Saturday, May 31, 2003

Poem for Saturday

Ode to the West Wind
By Percy Bysshe Shelley


0 wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: 0 thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave,until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, 0 hear!

Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like Earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: 0 hear!

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: 0 hear!

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, 0 Uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! 0 Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


thepiratequeen 98%

cherryscott 95%

saava 95%

lunasv 91%

keelywolfe 87%

jennandanica 87%

cupiscent 87%

domanique 84%

chlaal 84%

osanna 80%

hibernate 80%

phoenixdru 76%

ashinae 76%

ladymoonray 75%

giddyupnow 72%

rainbow_bright 70%

vjlaqem 69%

karelian 69%

twinkledru 68%

lamath 65%

ariestess 64%

seemag 60%

iana_niniel 58%

littledrop 57%

mickeym 57%

gblvr 45%

How compatible with me are YOU?

Gacked from , 10 things I adore or 10 things I take selfish pleasure in for the sake of happiness, in no particular order:

1. Traveling to places I've always wanted to go.
2. Talking about history, mythology and religion with my kids.
3. Having a cat purring next to me.
4. Rewatching my favorite movies.
5. The ocean.
6. Long indulgent phone conversations with D.
7. Being in a very stable long-term relationship with someone whom I can tell absolutely anything.
8. Having a really dorky, sentimental spiritual sense that makes me attribute things to divine causes even when intellectually I should know better.
9. Books, books, books. Novels. Art books. Poetry. Biography. Philosophy. You name it.
10. This LJ.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Junk collection

Alongside my obsession with collecting Tarot cards, I collect illustrated decks of playing cards -- some transformation cards, some that are just interesting decks with different pictures on each card face. Tonight my kids' game pile avalanched and I decided to swipe the cat deck and aquarium fish deck before they got destroyed by boys, so I took them upstairs and started moving around some of my vast collection of decks of cards.

And then I decided while I was arranging stuff to do something about my jewelry box, which is mostly a collection of smaller jewelry boxes holding what small treasures my grandmothers left behind -- a couple of gold pins commemorating the volunteer work my father's mother did at Deborah Hospital, a couple of charms for necklaces that say "#1 Mom" and things like that. My mother's mother collected watches -- or I should say that she never threw out a watch once it had stopped working, since none of these were particularly rare or ornate watches -- and my mother had had a pin made for me with the faces of some of the watches.

So after arranging the jewelry box, I moved on to the little chest on my nighttable where I keep hair clips, hippie necklaces on hemp and cord, and my two Native American fetish necklaces, plus the animals from a third necklace that I found broken in a parking lot. And I made space for the runes I bought in Glastonbury and the hamsa charm my mother got me at the Jewish bookstore earlier this week.

And it occurred to me that in this fit of organizational anality, I really should put away the two baskets of laundry sitting neatly folded in front of the bookcase. But what's the fun in that? So instead I came back downstairs and organized the kids' games even though just about every box is trashed, which makes it really hard to deal with card games especially. I am really glad I bought them their own Lord of the Rings Tarot deck to keep them away from mine.

Don't ask me why I'm telling you all this. Probably to avoid putting laundry away.

Poem for Friday and <a href

From Hamlet Act I Scene 3
By William Shakespeare

(To go with the survey below...)

There ... my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel but, being in,
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!


Friday Five:

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?

I don't think there's any one thing. This is going to sound terribly trite but I would like my friends to remember me as loyal, my family to remember me as someone they liked being related to, my children to remember me as someone who helped them grow up to be whoever they're going to be, my colleagues to remember me as someone who did good work and was enjoyable to be around. It would be nice to think I'll be remembered for making a difference in something somewhere, but the rest would be enough.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?
"God, whose name I do not know, thank you for my life. I never realized how big..." (Tom Hanks in Joe vs. the Volcano)

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
Getting through a horrific situation involving one of my kids with my sanity intact, and not having tried to kill the person responsible.

4. What about the past ten years?
Keeping a balance between parenting and doing work that means something to me.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?
To quote Shakespeare, "This above all: to thine own self be true..."


Pointed out by , this wonderful interview with Michael Rosenbaum in which he speaks of Lex's loves delightfully freely of gender restrictions.

Gacked from :


*~ What kind of dreamer are you? ~*
brought to you by Quizilla

Late as usual

For everyone to whom I owe e-mail, comments, etc.:

I know I said I would get to it tonight. But tonight I needed something to stick on the TV while I was folding laundry, so I stuck on Excalibur which I had not watched in easily a decade. And, you know. Nigel Terry. Patrick Stewart. Helen Mirren. Liam Neeson. I kind of spent two and a half hours completely engrossed in watching it (and tomorrow I need to spend at least a few minutes listening to the director's commentary to see if I can figure out where they filmed the scenes on the hilltop with the standing stones). Did I mention I found the DVD for $6 on in perfect condition?

So that is my Thursday excuse. In fairness I have spent the last half-hour trying to read my friends list and reply to comments only to get the "This Page Cannot Be Found" Screen of Doom. I was astounded the update page came up! So have a lovely night/morning/whatever it is in your part of the world and I will get to all my correspondence ASAP!

Go download 's "Silence" vid. Boromir angst. RM or WMV.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

by Robert Frost

"You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!"
"I don't know what part of the pasture you mean."
"You know where they cut off the woods--let me see--
It was two years ago--or no!--can it be
No longer than that?--and the following fall
The fire ran and burned it all up but the wall."
"Why, there hasn't been time for the bushes to grow.
That's always the way with the blueberries, though:
There may not have been the ghost of a sign
Of them anywhere under the shade of the pine,
But get the pine out of the way, you may burn
The pasture all over until not a fern
Or grass-blade is left, not to mention a stick,
And presto, they're up all around you as thick
And hard to explain as a conjuror's trick."
"It must be on charcoal they fatten their fruit.
I taste in them sometimes the flavour of soot.
And after all really they're ebony skinned:
The blue's but a mist from the breath of the wind,
A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand,
And less than the tan with which pickers are tanned."
"Does Mortenson know what he has, do you think?"
"He may and not care and so leave the chewink
To gather them for him--you know what he is.
He won't make the fact that they're rightfully his
An excuse for keeping us other folk out."
"I wonder you didn't see Loren about."
"The best of it was that I did. Do you know,
I was just getting through what the field had to show
And over the wall and into the road,
When who should come by, with a democrat-load
Of all the young chattering Lorens alive,
But Loren, the fatherly, out for a drive."
"He saw you, then? What did he do? Did he frown?"
"He just kept nodding his head up and down.
You know how politely he always goes by.
But he thought a big thought--I could tell by his eye--
Which being expressed, might be this in effect:
'I have left those there berries, I shrewdly suspect,
To ripen too long. I am greatly to blame.'"
"He's a thriftier person than some I could name."
"He seems to be thrifty; and hasn't he need,
With the mouths of all those young Lorens to feed?
He has brought them all up on wild berries, they say,
Like birds. They store a great many away.
They eat them the year round, and those they don't eat
They sell in the store and buy shoes for their feet."
"Who cares what they say? It's a nice way to live,
Just taking what Nature is willing to give,
Not forcing her hand with harrow and plow."
"I wish you had seen his perpetual bow--
And the air of the youngsters! Not one of them turned,
And they looked so solemn-absurdly concerned."
"I wish I knew half what the flock of them know
Of where all the berries and other things grow,
Cranberries in bogs and raspberries on top
Of the boulder-strewn mountain, and when they will crop.
I met them one day and each had a flower
Stuck into his berries as fresh as a shower;
Some strange kind--they told me it hadn't a name."
"I've told you how once not long after we came,
I almost provoked poor Loren to mirth
By going to him of all people on earth
To ask if he knew any fruit to be had
For the picking. The rascal, he said he'd be glad
To tell if he knew. But the year had been bad.
There had been some berries--but those were all gone.
He didn't say where they had been. He went on:
'I'm sure--I'm sure'--as polite as could be.
He spoke to his wife in the door, 'Let me see,
Mame, we don't know any good berrying place?'
It was all he could do to keep a straight face.
"If he thinks all the fruit that grows wild is for him,
He'll find he's mistaken. See here, for a whim,
We'll pick in the Mortensons' pasture this year.
We'll go in the morning, that is, if it's clear,
And the sun shines out warm: the vines must be wet.
It's so long since I picked I almost forget
How we used to pick berries: we took one look round,
Then sank out of sight like trolls underground,
And saw nothing more of each other, or heard,
Unless when you said I was keeping a bird
Away from its nest, and I said it was you.
'Well, one of us is.' For complaining it flew
Around and around us. And then for a while
We picked, till I feared you had wandered a mile,
And I thought I had lost you. I lifted a shout
Too loud for the distance you were, it turned out,
For when you made answer, your voice was as low
As talking--you stood up beside me, you know."
"We sha'n't have the place to ourselves to enjoy--
Not likely, when all the young Lorens deploy.
They'll be there to-morrow, or even to-night.
They won't be too friendly--they may be polite--
To people they look on as having no right
To pick where they're picking. But we won't complain.
You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain,
The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves,
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves."


: "Mythological", for the "Die Helen Die" challenge (though actually it wasn't necessary to kill her off, thank goodness).

Got Mary Fahl's new CD yesterday (note: if you order it from Sony online they will send you an autographed photo of her with the CD, and in addition to having an unbelievable voice, she happens to be stunningly beautiful). I haven't listened to the music enough to know whether I'm going to fall in love with it; my first, perhaps unfair, thought is that it's just not October Project, which has also been my thought about all post-Mary October and November Project music. They were so wonderful together.

Had an argument with my editor about journalistic bias, namely: if one is writing a brief from a source whose bias is flagrant and plainly stated in the first two paragraphs, is it impartial NOT to make note of said bias and to print quotes from the article as if they were purely factual, or is it not better journalism to illustrate the bias of the original writer within the brief? Have we as journalists learned nothing from 60 Minutes and advertising, namely that one can excerpt from almost any article to make it sound as if the subject meant exactly the opposite of what he said?

And in a similar vein, why is it more professional to quote amateur reviewers than to cite statistics on fan polls? They're all prejudiced sources (as are professional reviewers but that is a different rant entirely).

Oh my god those Orlando Bloom pictures at OBM. All right, I am converted and he is old enough for me. Must go reread The Iliad so I can figure out if there's any possibility of slashing Paris and Odysseus. And here's Sharpe by Kim Schultz. It looks like there might be some good fan fiction on my Friends list. However, LJ isn't letting me access anything behind cut tags at the moment, so I can't say for sure. Arrgh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Caged Bird
By Matthew J. Spireng

Some believe there's somewhere in the brain
that senses minor fluctuations in the Earth's
magnetic field and uses a sort of memory
of that to travel the same route year after year
over thousands of miles, over open ocean
on moonless, clouded nights, and a built-in clock
that, save for weather's influence, tells
when it's time to go. But they utter nothing
of thwarted dreams in birds' brains, how
a few cubic feet near the ground, however
well-kept and lighted, however large it seems
around a small bright bird, is like a fist
closed tight on feather and bone, how, certain times
of year, the bird's heart races as if to power flight.


Those of you who read The Bean Zine have already seen this but it's hilarious enough to reprint here. The Sun has an advice column, Dear Deidre, "The World's #1 Agony Aunt," where people write in about their erotic agonies. Here is one man's misery: "My girlfriend only wants sex if she’s been watching Sean Bean on telly."

That's my fun headline for the morning. It's a good thing The New York Times keeps Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof on their op-ed staff, meanwhile, because I learn things from them that get buried amidst advertising if they're covered at all in the news. Here's Kristof asking, What Did You Do During the African Holocaust?

And although I normally shun The Guardian because their reporting on Israel is so biased and at times so flagrantly anti-Semitic, I was rather fascinated by the media analysis of this piece, Rescuing Private Lynch, Forgetting Rachel Corrie.

Last night I did something I haven't done in about two years: watched Jesus Christ Superstar (the Jewison movie, not the recording of the ultra-slashy modern-dress British stage production from a couple of years back). Since I got most of my early Christian education from that movie, Godspell and Madeleine L'Engle, I come to the Jesus story utterly without baggage, and it's always been a favorite of mine, which seems bizarre for a Jewish girl. Every year at Easter we watch the musicals and Life of Brian to maintain the proper sense of absurdity and optimism in the face of Fundamentalism, but we missed this year in England and I don't even remember what happened last year. A strange family ritual.

Speaking, well, the Devil, here is 's "Return To Innocence" -- Prophecy fic!

Monday, May 26, 2003

Poem for Memorial Day

By Conrad Aiken


How shall we praise the magnificence of the dead,
The great man humbled, the haughty brought to dust?
Is there a horn we should not blow as proudly
For the meanest of us all, who creeps his days,
Guarding his heart from blows, to die obscurely?
I am no king, have laid no kingdoms waste,
Taken no princes captive, led no triumphs
Of weeping women through long walls of trumpets;
Say rather, I am no one, or an atom;
Say rather, two great gods, in a vault of starlight,
Play ponderingly at chess, and at the game's end
One of the pieces, shaken, falls to the floor
And runs to the darkest corner; and that piece
Forgotten there, left motionless, is I. . .
Say that I have no name, no gifts, no power,
Am only one of millions, mostly silent;
One who came with eyes and hands and a heart,
Looked on beauty, and loved it, and then left it.
Say that the fates of time and space obscured me,
Led me a thousand ways to pain, bemused me,
Wrapped me in ugliness; and like great spiders
Dispatched me at their leisure. . .Well, what then?
Should I not hear, as I lie down in dust,
The horns of glory blowing above my burial?


Morning and evening opened and closed above me:
Houses were built above me; trees let fall
Yellowing leaves upon me, hands of ghosts;
Rain has showered its arrows of silver upon me
Seeking my heart; winds have roared and tossed me;
Music in long blue waves of sound has borne me
A helpless weed to shores of unthought silence;
Time, above me, within me, crashed its gongs
Of terrible warning, sifting the dust of death;
And here I lie. Blow now your horns of glory
Harshly over my flesh, you trees, you waters!
You stars and suns, Canopus, Deneb, Rigel,
Let me, as I lie down, here in this dust,
Hear, far off, your whispered salutation!
Roar now above my decaying flesh, you winds,
Whirl out your earth-scents over this body, tell me
Of ferns and stagnant pools, wild roses, hillsides!
Anoint me, rain, let crash your silver arrows
On this hard flesh! I am the one who named you,
I lived in you, and now I die in you.
I your son, your daughter, treader of music,
Lie broken, conquered. . .Let me not fall in silence.


I, the restless one; the circler of circles;
Herdsman and roper of stars, who could not capture
The secret of self; I who was tyrant to weaklings,
Striker of children; destroyer of women; corrupter
Of innocent dreamers, and laugher at beauty; I,
Too easily brought to tears and weakness by music,
Baffled and broken by love, the helpless beholder
Of the war in my heart of desire with desire, the struggle
Of hatred with love, terror with hunger; I
Who laughed without knowing the cause of my laughter, who grew
Without wishing to grow, a servant to my own body;
Loved without reason the laughter and flesh of a woman,
Enduring such torments to find her! I who at last
Grow weaker, struggle more feebly, relent in my purpose,
Choose for my triumph an easier end, look backward
At earlier conquests; or, caught in the web, cry out
In a sudden and empty despair, 'Tetélestai!'
Pity me, now! I, who was arrogant, beg you!
Tell me, as I lie down, that I was courageous.
Blow horns of victory now, as I real and am vanquished.
Shatter the sky with trumpets above my grave.


. . .Look! this flesh how it crumbles to dust and is blown!
These bones, how they grind in the granite of frost and are nothing!
This skull, how it yawns for a flicker of time in the darkness,
Yet laughs not and sees not! It is crushed by a hammer of sunlight,
And the hands are destroyed. . .Press down through the leaves of the jasmine,
Dig through the interlaced roots--nevermore will you find me;
I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . .
Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing?
Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun?
Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble
In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . .
Listen!. . .It says: 'I lean by the river. The willows
Are yellowed with bud. White clouds roar up from the south
And darken the ripples; but they cannot darken my heart,
Nor the face like a star in my heart!. . .Rain falls on the water
And pelts it, and rings it with silver. The willow trees glisten,
The sparrows chirp under the eaves; but the face in my heart
Is a secret of music. . .I wait in the rain and am silent.'
Listen again!. . .It says: 'I have worked, I am tired,
The pencil dulls in my hand: I see through the window
Walls upon walls of windows with faces behind them,
Smoke floating up to the sky, an ascension of sea-gulls.
I am tired. I have struggled in vain, my decision was fruitless,
Why then do I wait? with darkness, so easy, at hand!. . .
But tomorrow, perhaps. . .I will wait and endure till tomorrow!'. . .
Or again: 'It is dark. The decision is made. I am vanquished
By terror of life. The walls mount slowly about me
In coldness. I had not the courage. I was forsaken.
I cried out, was answered by silence. . .Tetélestai!. . .'


Hear how it babbles!--Blow the dust out of your hand,
With its voices and visions, tread on it, forget it, turn homeward
With dreams in your brain. . .This, then, is the humble, the nameless,--
The lover, the husband and father, the struggler with shadows,
The one who went down under shoutings of chaos, the weakling
Who cried his 'forsaken!' like Christ on the darkening hilltop!. . .
This, then, is the one who implores, as he dwindles to silence,
A fanfare of glory. . .And which of us dares to deny him?


100 sci-fi films meme: all of them except Dark City, La Jetee, Donnie Darko, Pi, Them!, Stalker, eXistenZ and -- believe it or not -- Men In Black.

Oh my god I just answered a post in which I defended the canonicity of the Janeway/Chakotay pairing. How many years must I chant "I don't give a shit" before it becomes true?!

Pointed out by , and whether it is or it isn't what it looks like, it made me grin: The Bulge In Tom Welling's Jeans.

Israel. Yeah, it's good but I still think Sharon is a liar. I hope I'm wrong. I refuse to allow myself any more emotional investment than that in the news because it'll all blow up (probably literally) later in the week.

And gacked from , this great news:

Which Agent Smith are you?
By Madeline Elster

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Poem for Sunday

The End and the Beginning
By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

After every war
someone has to tidy up.
Things won't pick
themselves up, after all.

Someone has to shove
the rubble to the roadsides
so the carts loaded with corpses
can get by.

Someone has to trudge
through sludge and ashes,
through the sofa springs,
the shards of glass,
the bloody rags.

Someone has to lug the post
to prop the wall,
someone has to glaze the window,
set the door in its frame.

No sound bites, no photo opportunities,
and it takes years.
All the cameras have gone
to other wars.

The bridges need to be rebuilt,
the railroad stations, too.
Shirtsleeves will be rolled
to shreds.

Someone, broom in hand,
still remembers how it was.
Someone else listens, nodding
his unshattered head.

But others are bound to be bustling nearby
who'll find all that
a little boring.

From time to time someone still must
dig up a rusted argument
from underneath a bush
and haul it off to the dump.

Those who knew
what this was all about
must make way for those
who know little.
And less than that.
And at last nothing less than nothing.

Someone has to lie there
in the grass that covers up
the causes and effects
with a cornstalk in his teeth,
gawking at clouds.


Also, if you're interested, take time to read Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post. This week the subject is Poland's Wislawa Szymborska, who wrote the poem above. "She has a corrosive wit and an ironic historical awareness," Hirsch writes.

I read pieces of The New York Times. Here's Frank Rich, scathing, on The Matrix and media conglomerates that would rather cover one dead pregnant woman than a government that lied to us about the causes for a war. Here's Maureen Dowd on more lies about Iraq (I read that she's dating Aaron Sorkin...fascinating combination). Here's Thomas Friedman on Saudi oil and SUVs, nothing we didn't already know. And here is where I got depressed and stopped reading the op-ed page.

Kim Schultz drew Viggo in Indian Runner (the bar scene). What I find really interesting about the drawing is that there's a point, scrolling up the page, where you can only see the very top of his head and his eyes and it looks like Aragorn, and then one click later you can see all of his eyes and part of his nose and it looks like Lucifer.

Happy Birthday !

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Poem for Saturday

The Coming of Light
By Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.


It's short and beautiful so you get it with no cut tag.

My husband came home with the first Matrix on DVD yesterday, though thus far we had somehow managed not to own it. Interestingly, it has gotten better since seeing The Matrix Reloaded. Then I discovered What Is The Matrix's Philosophy Page via The New York Times article Philosophers Draw On The Film Matrix and have been having some nostalgia for academia, even though in several cases my eyebrows were up around my hairline. I need to go look again at's Jewish perspective Beyond the Matrix too. And more here.

On a less serious note,
Top 5's Little Fivers Science Fiction this week:

In recent years, thousands of people in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US have listed "Jedi" as their religion when filling out census forms.

The Top 10 Jedi Commandments

10> Thou shalt not seek out these droids. These are not the droids you are looking for.
9> Thou shalt never bring up the fact that Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman sang a cabaret musical number in the Star Wars Holiday Special.
8> Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, but thy sister is fair game, especially if she's wearing that gold lame number!
7> Honor thy uncle and thy aunt, until such time as you happen upon their charred skeletal remains.
6> Thou shalt not overact, yea, nor even act sufficiently unto the day.
5> Thou shalt not go into Toshi Station to pick up some power converters.
4> Thou shalt leave well enough alone, Lucas... Hey, I'm talking to THEE!
3> Thou shalt not play "lightsaber fight" while at the communal urinal.
2> Thou shalt shoot first, and makest it to look like self-defense in a later edition.
and the Number 1 Jedi Commandment...
1> Talk like Yoda shalt thou not unless Yoda thou art, hmmm?

Friday, May 23, 2003

Poem for Friday and <a href

The Man-Moth
By Elizabeth Bishop

Man-Moth: Newspaper misprint for "mammoth."

                      Here, above,
cracks in the buldings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
It lies at his feet like a circle for a doll to stand on,
and he makes an inverted pin, the point magnetized to the moon.
He does not see the moon; he observes only her vast properties,
feeling the queer light on his hands, neither warm nor cold,
of a temperature impossible to records in thermometers.

                      But when the Man-Moth
pays his rare, although occasional, visits to the surface,
the moon looks rather different to him. He emerges
from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks
and nervously begins to scale the faces of the buildings.
He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
He trembles, but must investigate as high as he can climb.

                      Up the façades,
his shadow dragging like a photographer's cloth behind him
he climbs fearfully, thinking that this time he will manage
to push his small head through that round clean opening
and be forced through, as from a tube, in black scrolls on the light.
(Man, standing below him, has no such illusions.)
But what the Man-Moth fears most he must do, although
he fails, of course, and falls back scared but quite unhurt.

                      Then he returns
to the pale subways of cement he calls his home. He flits,
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.
He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.

                      Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window,
for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison,
runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease
he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep
his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.

                  If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It's all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye. Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee's sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, and if you're not paying attention
he'll swallow it. However, if you watch, he'll hand it over,
cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink.


Happy belated birthday !

Friday Five. Oh my god boring.
1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?
2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?
Charmin, though if just about anything less abrasive than sandpaper is on sale, I'm fine with it.
3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?
I am the queen of cheap comfortable shoes. Barefoot is my favorite in the summer, big fluffly slippers in the winter, and if I must go out I want stretchy flats that create absolutely no friction on my heels and toes. Even among sneakers I have no big Nike-Reebok-Adidas preference.
4. What brand of soda do you drink?
Have developed a great fondness lately for Vanilla Coke, though I prefer the New York soda fountain variety. Also Dr. Brown's Black Cherry.
5. What brand of gum do you chew?
Anything mint. No bubblegum-flavored gum. But this is pretty much limited to takeoffs and landings on planes anyway; I prefer to suck on mints.

Beastspeakers are gifted with the enviable ability to communicate with the animals around them. Most Beastspeakers are genuine people, and tend to enjoy time in the open air, instead of inside doing mundane chores. In general, Beastspeakers love the environment almost as much as they love their animals and friends.

What is your Misfit Talent?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

My plumber thinks I'm nuts.

This is the fault of and , with whom I was watching Naked Sean Bean all afternoon -- his arse was on the screen every time the plumber walked through my living room. It is also the fault of my cats and my children, who could drive anyone nuts, though in my defense, Cara brought lunch in a BOX and we all know what that means when there are cats and boys around.

Next time I show Caravaggio to someone, I'm showing them the hot tub scene from When Saturday Comes first to ensure the right mental images when...right. But I had a thought. Someone who reads this LJ must have seen War Requiem with Sean, Nigel and Tilda reunited for Derek Jarman. Details, anyone, please?

Poem for Thursday

I keep forgetting to link to this weekend's Poet's Choice column from The Washington Post, by Edward Hirsch, this week on Joseph Brodsky. Here's the poem but I recommend the article as well.

May 24, 1980
By Joseph Brodsky

I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages,
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters,
lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis,
dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the earthly
width. Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country that bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles,
worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter,
planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables,
guzzled everything save dry water.
I've admitted the sentries' third eye into my wet and foul
dreams. Munched the bread of exile: it's stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
What should I say about life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelette, though, makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been crammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.


My kids woke me up early so I read the New York Times op-ed page: Bob Herbert on who's less patriotic, the Dixie Chicks or Dick Cheney's long-term meal ticket, the Halliburton Company, and William Safire on The Great Media Gulp in which the FCC may quietly allow Disney, Viacom and Rupert Murdoch to own every TV and radio station in the US. We live in terrifying times.

I am very glad that...

You are Trinity-
You are Trinity, from "The Matrix."
Strong, beautiful- you epitomize the ultimate

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Am having lunch with and again and we are watching naked Sean Bean movies!

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

This Morning
By Charles Simic

Enter without knocking, hard-working ant.
I'm just sitting here mulling over
What to do this dark, overcast day?
It was a night of the radio turned down low,
Fitful sleep, vague, troubling dreams.
I woke up lovesick and confused.
I thought I heard Estella in the garden singing
And some bird answering her,
But it was the rain. Dark tree tops swaying
And whispering. "Come to me my desire,"
I said. And she came to me by and by,
Her breath smelling of mint, her tongue
Wetting my cheek, and then she vanished.
Slowly day came, a gray streak of daylight
To bathe my hands and face in.
Hours passed, and then you crawled
Under the door, and stopped before me.
You visit the same tailors the mourners do,
Mr. Ant. I like the silence between us,
The quiet--that holy state even the rain
Knows about. Listen to her begin to fall,
As if with eyes closed,
Muting each drop in her wild-beating heart.


The challenge for the day is to write about something ending. I started to write one drabble, was interrupted in the middle by another drabble, then went back and finished the first. Here they are:

Descendant and After Sunset

No "Exodus" spoilers, though I highly recommend ' post on the Smallville season finale.

As I'm sure many of you know, LJ was impossible last night. So impossible that I couldn't even read my Friends list. And this morning when I got to Friends -100, I realized that I was not going to catch up or I would end up in the same situation tomorrow morning. So apologies and if you posted something you really want me to see or you think I would really enjoy, please let me know.

Quizilla, however, was working and I just could not resist this quiz, nor publicly posting this result, since I love my Michael Piller show:

dead zone
You are The Dead Zone! A T.V programme about a guy
who was in a coma for 6 years who wakes to find
he can see things. Based on the book by Steven
What T.V show are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Romance Sonambulo
By Federico García Lorca
Translated by William Logan (in Spanish here)

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.

Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

--My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.
My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.
--If it were possible, my boy,
I'd help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that's possible,
with blankets of fine chambray.
Don't you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?
--Your white shirt has grown
thirsy dark brown roses.
Your blood oozes and flees a
round the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.

Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.

Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she--tell me--
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken "Guardias Civiles"
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.

I have been at my computer for nearly three hours this morning. I have not even started work. I have not written one word of the collaborative fic I am supposed to be working on. I have not touched a group story I am supposed to be done with by tonight. I have not made a dent in my correspondence. I just deleted about 20 Clark/Lex fics from mailing lists because there is no way I am going to get them read. I have not left comments for about 20 people on LJ who deserve them.

I know I am blowing off two hours tonight to watch Buffy (even though I've missed most of this season) and Smallville (even though my expectations are very low). So everything has to be done by 3 p.m. when my kids get home from school. As if!

It's not even noon and I feel like a complete and utter failure today.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Poem for Monday

The Hills of Little Cornwall
By Mark Van Doren

The hills of little Cornwall
Themselves are dreams.
The mind lies down among them,
Even by day, and snores,
Snug in the perilous knowledge
That nothing more inward pleasing,
More like itself,
Sleeps anywhere beyond them
Even by night
In the great land it cares two pins about,
Possibly; not more.

The mind, eager for caresses,
Lies down at its own risk in Cornwall;
Whose hills,
Whose cunning streams,
Whose mazes where a thought,
Doubling upon itself,
Considers the way, lazily, well lost,
Indulge it to the nick of death--
Not quite, for where it curls it still can feel,
Like feathers,
Like affectionate mouse whiskers,
The flattery, the trap.


In case anyone is wondering why my fic page is up, it's because I think Gray Day is the stupidest bullshit I have ever heard in my fannish life, though of course I respect the rights of others to do whatever they wish. I steal shamelessly from Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox and hundreds of writers and producers who work for them, with nothing more than a "Blah blah not mine" disclaimer, and I have, on occasion, borrowed the real lives of real people for my own onanistic literary pleasure. Yeah, it sucks that there might be some fan somewhere trying to pass my work off as hers, but I've had that happen before and taken it up with the parties in question and it's never been a big fucking deal.

Shit, can you imagine if New Line decided not to release Return of the King on opening day in protest against all the fan fiction out there? Or if the screen was blank during the first showing of Matrix: Revolutions because some asshole somewhere in the world made an illegal copy of Matrix Reloaded that some of the very people graying their sites out today have undoubtedly already downloaded with some P2P client? Intellectual property theft is a risk any time one creates intellectual property. A heavy price. I pay it gladly.

Oh yeah, and stolen from :

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Which 80s High School Movie Are You? ...aka the Molly Ringwald appreciation quiz...

brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Matrix Reloaded

Wow. I'm not going to be ready to comment on this one until I ruminate for awhile and find a copy of the script and probably see it at least one more time, but on a pure enjoyment level, boy, did I. My mother volunteered to babysit and I had to make a tough choice between Matrix and X2 because who knows when I'm going to get babysitting again, but really when it came down to it I knew I wanted to see Matrix more. And I am not at all sorry.

I do suspect that the Wachowskis are no more consistent in their internal mythology than Chris Carter ever was; there are too many holes, too many bits that I can't match up no matter what kind of stretches I make. There's no way it's all going to pull together neatly in the final installment, but I don't care. I'm just amused, because I've been reading people's analysis of this film for several days, and really thought the Greek and Gnostic and Aztec elements might all magically align the way all the bodies do during...ahem. *g*

And thank you so, so much to everyone here who mentioned that we should stay through the credits until the preview at the very end. Nine-tenths of the people in the theater had walked out by that point, and we never would have known!

By Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves. I liked it so much I had to post it here.

Poem for Sunday

The Wolverine
By Stewart Brisby

outside every door
there stands
a wolverine
who will barter
dream for dream

in return for your children
& a worn out phrase
he offers a mother's lullabye
written at the bottom
of your glass

he barters
for your questions
your definitions
& offers a palm reading
scribbled indelibly
at the end of your syringe

he devours his spoils
at the foot of your bed
& is satiated by your emptiness

in the quiet of night
he laughs
when you bring your dreams
to the wolverine.


Brief fic recs: 's Dirty. Aragorn/Eowyn, a pairing I never would have dreamed I could stomach, let alone that I could enjoy. Really well done. And 's The Angle of the Sun -- wonderful, romantic, passionate, slightly angsty but overwhelmingly hopeful Aragorn/Faramir. Oh, and hot.

Post-feminist op-ed from The New York Times: Maureen Dowd proving to me that I really am a man, as I respond much more to so-called male-oriented movies than female-targeted films, and Nora Ephron reminding me that even if I'd been young and clever and working as an intern in JFK's White House, he would not have had an affair with me. I think I am amused.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

We interrupt this program...

...because while I was looking for Enterprise reviews for this week, I had to stop and read Logan Crawford of ScoopMe!'s Dawson's Creek finale recap which made me cry all over again. In particular I loved this:
I stand unashamed and admit that when Jack told Jen that she was his soulmate, I was possibly more moved than at any other moment of this show’s history. It clearly encapsulates what Jack and Jen have been to each other forever. From his tentative steps toward her – simply another wounded soul – to the love that grew between them, they found what they needed in each other. It’s funny how in retrospect, Jack and Jen were the only truly successful love story on Dawson’s Creek; an unconventional one to be sure, but a love story nonetheless. Perhaps that is what made it so powerful: that even though they were never destined to be a couple, their connection would rise above everything else.

God that's well-said. One of my favorite episodes ever was the one where Jen and Jack almost made love, despite the fact that she was drunk and he was gay, because he was terrified that he would never meet anyone he loved as much as he loved her. That quote also explains why I think Dawson and Joey's resolution was fine. Sex can be just sex, but soulmates are forever.

Logan also did some really nice character analysis of Pacey and a good job explaining why in this ending to a romantic triangle, getting the girl seems like a consolation prize. "Wishes come true, not free." I'm done now.

Poem for Saturday and Random Recs

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
By William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


From The Wind Among the Reeds. Short enough that I skipped the cut tag. Did you guess that Equilibrium put me in the mood for this? You're right! Sean Bean reading Yeats...what could be better? Well, besides Sean Bean reading Shakespeare's gay sonnets...

tells me that I must see Better Than Sex. I can't find it anywhere and I desperately want to worship the Dave!Ass. Can anyone help me? What is wrong with Deep Discount DVD and Amazon, anyway?

Re: Matrix and X2 stories -- the reason I haven't left you comments is that I haven't seen them yet. Believe me I wish it were otherwise. And now for some recs, by no means comprehensive of things I enjoyed this week or even this weekend, just what leaped out at me this morning:
's The Tree of Knowledge, angsty Clark/Lex/Helen...
's Assets and Liabilities, happy Clex...
's Perfect, angsty like most Alec/James...
's Farewell, angsty like most Boromir/Faramir...
And just for giggles, 's comment on this ROTK Legolas spoiler pic. HOWL!

On to serious stuff. Edward Rothstein in The New York Times on Mutating Virus: Hatred of Jews, an interesting article on new, improved anti-Semitism following a conference at the Center for Jewish History earlier this week. Plus Bill Keller on God and G.W. Bush, fascinating and scary.

And finally,'s Number 1 Comment On a Date That Guarantees You Won't Get Laid. "This scar? I got it at a Star Trek convention when I tripped and stabbed myself with my inhaler. Hey, did you know that a Klingon is physically incapable of French kissing?"

Friday, May 16, 2003

Poem for Friday and <a href

By Anthony Hecht

Against the enormous rocks of a rough coast
The ocean rams itself in pitched assault
And spastic rage to which there is no halt;
Foam-white brigades collapse; but the huge host

Has infinite reserves; at each attack
The impassive cliffs look down in gray disdain
At scenes of sacrifice, unrelieved pain,
Figured in froth, aquamarine and black.

Something in the blood-chemistry of life,
Unspeakable, impressive, undeterred,
Expresses itself without needing a word
In this sea-crazed Empedoclean Strife.

It is a scene of unmatched melancholy,
Weather of misery, cloud cover of distress,
To which there are not witnesses, unless
One counts the briny, tough and thorned sea holly.

The most fun news item I have ever gotten to write about a Star Trek star: Patrick Stewart, Anjelica Huston, Orlando Bloom To Star In The Remains of the Piano. This cast may be as much of a wet dream for me as that of Troy.

Elvis Mitchell's review of The Matrix Reloaded in The New York Times has some marvelous commentary on the ironies of the look of the film. Not that I've seen it yet. I just found the review very interesting.

And while I was reading the Times I came across this horrific op-ed piece by Nicholas Kristof -- I need to find out where to send a donation.

Stop the FCC!

Friday Five:

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?

Anything that doesn't taste metallic or mildewed. Tap is fine except in downtown Philadelphia where all the water tastes like it's been run through a dishwasher.

2. What are your favourite flavor of chips?
Salt and vinegar.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
Cook? Me? Hahahahaha. I make an excellent ice cream sundae.

4. How do you have your eggs?
Over medium. Though I love eggs and will eat them hard-boiled, scrambled, fried with spices, etc.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
My husband, and it was great, usually is.

Thursday, May 15, 2003


I only cried through half of the Dawson's Creek finale. I was doing well until Dawson got out the camera to film Jen's message to Amy, and then -- just from the sight of the camera -- I became a basket case. But ironically the scene that had me bawling aloud was Jack and Doug on the beach, after Jack's comment to Doug that he was a fifteen-year-old fag, he just hated himself for it. Because, you know, it is so true that there were never gay role models on TV when I was growing up and in fact this show had the first-ever kiss between two men on prime time (and I believe that Jack has kissed more men onscreen than Will has, which makes it pretty ironic that Jack cited Will and Grace as proof that it's safe to come out in small-town America now).

But the things for which I love DC, besides the fact that all the characters and actors seem genuinely to like each other and to appreciate the show and the fans...they played Marc Cohn's "Healing Hands," they played Beth Nielsen Chapman's "Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye," they played Ed McCain's "I'll Be," they played Jewel's "Hands." They showed one of those amazing sunset-over-the-creek tracking shots. I don't think I have ever loved a show this unreservedly. I might have loved Deep Space Nine more, but I definitely had periods of angst and anguish over where that show was going, and weeks when I was just plain bored. I have nothing but happy memories of watching Dawson for more than five years.

Starz has FOTR on right now. I just got to watch Boromir yelling "ARAGORN!" in Moria. It is amazing how I can get chills from something I have seen literally 50 times. And speaking of LOTR...naughty, naughty . I knew I loved her for a reason.

Lyrics for Thursday

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
By Colin Hay

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down on me
And you say be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin.
When I woke today suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps once again
And you say just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Just let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin.
Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean
And you say be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin.

For the next 24 hours I am allowed to wallow in schmoopy Dawson's Creek nostalgia and no one is allowed to call me a loser. If I am still wallowing after that time, everyone should call me a loser. But nicely. *g*

I discovered post-Men at Work Colin Hay's "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" because of DC. Also, Beth Nielsen Chapman's "Seven Shades of Blue", and Mary Beth's "Hold On", and Billie Myers' "Kiss the Rain", and Shawn Colvin's "I Never Saw Blue Like That", and Amy Cook's "Windows", and Five For Fighting's "Superman", and Jann Arden's "Sleepless", and I think I shall stop embarrassing myself now. Really if the only thing Dawson ever did for me was introduce me to Beth Nielsen Chapman, that would be enough reason to love the show forever. But I also carry around a mental image of the creek surrounded by summer greenery in late afternoon light, with Eva Cassidy's version of "Fields of Gold" playing, and that is a very lovely thing.

I'm done. Back to your regularly scheduled programming in the morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Poem for Wednesday

The Dream Of The Marsh Wren: Reciprocal Creation
By Pattiann Rogers

The marsh wren, furtive and tail-tipped,
by the rapid brown blurs of his movements
makes sense of the complexities of sticks
and rushes. He makes slashes and complicated
lines of his own in mid-air above the marsh
by his flight and the rattles of his incessant
calling. He exists exactly as if he were a product
of the pond and the sky and the blades of light
among the reeds and grasses, as if he were
deliberately willed into being by the empty
spaces he eventually inhabits.

And at night, inside each three-second
shudder of his sporadic sleep, understand
how he creates the vision of the sun
blanched and barred by the diagonal juttings
of the weeds, and then the sun as heavy
cattail crossed and tangled and rooted
deep in the rocking of its own gold water
and then the sun as suns in flat explorsions
at the bases of the tule. Inside the blink
of his eyelids, understand how he composes
the tule dripping sun slowly in gold rain
off its black edges, and how he composes
gold circles widening on the blue surface
of the sun's pond, and the sharp black
slicing of his wing rising against the sun,
and that same black edge skimming the thin
corridor of gold between sky and pond.

Imagine the marsh wren making himself
inside his own dream. Imagine the wren,
created by the marsh, inside the marsh
of his own creation, unaware of his being
inside this dream of mine where I imagine
he dreams within the boundaries of his own
fixed black eye around which this particular
network of glistening weeds and knotted
grasses and slow-dripping gold mist
and seeded winds shifting in waves of sun
turns and tangles and turns itself completely
inside out again here composing me
in the stationary silence of its only existence.


Lionel Luthor is the devil and needs to be written about as such. Nothing would make me happier than for Helen to dump Lex for his father, by the way. It would give me a single reason to find her interesting. Right now I can't think of any.

I'm two for two at HASA and neither's an A/B story! Do I dare send them "Promises and Pledges" or is it too far outside of canon? "Reflections on Absent Men" and "The Stone in the Bed" fit into tiny corners of literary Middle-earth (provided you're willing to accept that Aragorn and Faramir aren't as straight as Tolkien indicated). But P&P has movie-verse all over it. Then again, so do PlasticChevy's stories.

I loathe this man. Israel is not getting one cent of my money even for humanitarian aid until he is voted out of office or his government changes its policies. At least the UJA doesn't send me requests for money every other day, though, the way the ACLU does. Did my entire membership fee go to paying for mailings so they could ask for more money?

My cable is down. Not even flashing that it's trying to connect, but completely dead. This means that no one can call me at present, since I'm using the phone line to dial in, and that I will be very very slow and probably not on AIM until the damn thing gets fixed. Must call Comcast as soon as I'm done posting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Sonnet XLVII
By William Shakespeare

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish’d for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
Another time mine eye is my heart’s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away art present still with me;
For thou not further than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with thee;
   Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
   Awakes my heart to heart’s and eye’s delight.


One reason to read badfic: You may come across a line like this and laugh harder than you have in hours: "Grasping the slim waste in front of him..."

I think I have developed a shaggy Viggo fetish. Please tell me that this can be cured.

And speaking of shaggy men whom I want to shag, I had never seen any Inspector Morse before last night's with Sean Bean. Shaggy Sean Bean with an earring and very yellow-blonde hair. Shaggy Sean Bean locked in a room, throwing a typewriter. Shaggy Sean Bean kicking soccer balls at prison officials, grousing at police, talking about being in jail like he's enjoying it far too much. May I just say, "Ohhh, YES."

Sorry about the Dawson's Creek default icon. It's the last week ever that the show's on the air and I am allowing myself to wallow a little.

Am off to have lunch with whom I have known for nearly a decade online yet have never met. Should I wear my Viggo "War Is Not The Answer" shirt so she'll know I'm the real thing? Or should I wear my Janeway t-shirt to make her scream? Heh!

One final bit of spam, from :
I am a rude kitten with a little pink butt
Which cute or possibly strange kitten are you?
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From the Capitol Steps: Lirty Dies!

The storal of my mory is this. As we play side and heek with Obama sin Laden, it's tigh hime for old-passioned fatriotism. Chee threers for the bled, right, and woo of the A.S. of U. And blod guess the American lay of wife.

More at the Capitol Steps site. The Lent Trott worty dirds the best. He got up to leak from the spectern...

Monday, May 12, 2003

Poem for Monday

To Earthward
By Robert Frost

Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air
That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of- was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Down hill at dusk?
I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they're gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.
I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.
Now no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.
When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,
The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.


In an offshoot conversation from , someone mentioned that she wished Brannon Braga would die. And while I would never wish death on someone for something as trivial as ruining a television franchise -- I generally don't wish anyone dead except for one utterly despicable person who has caused direct and unmitigated suffering to my family, and I feel really terrible and try to repress those thoughts, since I don't even permit myself death wishes for political figures who are quite literally causing the deaths of thousands -- and this is an impressive run-on sentence, isn't it -- I realized something irrevocable when I read the Braga post.

I hate Ken Biller far more than I hate Brannon Braga. Don't get me wrong, I blame Braga for much of what I couldn't stand about Janeway the last three seasons of Voyager, and for Seven of Nine and her cat-suited ways, and for a lot of generally mediocre science fiction. But Biller wrote The Chakotay Episodes That Turned Voyager's XO Into An Intolerable Shithead. Biller oversaw most of Voyager's utterly unwatchable final season. Biller touched Dark Angel and it died. Now Biller's filthy, revolting paws are on Smallville and every week it gets a little worse. Blame Gough all you want; all I know is that the show took this turn when Biller showed up.

And I'm actually sort of liking Enterprise in spite of myself these days, because I'm not getting the sense that Braga sneers at the fans the way I know Biller does. I know because I've read his interviews. On which note I must go write an article about the fact that Smallville and Enterprise will be in competition in the same time slot next year. I see the WB is either trying to kill Star Trek or to kill its most viable show. Pretty darned amusing. Gosh, I might actually go back to 24 on Tuesday nights, if it's still there and there's minimal Kim. Since I know I'll be watching Enterprise, I wonder whether I'll even bother to catch up on Smallville the way I have religiously taped and watched Dawson's Creek?

And Angel will follow Smallville. But Charisma Carpenter is not expected to return, while James Marsters is expected to sign as a regular. If West Wing goes down the toilet without Sorkin, perhaps I will finally get on the Boreanaz bandwagon.

I forgot to write down who I gacked this from and now I can't find it on my Friends page so it was at least three days ago!

Which flock do you follow?
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