinabalu,
scavengers’ darkness at the ocean bed.
When I find a pond or meet the Pacific
it’s not the light, the warmth, the taste or pressure,
but the fluid things that I make specific --
the place that I name and the shape I measure --
fingers doing their best to comprehend
this sentence we never hear to the end.
Noon's last book was Out of the Cave from 2011.
Saturday was yet another ridiculously warm January day. Younger son needed dress shoes to wear to my niece's Bat Mitzvah next month, so we took him to Lakeforest Mall, which was opening their annual Chinese New Year celebration with a ribbon-cutting and lion dance just after we arrived. We watched a bit of the martial arts and dancing, then went to three shoe stores where we eventually found shoes for him (though not for me, though I did threaten to get black patent leather boots with blue-and-green plaid insets and eight-inch heels). Then we went to the extremely crowded food court, where I had half of a fabulous spinach stromboli and we watched music videos on the overhead screens.
After looking at the photo and art displays, we left the mall and went to the ruins of Black Rock Mill in Germantown, which is part of Seneca Creek State Park. The mill is open to the sky and there's a gate where the door once was, but there are large signs inside explaining the history of the mill and of the area, plus a walking trail up the steep hill behind the mill and across Black Rock Road following Seneca Creek. It was muddy and somewhat slippery but it felt absolutely gorgeous out, and we didn't go home till after sunset since we had to stop at the grocery store.
In honor of the Chinese New Year festivities, we had General Tso's tofu and veggie dumplings for dinner. Then we were going to watch some more X-Files but while we were trying to figure out what we had, Paul put on FX, which had 2012 on, and Adam sat down to watch it, so the rest of us watched too. I had thought that Anonymous was probably Emmerich's most ridiculous movie but 2012 surely must rival it, and even though I still can't figure out how they intended to feed people after the Bad Stuff or ten million other major plot points, I knew exactly who was going to live, who was going to die, who was going to kiss, etc. because the movie is entirely formulaic in that regard.