Monday, January 20, 2014

Poem for Monday, Inverted Jenny, Requiem for a Dream

Gate of Freedom
By Deema K. Shehabi

Lovers of asparagus, alive
as hummingbirds, place their nostrils
over a low cloud, wet of air.
It's the year of green hills
in California that early spring;
the evening is blue-split between the first
snow on the mountain top,
and a computer screen, where news of a man
whose body is eating itself, scythes
the long-stemmed breaths in the room.
"Do not weep if my heart fails," he writes.
"I am your son."

    Gate of Love

Son I have. Your hands bulge
with pear tree blossoms.
You are bellow and sweat,
hunger and bread.
I part the fog to find you
through a grimy crowd of kids.
Before you give in to the affection
that soils you in public,
I'll promise you a truce.

    Gate of the Sun

Bristling down the chemical-
scraped hall uttering
assalamu alaikums to the young
patients from the UAE, their heads sagging

to the side, their bodies a shrine
to tumors, husks of overgrown cells,
the chemo fountain. One boy
stares through a sieve
of darkness, hewn around dark-gray clouds.

    Gate of Peace

"I have so many sons withering,"
I whisper to the Chinese elm, as news
of the man whose body is eating itself,
disputes with the bresola on crisp baguette
that I'm eating in a garden

among the flung-out
blue jays and limping Daddy long legs.
No hymns left;
only a small neck
the sun gnarls through.


Sadly we are not having a very exciting MLK weekend, though Daniel will go back to College Park next week so we were hoping to get to some outdoor places;  Paul is still having trouble putting weight on his knee, so he has done very little walking. We took Adam out to get his bike repaired, only to discover that the repairs would cost more than the bike was worth, so we ended up getting him a new bike as an early graduation present and went out for Starbucks while the pedals were being switched.

We watched the end of the Denver game and the beginning of the Seattle game but I am past my football saturation for the season. Adam had a date in the evening with his girlfriend, so I took a walk while he was getting ready, then the rest of us had dinner, saw the end of the Seattle game, and watched Requiem For a Dream, which I'd never seen despite loving Aronofsky, Burstyn, Leto, Connelly, and David. It's superb but very depressing.

Here are some photos from the exhibit at the US Postal Museum on the Inverted Jenny, the misprinted sheet of stamps on which the planes appear upside down; they are now worth between $600,000 and a million each. The post office is re-releasing the 24-cent stamp this year as a $2.00 stamp. The block of four below sold for nearly $3 million.

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