Instead of Losing
By John Ashbery
Anyone, growing up in a space you hadn't used yet
would've done the same: bother the family's bickering
to head straight into the channel. My, those times
crackled near about us, from sickly melodrama
instead of losing, and the odd confusion... confusion.
I thought of it then, and in the mountains.
During the day we perforated the eponymous city limits
and then some. No one knew all about us
but some knew plenty. It was time to leave that town
for an empty drawer
into which they sailed. Some of the eleven thousand
virgins were getting queasy. I say, stop the ship!
No can do. Here come the bald arbiters
with their eyes on chains, just so, like glasses.
Heck, it's only a muskrat
that's seen better years, when things were medieval
So you people in the front,
leave. You see them. And you understand it all.
It doesn't end, night's sorcery notwithstanding.
Would you have preferred to be a grownup in earlier times
than the child can contain or imagine?
Or is right now the answer—you know, the radio
we heard news on late at night,
our checkered fortunes so pretty.
Here's your ton of plumes, and your Red Seal Records.
The whole embrace.
We had a fairly quiet holiday Monday after playing local tourists on Saturday and Sunday. We all slept late, and when we got up Dementordelta and I spent an hour looking for Golden Globes coverage with hot photos of Colin Firth, suggesting that the fix may have been in for cable television and analyzing why George Clooney is so fascinated by the size of Michael Fassbender's, um, no-hands golf club. Then we went out for an early lunch at Minerva's Indian buffet, where I ate much too much (chana dal, moong dal, some kind of spicy paneer, gulab jamun, rasgulla) but it was very worth it -- Daniel had said he couldn't get really good Indian in College Park and that was the one restaurant he specifically requested.
We had talked about going out to a movie, but after the Golden Globes the one I most wanted to see was The Help, which is already On Demand, so instead we stayed in and ate caramel cheesecake for dessert courtesy Delta and watched that. It was excellent, a very appropriate movie for Martin Luther King Day, and I had expected it to be more grim than it was; I know there are complaints that it filters black women's experiences through a white storyteller, but I thought Aibileen and Minnie came across as more courageous and in some ways more empowered than the much more privileged white women they worked for. And now that I have seen the movie I am quite annoyed that Streep beat out Davis for Best Actress; I'm sure she's an admirable Margaret Thatcher but what in hell does she need another trophy for?
In the evening we watched the Holyroodhouse episode of "The Queen's Palaces," then the DS9 episode in which Sisko realizes that Kasidy may be a Maquis traitor, then Jon Stewart trying to get secret signals from Stephen Colbert about how he should spend his SuperPAC money. And we are all still delighted that the Ravens won yesterday, though we only saw snatches of the game on the train museum and restaurant TV. Here are some photos from The Forget-Me-Not Factory, Ellicott City's fairy-and-magic emporium with wonderful costumes and beautiful paper goods: