Monday, June 30, 2003

Poem For Monday and More

I See Chile in My Rearview Mirror
By Agha Shahid Ali

By dark the world is once again intact,
Or so the mirrors, wiped clean, try to reason. . .
                           --James Merrill

This dream of water--what does it harbor?
I see Argentina and Paraguay
under a curfew of glass, their colors
breaking, like oil. The night in Uruguay

is black salt. I'm driving toward Utah,
keeping the entire hemisphere in view--
Colombia vermilion, Brazil blue tar,
some countries wiped clean of color: Peru

is titanium white. And always oceans
that hide in mirrors: when beveled edges
arrest tides or this world's destinations
forsake ships. There's Sedona, Nogales

far behind. Once I went through a mirror--
from there too the world, so intact, resembled
only itself. When I returned I tore
the skin off the glass. The sea was unsealed

by dark, and I saw ships sink off the coast
of a wounded republic. Now from a blur
of tanks in Santiago, a white horse
gallops, riderless, chased by drunk soldiers

in a jeep; they're firing into the moon.
And as I keep driving in the desert,
someone is running to catch the last bus, men
hanging on to its sides. And he's missed it.

He is running again; crescents of steel
fall from the sky. And here the rocks
are under fog, the cedars a temple,
Sedona carved by the wind into gods--

each shadow their worshiper. The siren
empties Santiago; he watches
--from a hush of windows--blindfolded men
blurred in gleaming vans. The horse vanishes

into a dream. I'm passing skeletal
figures carved in 700 B.C.
Whoever deciphers these canyon walls
remains forsaken, alone with history,

no harbor for his dream. And what else will
this mirror now reason, filled with water?
I see Peru without rain, Brazil
without forests--and here in Utah a dagger

of sunlight: it's splitting--it's the summer
solstice--the quartz center of a spiral.
Did the Anasazi know the darker
answer also--given now in crystal

by the mirrored continent? The solstice,
but of winter? A beam stabs the window,
diamonds him, a funeral in his eyes.
In the lit stadium of Santiago,

this is the shortest day. He's taken there.
Those about to die are looking at him,
his eyes the ledger of the disappeared.
What will the mirror try now? I'm driving,

still north, always followed by that country,
its floors ice, its citizens so lovesick
that the ground--sheer glass--of every city
is torn up. They demand the republic

give back, jeweled, their every reflection.
They dig till dawn but find only corpses.
He has returned to this dream for his bones.
The waters darken. The continent vanishes.


Sunday after spending the morning and having brunch with Todd, Stephanie et al, we drove into Oklahoma, stopping for lunch in a wooded rest stop and eating the rest of the chicken Stephanie had barbecued for us the night before as well as some of her cheesecake. We then headed directly for the KOA in Clinton/Elk City, with a brief stop at a Cherokee trading outpost where the kids were thrilled to find toy bows and arrows. So I had two people who thought they were Legolas shooting at plastic targets in front of our cabin. We took the kids swimming, heated canned spaghetti over a gas burner because there were no open fire pits, and I fell asleep ridiculously early while the rest were out taking showers.

I woke up at about 1 a.m., walked outside and saw a thousand times more stars than can be seen in the suburbs; I always forget what the sky looks like in the middle of the prairie until we're back there, and then it's incredible. I was afraid I would wake everyone if I went to get my binoculars, though, and something medium-sized was digging in front of the cabin next to ours, so I decided to go back to sleep and save star-watching for Devil's Tower. In the morning we saw the biggest grasshoppers I have ever seen -- at least four inches long, with legs another inch or so -- and the kids found lots of larva casings on the playground before we left.

We drove to Amarillo, TX for lunch, where we ate at a Subway that was less than a mile from Cadillac Ranch. We'd been following I-40, which follows old Route 66 and in some places covers where the older highway used to run, so many of the same tourist traps are still there. Cadillac Ranch consists of ten Cadillacs planted upright in the ground by a group called Ant Farm in 1974; the tail fins had been painted black in memoriam for artist Doug Michels, one of Ant Farm's founders, who died two weeks ago, but the cars were already covered with new graffiti and tributes to Doug. Besides this stunning display of Americana and the yellow soil for which it is named, Amarillo is best known for being the site of an atrocious battle between the US Army and the Comanche and Kiowa nations who were refusing to be sent to reservations in Oklahoma, though there are maybe 100 words about that on the proud Texas historical plaque by the Texas Trading Post.

The geography changed fantastically as we drove: from slightly hilly and grassy in Oklahoma to completely flat and treeless through the upper part of Texas, with only scrubby bushes and cows to break the monotony. Then as we entered New Mexico it became hilly and drier, until we were seeing huge mesas with red and yellow stratified rock covered by a variety of evergreen with which I am not familiar. There were antelope grazing at the side of the road as well as long-horn cattle, horses, and occasionally prowling hawks. The kids decided that we should watch Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron as we drove in honor of the landscape, so that was my soundtrack through eastern New Mexico.

After a brief stop in Clives Corner for incense, taffy and beaded necklaces, we drove through to Albuquerque, where the overpasses are decorated in southwest colors and designs -- dark pink with blue trim, mostly. We took the kids swimming at the hotel and ate boiled Thai noodles for dinner (suites pay for themselves on long trips by making dining out unnecessary!) I snuck out to get Paul an anniversary card for the next morning but could only find cowboy and cowgirl cards -- oh well! We talked briefly to my Uncle Mickey, whom we are meeting in Las Vegas in two days and then seeing again in L.A. over the weekend, and wrote postcards. I had forgotten that we would gain an hour crossing the timeline, so the sun remained up forever, it seemed.

In other news I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the car, loved it, thought it was better edited than Goblet of Fire and while I didn't think it was either as tightly written nor as creative as Prisoner of Azkaban, this is the first time I've wanted to read one of Rowling's books again immediately after finishing it. Am sure I will have more coherent thoughts on it when I have more time to think coherently, which is difficult with kids around 24/7. The day before I attacked OOTP behind my kids' back as I am supposed to be reading it aloud to them and not rushing ahead, I finished Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, which was a good fun thriller but already dated and nowhere near as creative as Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code. Next I'm going to read Jewish women's mysticism to review for GMR.

And I have not written a thing besides these trip reports. Sorry, no fic. Heard about Hepburn, made me sad but at the same time she had a very long, full life.

I did get a message from my doctor telling me that he had my full biopsy results and that my mole was in the moderate range for abnormality, meaning that it likely wouldn't have caused any real trouble for 5-10 years but he still wants to biopsy the surrounding tissue and take a closer look at pretty much every blemish on my body. I'm somewhat out of the mood to go to the beach in L.A. unless it's raining. We are having a replay of our weather in England -- gorgeous, sunny -- so I am glad I did not complain about all the rain in D.C. in the spring.

Cadillac Ranch!

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Poem For Saturday/Sunday and Update

Making a Fist
By Naomi Shihab Nye

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.


Saturday after breakfast with Deborah we drove through Illinois into Missouri, where we had lunch in Jefferson Park and went to see the Arch, though we didn't wait the more-than-an-hour to ride the elevator to the top. It was a gorgeous day, mid-70s, the Mississippi was beautiful, and we really enjoyed the museum of the history of the West beneath the arch.

From there we drove to Springfield, where Paul's cousin Todd lives with his wife and three kids (two boys and a girl, 12, 7 and 6). They have a big backyard and basement playroom and the kids hit it off immediately by pulling out their Yu-Gi-Oh cards. We had a barbecue and then drove into Ozark, where Todd is the GM of the Ozark Mountain Ducks. The team was away so we got a complete tour of the stadium and the kids got to play on an actual minor league field. They played half the night and we finally threw them all into bed.

I did have a moment of misery when my dermatologist called me on a Saturday evening with the results of my biopsy from last week -- which was abnormal but not malignant. Which means more surgery when I get back to make sure they got everything, but hopefully nothing more drastic. We were driving through the mountains when he tried to call and had no reception, so he left a message on my voicemail, and by the time I got it he had left the office. I called his emergency cell number which he sounded none too pleased about and he didn't remember my results at first but he said that if it had been melanoma he would have remembered. So I have to call him back Tuesday, as we'll be in campgrounds tomorrow and Monday. Just the kind of stress I do not want on vacation.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Poem For Friday/Saturday and Quick Update

By Pattiann Rogers

After autumn and the casting-off,
leaves and leaves and leaves—oak,
hickory, sassafras, hazel—they cover
the ground everywhere, looking
like hands lying open in half-fists,
old hands lying still and open,
a congregation unaware of rainwater
gathering in their cups, burls
and knots and bared veins the most
prominent of their aspects.

Sometimes they appear to be
the fallen body-husks of flocks
of birds struck down by storm
or famine, sometimes the gutted
remains of field mice and voles
left desiccated after drought.
Whether blown or stilled, they have
the skeletal nature of skins shed
by many snakes, the piled shells
of plagues of locusts.

But they are always only
themselves. And in the spring,
I believe the leaves coming
are the very same autumn leaves
of before, not ghosts of themselves
in new bodies but the very same
leaves restored and resurrected;
as if those fallen birds had shuddered
once and joined again in flight;
the shrunken mice, the empty
voles had risen, fat once more
and ebullient; as if the old hands
had held and lifted to a sign
language of their own. Like space
and time at the edge of the event
horizon, this is an involution
of virtue given to being.

It’s no wonder then that leaves
can sing all summer long, even while
knowing for certain and remembering
the waiting winter ahead.


We're in a hotel in Indiana waiting for the kids to fall asleep so I have five minutes. We left Potomac yesterday around 2 p.m. after a hectic morning -- I had stitches in my throat from last week removed, but my doctor didn't have the biopsy results yet, which means having to worry about it on vacation -- given the family propensity for melanoma, not something I'm happy about and we're out of cell phone range quite a bit driving through hills and such. We stayed last night at a lakeside campground outside of Madison, Pennsylvania (sort of near Pittsburgh), beautifully wooded so despite being relatively full, we had plenty of private space as we were in a cabin surrounded by trees. (I don't do tents on trips this long; the likelihood of mildew is too great.) We took the kids swimming, then made hot dogs and s'mores over the fire once the sun had gone down and the 90 degree heat dropped into the 70s. It rained overnight, so the temperature was nice and cool when we woke. There were rabbits in many of the open spaces and blueberries growing by the lake.

After I took the kids to the playground while Paul loaded the car, we drove through the tip of West Virginia into Ohio, where we had lunch at a rest stop built on Native American burial grounds that were being excavated by a local archaeological group, which was sort of neat but rather disturbing -- who's the genius that failed to realize this when planning the rest area? Then we headed to Terre Haute, Indiana, where I met my friend Deborah who had driven in from Bloomington. We went out for Chinese buffet (the kids' choice) and hung out comparing notes on our last trips; I had brought her stuff from England, she had brought me stuff from IU. This is the friend who did most of the artwork on my web pages, including all the Janeways and the Boromir on the story index page -- now I have the original.

On a related note, I bought USA Today to read about the Supreme Court decision -- bad as McPaper is, it had a less prejudicial headline than the local Ohio paper -- and found the new Aragorn poster in the Life section. Niiiice. Tomorrow we are driving to Paul's cousin's house in Springfield, MO, where he is the GM of a minor league baseball team, the Ozark Mountain Ducks (??!!) We haven't seen them since Paul's youngest brother's wedding in 1998, so it will be great for the kids to see those cousins -- apparently everyone is into Yu-Gi-Oh. *g* From there we are headed to Oklahoma, where we're camping, and Albuquerque, so I am not sure when I will be back online.

Thursday, June 26, 2003


...but I just had to say:


Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban

Poem for Thursday and Farewell For A Few Days

Virginia Evening
By Michael Pettit

Just past dusk I passed Christiansburg,
cluster of lights sharpening
as the violet backdrop of the Blue Ridge
darkened. Not stars
but blue-black mountains rose
before me, rose like sleep
after hours of driving, hundreds of miles
blurred behind me. My eyelids
were so heavy but I could see
far ahead a summer thunderstorm flashing,
lightning sparking from cloud
to mountaintop. I drove toward it,
into the pass at Ironto, the dark
now deeper in the long steep grades,
heavy in the shadow of mountains weighted
with evergreens, with spruce, pine,
and cedar. How I wished to sleep
in that sweet air, which filled--
suddenly over a rise--with the small
lights of countless fireflies. Everywhere
they drifted, sweeping from the trees
down to the highway my headlights lit.
Fireflies blinked in the distance
and before my eyes, just before
the windshield struck them and they died.
Cold phosphorescent green, on the glass
their bodies clung like buds bursting
the clean line of a branch in spring.
How long it lasted, how many struck
and bloomed as I drove on, hypnotic
stare fixed on the road ahead, I can't say.
Beyond them, beyond their swarming
bright deaths came the rain, a shower
which fell like some dark blessing.
Imagine when I flicked the windshield wipers on
what an eerie glowing beauty faced me.
In that smeared, streaked light
diminished sweep by sweep you could have seen
my face. It was weary, shocked, awakened,
alive with wonder far after the blades and rain
swept clean the light of those lives
passed, like stars rolling over
the earth, now into other lives.


Today: Deal with doctor, finally get kids' hair cut, get van packed, double-check with neighbors about picking up errant UPS packages. Tonight: Pittsburgh. Tomorrow: Terre Haute. And after that hopefully I can get online from Springfield.

I am sure that I have failed to pack something of critical importance. I am assuming that most things of critical importance can be purchased if need be in a Wal-Mart somewhere along the way. This is probably a very grave error in belief, but at least I know what I have NOT forgotten: my kids, my camera, my underwear, the discs containing everything I have written for the past ten years.

Please write. I'm feeling strangely abandoned, even though I'm going to see people on this trip whom I haven't seen for months or years.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

The Supremes
By Mark Jarman

In Ball's Market after surfing till noon,
We stand in wet trunks, shivering,
As icing dissolves off our sweet rolls
Inside the heat-blued counter oven,
When they appear on his portable TV,
Riding a float of chiffon as frothy
As the peeling curl of a wave.
The parade m. c. talks up their hits
And their new houses outside of Detroit,
And old Ball clicks his tongue.
Gloved up to their elbows, their hands raised
Toward us palm out, they sing,
"Stop! In the Name of Love," and don't stop,
But slip into the lower foreground.

Every day of a summer can turn,
From one moment, into a single day.
I saw Diana Ross in her first film
Play a brief scene by the Pacific--
And that was the summer it brought back.
Mornings we paddled out, the waves
Would be little more than embellishments--
Lathework and spun glass,
Gray-green with cold, but flawless.
When the sun burned through the light fog,
They would warm and swell,
Wind-scaled and ragged,
And radios up and down the beach
Would burst on with her voice.

She must remember that summer
Somewhat differently. And so must the two
Who sang with her in long matching gowns,
Standing a step back on her left and right,
As the camera tracked them
Into our eyes in Ball's Market.
But what could we know, tanned white boys,
Wiping sugar and salt from our mouths,
And leaning forward to feel their song?
Not much, except to feel it
Ravel us up like a wave
In the silk of white water,
Simply, sweetly, repeatedly,
And just as quickly let go.

We didn't stop either, which is how
We vanished, too, parting like spray--
Ball's Market, my friends and I.
Dredgers ruined the waves,
Those continuous dawn perfections,
And Ball sold high to the high rises
Cresting over them. His flight out of L.A.,
Heading for Vegas, would have banked
Above the wavering lines of surf.
He may have seen them. I have,
Leaving again for points north and east,
Glancing down as the plane turns.
From that height they still look frail and frozen,
Full of simple sweetness and repetition.


: Loveless. The challenge is to write a Smallville drabble without the use of any letter of the alphabet and the responses so far have been extremely clever. This is probably my last entry for awhile...

Am leaving tomorrow, have ten million things to do today. So when asked, I agreed with her that really needed a mailing list and further I agreed to co-moderate it. I must be insane, but I don't want to miss any Araboro fic while I'm gone, and FellowShip has gone all but silent!

Gacked from all my Trekkie friends. I wanted to be Classic Enterprise! But I probably deserve this!

You are an Intrepid-class Scout, Starfleet's
frontline sentry. You're a bit of an enigma.
Your grace and intelligence may go unnoticed,
but people rely on you for your insight and ability.
Which Class of Federation Starship are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

A Green Crab's Shell
By Mark Doty

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
--size of a demitasse--
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this--
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
revealed some sky.


The LiveJournal Sluttishness meme:

cruisedirector's LiveJournal Slut Stats
The below percentages indicate what cruisedirector has done with the 132 people on her friends list!



seen topless

seen naked

made out

oral sex


What are your LiveJournal Slut Stats?
Sponsored via Adult Friend Finder. Keep this meme and others like it checking it out or getting free account! You may meet the match of your dreams!

And on the subject of sluttishness, this is sort of depressing though probably completely accurate:

How SLUTTY are you?
Brought to you by the good folks at

I am just glad that:
click here to take some more great tests at internet junk
from this day forward your superhero name will be:
The Sparkly Runner
your special power is:

Birthday meme that everyone's doing, pretty silly and largely not-me:

Of cool beauty (?)
cares for its looks and condition (X)
good taste (?)
tends to egoism (probably)
makes life as comfortable as possible (Yes)
leads reasonable disciplined life (X)
looks for kindness (Yes)
an emotional partner and acknowledgment (Huh?)
dreams of unusual lovers (Yes)
is seldom happy with her feelings (X)
mistrusts most people (X)
is never sure of its decisions (?)
very conscientious (?)

Monday, June 23, 2003

Poem for Monday

Water Picture
By May Swenson

In the pond in the park
all things are doubled:
Long buildings hang and
wriggle gently. Chimneys
are bent legs bouncing
on clouds below. A flag
wags like a fishhook
down there in the sky.

The arched stone bridge
is an eye, with underlid
in the water. In its lens
dip crinkled heads with hats
that don't fall off. Dogs go by,
barking on their backs.
A baby, taken to feed the
ducks, dangles upside-down,
a pink balloon for a buoy.

Treetops deploy a haze of
cherry bloom for roots,
where birds coast belly-up
in the glass bowl of a hill;
from its bottom a bunch
of peanut-munching children
is suspended by their
sneakers, waveringly.

A swan, with twin necks
forming the figure 3,
steers between two dimpled
towers doubled. Fondly
hissing, she kisses herself,
and all the scene is troubled:
water-windows splinter,
tree-limbs tangle, the bridge
folds like a fan.


Am running around like a lunatic to get kids where they want to go this morning. Will catch up on work, life, the universe and everything later.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Poem for Sunday

( Poet's Choice: Aztec Chants )

You live on this earth?
No, not forever
Only a short time.
Be jade. Jade breaks.
Be gold. Gold tears away.
The broad plumes of the quetzal unravel.

By the poet and ruler Nezahualcóyotl, translated by by Peter Everwine, from Edward Hirsch's column in The Washington Post today.

GMR (celebrating the Summer Solstice this week with Emma Bull) gave me an EIWA for my Equilibrium review! Guess it was worth worrying that I was taking the film too seriously. , and , I am sure you are responsible, so thanks.

Agenda for today: get the kids the haircuts and shoes we never got around to getting yesterday, since we went to my parents' instead. Get work done for Trek Nation since editor is suffering from a major academic crisis and can't pick up my slack. Figure out how in hell to pack a month's worth of clothing in a suitcase that holds maybe a five days' worth. Get son extra underwear -- lots of it.

Frank Rich on the Tony Awards and gay kissing, just because it made me smile. So did the scathing Times review of the new, unimproved Liz Phair. She and Jewel need to stop blaming Britney and Avril for how they need to sell their message and just stop selling OUT.

Saturday, June 21, 2003


My parents called early in the afternoon to ask if we wanted to come over and eat pizza and watch Star Trek: Nemesis with them on their new big plasma TV with the awesome speakers. I have been ambivalent about seeing this film -- have mostly affectionate feelings for TNG, have felt that it largely escaped the horror that Voyager became, though I never loved TNG the way I loved DS9 and early VOY. But I figured what the heck, it was too wet outside to take the kids hiking and we're not going to see my parents for a month, why not.

I enjoyed it far more than I expected. The scientific and continuity holes in the second half of the film were atrocious, impossible to ignore, and some of the character motivations made little sense (probably because all character bits were cut to ribbons to make way for cool-looking but absurd action sequences like Enterprise, without shields, ramming Shinzon's ship). But I was in feel-good mode from the wedding onward. I adore Riker, always have, am delighted to see Riker and Troi married, was happy to see Guinan and Wesley even if we never got a word about what in hell the latter was doing there, didn't flinch at the duplicate-Data storyline the way I thought I might, loved the visuals on Romulus. And was gratified that my entire family howled at the idea that Janeway got promoted before Picard did and that he'd take orders from her without snidely condescending to her. I know it is wrong of me to be glad that Kate looked like shit, but I was.

So I munched most of the afternoon away. Now must fold laundry and contemplate packing. My thrilling Saturday night!

Poem for Midsummer Day

Song of Nature
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mine are the night and morning,
The pits of air, the gulf of space,
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon,
The innumerable days.

I hid in the solar glory,
I am dumb in the pealing song,
I rest on the pitch of the torrent,
In slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies,
No tribes my house can fill,
I sit by the shining Fount of Life,
And pour the deluge still;

And ever by delicate powers
Gathering along the centuries
From race on race the rarest flowers,
My wreath shall nothing miss.

And many a thousand summers
My apples ripened well,
And light from meliorating stars
With firmer glory fell.

I wrote the past in characters
Of rock and fire the scroll,
The building in the coral sea,
The planting of the coal.

And thefts from satellites and rings
And broken stars I drew,
And out of spent and aged things
I formed the world anew;

What time the gods kept carnival,
Tricked out in star and flower,
And in cramp elf and saurian forms
They swathed their too much power.

Time and Thought were my surveyors,
They laid their courses well,
They boiled the sea, and baked the layers
Or granite, marl, and shell.

But he, the man-child glorious,--
Where tarries he the while?
The rainbow shines his harbinger,
The sunset gleams his smile.

My boreal lights leap upward,
Forthright my planets roll,
And still the man-child is not born,
The summit of the whole.

Must time and tide forever run?
Will never my winds go sleep in the west?
Will never my wheels which whirl the sun
And satellites have rest?

Too much of donning and doffing,
Too slow the rainbow fades,
I weary of my robe of snow,
My leaves and my cascades;

I tire of globes and races,
Too long the game is played;
What without him is summer's pomp,
Or winter's frozen shade?

I travail in pain for him,
My creatures travail and wait;
His couriers come by squadrons,
He comes not to the gate.

Twice I have moulded an image,
And thrice outstretched my hand,
Made one of day, and one of night,
And one of the salt sea-sand.

One in a Judaean manger,
And one by Avon stream,
One over against the mouths of Nile,
And one in the Academe.

I moulded kings and saviours,
And bards o'er kings to rule;--
But fell the starry influence short,
The cup was never full.

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
And mix the bowl again;
Seethe, fate! the ancient elements,
Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.

Let war and trade and creeds and song
Blend, ripen race on race,
The sunburnt world a man shall breed
Of all the zones, and countless days.

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
My oldest force is good as new,
And the fresh rose on yonder thorn
Gives back the bending heavens in dew.


I think we shall have rain. Tut tut. Perhaps today we will finally see Finding Nemo, or perhaps we will go look for an entertainment center for the living room so that instead of having the videotapes that don't fit on the bookcases stacked on the floor around the television, we can have them piled on shelves around the television. We must get the boys new shoes this weekend. And haircuts.

We're getting OOTP via today and I will not be starting it until we leave for vacation next week, so expect no comments on spoilers, opinions or fic for quite some time. I read Harry Potter with my children -- to my children -- which I think has skewed my sense of fannishness about them; I just don't think in terms of the sexuality of the pre-adolescents. And I'm excited to read it, but not as excited as, say, I would be about discovering a sequel to The Black Chalice.

Nonetheless I could not resist this:

13 1/13 inch, ebony and mercury. Interesting and
unusual are severe understatements for this
Gregorovitch wand. You've got your own style
and your own opinions, and you probably live in
your own world as well. Join us down here in
the real world sometimes, will you?
Which wand will yours be?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, June 20, 2003

Poem for Friday

In the Bathroom Mirror
By Ralph Burns

He continues to ponder
                And his wife moves next to him.
She looks. They look at themselves
                Looking through the fog.
She has a meeting she says in about
                Thirty minutes, he has
Something too. But still she has
                Just stepped out of the bath
And a single drop of water
                Has curved along her breast
Down her abdomen and vialed in
                Her navel then disappeared
In crimson. Unless they love
                Then wake in love
Who can they ever be? Their faces bloom,
                A rain mists down, the bare
Bulb softens above the glass,
                So little light that
The hands mumble deliciously,
                That the mouth opens
Mothlike, like petals finding
                Themselves awake again
At four o'clock mid shade and sun.


Off to a last-day-of-school breakfast and awards ceremony with my kids. Back in the afternoon. Hope everyone is having a lovely Friday! Fun from :

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Which Edward Gorey Book Are

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border="0" alt="Winnie">
You are the ever lovable and chubby
Winnie the Pooh!
href=""> Which [Winnie the Pooh] Characters are you?
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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Aww. She's just a poor kid. *snerk*

Since I have humilated this poor girl in public, I figured that I should at least demonstrate her contrition.

Dear Mrs. Green:

First, I should thank you for the internet info. As I mentioned before, I've got alot to learn about the internet (and everything). I appreciate it.
Next, I must appoligize for the crule letters I sent you. I must have sounded drunk or somthing in those notes. I'd like you to know that I really am sorry (and embaressed) about them. I wrote them very quickly without thinking. I have no right to try and change your oppinion about a show.
I will also appoligize for the way I addressed you in the first letter, "Michelle I forgot your last name". I should be showing people much more respect than that, especialy strangers. I diddn't have any right to insult you either, nor did I have the right to quote a famouse line from a Disney movie to express my feelings about the review.
I have read reviews of shows and movies before. I just thought yours was a bit harsh, and I felt some what offended by it. That was only reason i thought you diddn't like Voyager. I do know however, that you were not insulting Voyager fans, you were just reviewing the show. I am very sorry about the riddiculus way I presented those letters,
I hope you don't judge me by the notes. As mentioned before, I wasn't thinking when I wrote them. I'm also having a hard time controling my bad temper this week.
I'd also like you to know that I am not a Star Trek fannatic, as the immage hase probably come across. It just happens to be one of my favorite shows. It was not very smart of me to have written those letters.
I'm writing this because I'm sorry, I don't want to look like a jerk, and I don't want you to think that I have annything against you. I'm also writting this because since I'm going into High School next year, I've decided to start growing up, and I thought this would be a good place to start.

Sign: [deleted for privacy though she did stipulate that it was a nickname]

P.S. I know you won't tell anyone my screen name, but if it's all right with you, I'd like it if you would delete my screen name from your computer after you're done reading this message. Thankyou very much.

In other news I have stitches in my neck just under my left ear. So no nibbling for awhile. As long as the melanoma test comes back negative, however, I do not mind.

Poem for Thursday

The House in the Woods
By Randall Jarrell

At the back of the houses there is the wood.
While there is a leaf of summer left, the wood

Makes sounds I can put somewhere in my song,
Has paths I can walk, when I wake, to good

Or evil: to the cage, to the oven, to the House
In the Wood. It is a part of life, or of the story

We make of life. But after the last leaf,
The last light--for each year is leafless,

Each day lightless, at the last--the wood begins
Its serious existence: it has no path,

No house, no story; it resists comparison…
One clear, repeated, lapping gurgle, like a spoon

Or a glass breathing, is the brook,
The wood's fouled midnight water. If I walk into the wood

As far as I can walk, I come to my own door,
The door of the House in the Wood. It opens silently:

On the bed is something covered, something humped
Asleep there, awake there--but what? I do not know.

I look, I lie there, and yet I do not know.
How far out my great echoing clumsy limbs

Stretch, surrounded only by space! For time has struck,
All the clocks are stuck now, for how many lives,

On the same second. Numbed, wooden, motionless,
We are far under the surface of the night.

Nothing comes down so deep but sound: a car, freight cars,
A high soft droning, drawn out like a wire

Forever and ever--is this the sound that Bunyan heard
So that he thought his bowels would burst within him?--

Drift on, on, into nothing. Then someone screams
A scream like an old knife sharpened into nothing.

It is only a nightmare. No one wakes up, nothing happens,
Except there is gooseflesh over my whole body--

And that too, after a little while, is gone.
I lie here like a cut-off limb, the stump the limb has left…

Here at the bottom of the world, what was before the world
And will be after, holds me to its back

Breasts and rocks me: the oven is cold, the cage is empty,
In the House in the Wood, the witch and her child sleep.


Off to the dermatologist to find out whether I need any of my odd marks and blemishes removed at knifepoint (long family history of melanoma). Then I have to come back and work. Oh, I hope and I have time to write that Araboro smut I promised ...

I love Ted!

Well, let's see. Don't think they do it in Hollywood like they do it in New Zealand.

You do know about that singles sport, doncha?

While those adorable Hobbit buds and Liv&Viggo&Miranda&Orlando and myriad mush-minded individuals were searching for love, strange things happened. Like waitress pinning.

Merde! Was I supposed to say waitstaff pinning? My apologies.

Anyhoo! One bugger whose name shall remain unmentioned by me (and whose friggin' lawyer can kiss my voicemail, as I'm not being overly specific), who was down N.Z. way while filming the second and third Lord of the Rings installments, surprised a few of his chums. By doing the above-mentioned food-server on a table. In the establishment for which she toiled. In every sense of the word.

But did she get a tip?

Gacked from ...I guess this is good especially if I have a comfy couch and a big television, and given the number of books, toys and computers cluttering my own living room it sounds about right:

So... what's on TV tonight?
If you were a room in a house, what room would you be?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

Morning in the Burned House
By Margaret Atwood

In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.

The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.

Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,

their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,

every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,

the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.

I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.

I can't see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything

in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,

including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,

bare child's feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts

and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.


: Devil's Sin. R-rated for naughty post-coital language.

Nothing new really, in this article from this morning's Washington Post: "Harry Potter and the Copyright Lawyer".

Right, must work!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Lyrics for Tuesday

Si Buscabas
By Salvador and Katia Cardenal

Si buscabas
un cuerpo complaciente
que soltara tus amarras,
que en tus nudos desnudara
a tu animal mas innocente...

Si esperabas
un fuego tan ardiente
que encendiera tus cenizas,
que te hiciera sentir brisa
donde ya no habia fuente...

Si anorabas
un corazon de refugio
donde huir de tanta gente
que te heria y te quiera
para hacer feliz un dia...

Si sonabas
con buscar la libertad
a traves de otra persona
que librara a tus palomas
de las ansias de volar,
que luchara en tu trinchera
de traer la primavera,
la encontraste.

The above is a song by a brother-sister duo from Nicaragua called Guardabarranco. Their politics are on the left and their romantic sense is intense and I discovered them via my friend Sharon more than 12 years ago and saw them perform more than 10 years ago and have no idea where they are now.

I speak very little Spanish but I have made a couple of small changes in the English translation from the liner notes of their CD. I know that "desnudara" is a pun on "to untie" and "to make naked"...

If You Were Looking

If you were looking
for a willing body
to loose your bonds,
to reveal in your tangled knots
your most innocent beast...

If you had hoped for
a fire hot enough
to kindle your ashes to flame,
to make you feel a breeze
when the source was gone...

If you had longed for
a heart of refuge
where you could flee from so many people
who hurt you and who loved you
to make happy one day...

If you dreamed of seeking freedom
through another person
who could free your doves
from their yearning for flight,
who would fight in your battle
to bring the springtime,
you have found her.


Yesterday afternoon my son had an eye doctor appointment and this morning I have one. I am expecting to spend most of this afternoon getting both of our new prescriptions dealt with (am really hoping they say I can have contacts). Of course I have three articles to deal with at some point as well, so don't expect to hear from me. Of course I have two different bunnies biting because I can't write them...

Gacked from :

The Companion
The Faithful Companion - You are the epitome of
loyalty. You're a guardian, a comforter, and a
source of strength to your friend.You can't
help but feel like you are taken for granted
sometimes. Take heart! You are more important
to your friend than you may know!
What Type of Storybook Character Are You?
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Monday, June 16, 2003

Poem for Monday

Data From This Line of Light Laboratory
By Pattiann Rogers

This particular line of light
is the angle of the black mare's
neck as she bends to the evening
grasses. It is the same angle
composing the history
of the trajectory remaining
in the comet's wake, the same
angle inherent to the salt curve
of the wave falling into its fall.

The jiggling gold ball on the jester's
pointed hat is the shaking line
of circular light that occurs
whenever the king sits crying.
This line is similar to the sunside
circle of the orange tossed up
by the juggler so high its only being
is its fire shaking against the sky.
It is akin also to the trembling
the light makes in the tears
of the childless at night.

One certain light of line-clarity
is a single strand of cobweb
floating as its own sun across
the lawn. Another is the crack
in a cut crystal vase so fine
it is seen only when held
to the sky, which fine clarity
sounds like a violin replicating
the liquid line left by the sea's
advance on the moonlit sand.

This line of illumination was created
when thieves first forced the sealed
entrance to a desert tomb and starlight
fell at once straight to its stone floor.

Light lines of double vision
imply either parallel light
off the tines of silver pickle forks
or off the steel of railroad tracks
empty at high noon on the prairie,
or the sun divided in the vision
of the surface-floating whirligig
beetle, or the day divided
by the separately rotating eyes
of the vine green chameleon.

Two lines of light bisecting
at right angles can signify either
two search beams crossing at sea,
or a collision of sincerity and ruse
at the subatomic level, or hope,
or an apparition of hope created
by those investigating every sign
of light at any level.


Finished my Equilibrium review for GMR, am pretty happy with it. Now must work on Angels and Demons and the mysticism books. And write something on lots of Trek stars' guest appearances and other thrilling ephemera for Trek Nation.

Have four doctors' appointments either for myself or one of the kids in the next four days. Insane. What was I thinking when I packed the schedule like this? Oh yeah -- that school's out at the end of the week and then we're gone for a month!

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Surreal Government

This is the illustration in the print newspaper for this Washington Post article, entitled "What I Bring To the Podium" -- TV producer Peter Mehlman's mock application for the job of White House Press Secretary:

Spent the afternoon admiring my father's new flat screen plasma television that he bought himself for his 65th birthday (we all watched Spider-Man), then playing out back for awhile before going out for teriyaki noodles. My mother made German chocolate cake. Yep, that makes it four days in a row that I've had cake. Blaargh!

In other news, I am finding myself more irked about some aspects of the ending of Angels and Demons the more I think about them. I am really glad I read The Da Vinci Code first and was less focused on exactly how much of a grudge Dan Brown might have against the Catholic Church.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Poem for Sunday

( Poet's Choice: Ishikawa Takuboku )

This week's Washington Post Book World column by Edward Hirsch (linked above) is on tanka, a 31-syllable form of Japanese poetry. Takuboku's was nontraditional:

What prompted her --
Flinging aside that toy --
To gently come and sit by me?

In the weeks since I first saw Equilibrium, it hit me at some point that the luscious Christian Bale had been the little boy in Empire of the Sun, which I hadn't seen since the early 1990s. Last night after midnight for some inexplicable reason, I found our old videotape of the film off HBO and put it on. I am SO glad I didn't remember what he looked like as a child when I was drooling over him in Equilibrium and Velvet Goldmine!

Here's my review of The World of King Arthur for The Green Man Review. For some reason they gave me an EIWA for this one, though I thought my review of The Da Vinci Code was better. Maybe because I haven't reviewed any non-fiction for them for ages, though I have a bunch of books on Jewish mysticism I need to write up next week before going out of town.

Two quick Times arts section articles I made it through this morning: very clever Maureen Dowd on The Stepford Wives and an incredibly stupid article on whether there are too many Holocaust documentaries, because why would we want to document the past while there are still survivors because it would be so much more creative to do something different like focus on the perpetrators? Don't get me wrong -- I think there is an article to be written on the obsession with Holocaust documentaries, global memory and Israeli politics. I don't think there is any question that the Holocaust gets situated strangely in Jewish art and society, particularly in the U.S. But we have a unique opportunity NOT to let survivor voices get lost the way the Cathars were lost, the way no one here knows anything about what happened to the Armenians in Turkey, the way so many American slave voices were lost...what kind of artistic or moral sense does it make not to preserve them while we can?

Off to do Father's Day stuff with my parents, husband and kids. Have a great day everyone who is celebrating!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Loud Saturday Afternoon

Back from a very loud party at California Tortilla where my son got a soccer trophy, a soccer jersey patch, cake and too much coke, and from a VERY VERY VERY LOUD party at Shadowlands where both my sons ran around shooting their friends with lasers for two hours. Why is it that mothers let their kids do this for their birthdays? Both my kids desperately want a party there and cannot understand why Paul and I both go crosseyed and say "NO!"

Since it was once again horrible pouring thunderstorming flooding all afternoon, we stayed within the shopping complex and went looking for Father's Day presents for my father. He's getting DVDs for his new widescreen TV. (And I grabbed 28 Days and The Ice Storm for $6.99 at Circuit City because it would cost almost that much to rent them! Right? Right!) Then we went into ethnic food stores and browsed, and I finally finished Angels and Demons in the VERY VERY VERY LOUD party room.

I had cake at lunch on Thursday, at dinner on Friday and with both meals today. Please remind me never ever to do that again.

In other news, Totally Kate! owes me a favor. Some of you may appreciate why this makes me giggle madly.

pointed me to the hilarious New York Times Retracts Years of Erroneous Headlines. I'm howling. She also has a link to an editorial from the actual Times about DeLay that contains no new bad news, but the usual bad news in summary form.

Yes, I chose my answers so that I could be Annorax (gacked from :

You're Red.
You're Red.
Which That 70's Show Character are You?
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My son just asked if we could watch GoldenEye. Whee!

Poem for Saturday

By John Keats

OH! how I love, on a fair summer's eve,
When streams of light pour down the golden west,
And on the balmy zephyrs tranquil rest
The silver clouds, far - far away to leave
All meaner thoughts, and take a sweet reprieve
From little cares; to find, with easy quest,
A fragrant wild, with Nature's beauty drest,
And there into the delight my soul deceive.
There warm my breast with patriotic lore,
Musing on Milton's fate - on Sydney's bier -
Till their stern forms before my mind arise:
Perhaps on wing of Poesy upsoar,
Full often dropping a delicious tear,
When some melodious sorrow spells mine eyes.


Today's schedule: Son's soccer game. Son's soccer end-of-year party. Neighbor's birthday party for both kids. Come home, write two articles. Do chores tonight so house is in reasonable shape for Father's Day tomorrow. Yay.

From -- I am two different goddesses on two different quizzes:

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Arianrhod is the Celtic goddess of the full moon
(or the 'silver wheel'), of reincarnation, and
of the Wheel of the Year. You are mysterious
and serene, yet you can be stubborn and even cruel.
What Celtic Goddess are You?
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Friday, June 13, 2003

Family stuff

Just back from a party at my cousin's house -- she has parties twice a year, for Chanukah and for all the summer birthdays in the family, and I'm always thrilled because our house isn't big enough for me to invite all the cousins here so these are pretty much the only times all year I see all of them. Unfortunately her mother, my great aunt, broke her hip and shoulder last week in a fall, so she and my great uncle (one of the birthday boys) couldn't be there. But we got to see both my local cousins and their children, plus their cousins on the other side whom I've known my whole life and whose kids are wonderful, so it was a lot of fun. She has a great backyard and normally we'd all have been out there, but since there was ANOTHER thunderstorm we all ended up indoors.

Tomorrow my younger son in theory has a soccer game to make up from previous rain cancellations, but they've already moved it to a different field due to the muddy conditions on the regular field, and given the weather forecast for the weekend it wouldn't surprise me if it it got cancelled altogether. So I need to come up with something exciting to do for Father's Day that's father sounds like he's not in a museum mood, the outdoor concert weather is too iffy (the Potomac Celtic Festival is this weekend in Leesburg and I really would like to go there but it's not Mother's Day so I don't get a vote!) Maybe we'll all go see Finding Nemo, I don't know.

Finished my World of King Arthur review -- now on to the next book! And Kim Schultz has a new Christian Bale pic. Isn't he gorgeous?

Poem for Friday and <a href

Sonnets from the Portuguese 26: I Lived with Visions
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I lived with visions for my company,
Instead of men and women, years ago,
And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
A sweeter music than they played to me.
But soon their trailing purple was not free
Of this world's dust, -- their lutes did silent grow,
And I myself grew faint and blind below
Their vanishing eyes. Then thou didst come ... to be,
Beloved, what they seemed. Their shining fronts,
Their songs, their splendours, (better, yet the same,
As river-water hallowed into fonts)
Met in thee, and from out thee overcame
My soul with satisfaction of all wants --
Because God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.


Friday Five:

1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?

Visit Jerusalem.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
This is going to sound like a cop-out but I usually HAVE no opinion on haircuts, outfits, etc. Unless something is stunningly beautiful or stunningly awful, it rarely makes any impact on me whatsoever. And if the question is whether it's I would know!

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened?
A couple of times I've learned that friends lied to me about things, where I gather they lied because they thought I would judge them badly if I knew the truth, but I actually was much more troubled by the lying than I would have been by what they were trying to hide from me. And in one case I learned that someone was involved in something that just freaked me out -- I thought it was dangerous to her and to others -- but since it wasn't illegal there wasn't anything I could really do about it, other than let her know how upsetting I found it.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
I have yet to find a fictional world for which I'd leave this one. I used to want to live in Star Trek's future, but not as a member of a Starfleet crew -- I just wanted to live in a universe with that much exploration and cultural exchange going on.

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted?
A really great singing voice.

Quick reccage: 's "Five Minutes To Midnight" -- very short sweet sexy Clex. Takes less than five minutes to read and left me with a big grin.

NYTimes on John Ashcroft, Gay Pride and Prejudice. What they said.

From Top5, The Top 10 Reasons the Klingon Language Is Better Than French.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Afternoon Nonsense

Am back from my absolutely divine lunch with and who are both beautiful, fascinating women and I am so envious that they managed to be in the same family! We met at the Bilbo Baggins Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. I haven't been there since I was in high school...and we were originally going to meet someplace else entirely, but once I remembered that it was there, I decided that meeting there was really an inevitability. And now that I have had Bilbo Baggins desserts -- mine was "Lord of the Rings," which involved layers of white and dark chocolate cake with raspberry compote and white chocolate icing -- I am moving to the Shire. Unfortunately the web site doesn't seem to have a photo of the art murals around the upstairs of the restaurant...

And I arrived home, after a bit of Father's Day shopping, to a phone call from the school principal telling me that my younger son had gotten an impromptu haircut in art class by a friend. Fortunately his hair is generally so messy that you can't see it. Much. Plus my husband barely missed being involved in an 18-car pileup on I-270, resulting from the thunderstorm that hit with a fury right as he left work this evening (hence my inability to be online until now).

So all in all it has been a good day, though I must now work tonight since I have gotten nothing done thus far! And I have to feed my kids! Eep!

You are Brighid, a triple goddess. Her elements are fire and water. In her maiden aspect she presides over poetry and inspiration. In her mother aspect she presides over healing.
You are Brighid.
href=""> What Celtic Goddess Are You?
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Poem for Thursday

Twelve Self Portraits
By Tony Tost


The snow is dark and nothing is sad and I was, once upon a time, a child. I knew what the weather meant, was hardened the way only a child, after all, is.

The first ten years are full of rain. I watched the shadows flee away.

The snow is something else, tonight, as I stand, grown, naked (I'm in the living room, the lights are off): invisible and filling up.


That's me, tongue placed firmly in the subconscious. A slow undercurrent, a breath (twisting). Silent I suppose, and sad.

It is my time (in this, my second self portrait, I am unapologetically ill and in my early eighties) and I call to my side my large circle of friendly landscapes and intimate portraits and willingly take my leave of them. Also, the fringe elements of me: the street performer and the recluse, the terminally hip and the lost child (yes I am still looking into the dreams of that child, manipulating them, trying to recover some lost humanity in the process).


Like that of a swimmer amongst the drowning, this face expresses longing and mischief. I am trying to hint at solitude. We would together, her and I, grab hold a piece of his garment, if only to meditate upon each change of expression as he began to drown. We would praise his performance. In his face were railroads and banks, mills and pity for the riches found there. What is it this face says now? That we are all blue flame and frost, all milk and mystery? That we each should breathe also the upper air? (I gaze upon actual faces in meditative hours and am reminded that we are not transparent despite the brute light that shines through.)


Pain is a higher awareness of self.

Here is my fourth portrait, touched by the hand of mayhem.

She's in it. She stands before me and strips away time and lamentation. Her right hand points at the journey of the stars, at each unwilling horse.


In this one I sketch for her my hounded heart. Exhausted and dizzy, I am lifted until our voices are no more rank to us than death is.

Staying awake is a punishment (every day I was awake this year). Once upon a time, she told me a ghost story: how she hit darkness on the highway one night, how I was the thumbprint of that tiny crash.


This is my portrait and I am one of its citizens. I wake, take brief repose, confess a little tooth and claw, compose and perform a priestly shriek. And she trusts me. My news is tolerable.

All I swallow becomes mine, becomes good. Whatever interests my voice interests me: a belly, a room of strangers, a puff of smoke. They are asking me questions.

I hear them.

I'm coming back to this room (to get things straight). A room is instructed by its kings so I've begun drawing crowns and getting angry easily, which comes from caring too much. Often, the size of the heart determines the size of the emotion. The small pleasures of birds, for instance.


There is a prayer folded in my mouth; like the night, it wanders as it searches for its bride. There are no shortcuts around this mountain (a prayer is a mountain, looking for its bride). But there is a mountain.


A bridge will be written - Hart Crane

A face will be written. Another year will be written, with each of its hostile devils. A redemption will be performed as it is composed. The heights will be written, if only for the slave of tears to gaze at them in dissatisfaction.

The slave of tears has already been written.

He speaks for the room, the river, the air. He speaks to the heights because he wants to. A fine trembling will be written. The heights will be written. An answer will be written, and an embrace.


Perhaps every little thing must be recovered if anything is to be saved. Here are my eyes. They do not wish to be frozen by the wintry light of understanding. Happily, I (like a flame) understand nothing. At a conspiring hour, I am standing under the birches, in winter, learning to hunt.


A portrait is also a path made visible. The world is an ally of the visible.

I am sitting in the meadow grass scratching doubt and belief. I think a lot of people have grown up with a peek at the future, with songs never recorded. My goal is simple: to play jacks in front of the levee. (I desire to be not only graceful, but visible. Useful. I do not desire the wisdom of the worm, nor of the hook.) To become timeless.

So how do we die, really? And what is the exact location of the crossroads? I'm not predisposed towards elevating things beyond what we see and touch, but by the time I noticed I was crossing this field, I knew the living must communicate with life.


The journey into our bodies is another journey, like the night: as long as a riddle. Gristle, and grace. When she was a child, no one would cut her hair for her. It went down to her waist.

My childhood was a river as well, one to drag my faith across; my hair floated in the water behind me. My eyes were painted shut and the clouds were boats.

And is she still barefoot, without a thing in her hands? Is she wading in clouds? ("Like God, we dream only of rivers.")

I am trying to draw the lumps in our throats. The ones we had when we were born, when we finally die. The ones that mean: I will not remember this.


The snow is thick and I have just found a wolf; it's an actual wolf. I name it Broken Mirror. I can see its ribs. I take it inside and teach it how to count. The wolf's heart is a thing of rhythms, a thing of sand. I carry it from room to room; the wolf seems to be swallowing its tongue. "My voice carries," I say. "It will carry you."


Yay! My mother is picking up my kids from school so I can hang out in Alexandria with and walk along the river before I have to come home and work. I need an outdoor break, especially since Comcast never came yesterday.

This is what four years of graduate school got me:

[take the test] - [by]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


...kept me offline much of the night. (Note to weather gods: I am NOT complaining, for we have power and the sump pump is working and the basement did not flood and I am online right now and I am VERY GRATEFUL!) But it means...again...that I am behind on everything, and spent part of the evening discussing Tarot cards with my son and another part of the evening watching parts of Velvet Goldmine with my husband (am thisclose to convincing him that we need it on DVD). Tomorrow I am having lunch with and and also have to write at least three articles so will undoubtedly be behind then, too!

Speaking of Tarot, gacked from :

"the pioneer, builder, doer, visionary"
You create what is needed for future generations.
You have a deep love for adventure, travel,
change, the creative process, setting new
things in motion, and changing both internally
and externally. You have a great gift of
visionary perception, an eye for what is and is not working.
href="***which%20major%20arcana%20of%20the%20thoth%20tarot%20deck%20are%20you%3F%20%20short%3B%20with%20pictures%20and%20detailed%20results***/">***which major arcana of the thoth tarot deck are you?
short; with pictures and detailed results***

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The TV is on now. The news is on. I can't listen to it. I can't even hope that maybe Bush will realize now how pathetic his Mideast peace initiatives are. It's too horrible.

The Happy Dance Of Cable Love

Comcast is, in theory, coming this afternoon to replace our cable line. I am afraid to hope for too much, but am cautiously optimistic.

Does anyone out there have the rumored new Premiere magazine in which Orlando Bloom says he'd do it with Paul Newman if he were into men? Could you be begged to scan the whole damn article or at least provide a list of straight *snork* (sorry) celebrities and their fantasy figures? (Ben Affleck said Brad Pitt, huh? Oh, I will get NO work done this afternoon.)

In a quiz that everyone else has already taken, here are my test results. I am somewhat pleased at this, though maybe whimsically saying "squirrel" was not the best idea in the world.
You think of yourself as being alive, growing, fresh, and earthy.
Others think of you as being free, independent, social, and playful.
Your relationships can be described as salty, tumultuous, wide, and roiling.
When stressed, you feel blank.
Take this test HREF="">here.

Addendum (thank for this): A con report on James Marsters talking about having to kiss a man in Italian Heat, the upcoming movie that Sean Bean is also supposedly starring in!

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm

Nothing But Death
By Pablo Neruda
Translated by Robert Bly

There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
          finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.


: Frozen, for the weather challenge. (Yes, Madonna soundtrack.)

Still here. Still sad. My son's deceased teacher was a big supporter of Guiding Eyes For the Blind and had raised puppies for them, so I wanted to give them a plug here. She loved children and animals and they loved her. My son is rather a high-maintenance student -- extremely bright and extremely distractible -- and she was just phenomenal with him, giving him the time he needed.

Must do lots of work today -- editor sent lots of trivial Trek news to cover. Had a bunny but it must wait. Gacked from among others:
Gryffindor! Fun-loving and ballsy down to the last
detail, you follow rules when it's convenient
for you and never turn down an opportunity to
par-tay. You're loud, mischievous, and a little
naive at times, but never let your awesome
self-confidence waver. Like Slytherin, you too
appreciate the finer things in life...just in a
very...different way.
A More Unique Hogwarts Sorting Quiz
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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Poem for Tuesday

Ars Poetica
By Blaga Dimitrova
Translated by Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman

Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
In this century, saturated with strontium,
charged with terrorism,
flying with supersonic speed,
death comes with terrifying suddenness.
Send each of your words
like a last letter before execution,
a call carved on a prison wall.
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won't have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
tersely, mercilessly,
with blood -- as if it were your last.


From last Sunday's Washington Post Book World Poet's Choice column by Edward Hirsch. I never made it to the book review section on Sunday so you're getting this late. The column is on the art of poetry as poetry -- ars poetica -- and talks about Horace, Wallace Stevens and Byron among others.

I don't really know where yesterday went. I did some work, wrote some drabbles, played with my son's birthday presents, had dinner with my parents, pretended to be paying attention to the Stanley Cup finals...nothing terribly exciting. Watched the rest of The Animatrix while folding laundry, appreciated the animation and enjoyed the haunted house story but overall the movies have much more of an impact on me both emotionally and intellectually.

In the course of trying to find out exactly what James Marsters said about possibly co-starring with Sean Bean, I stumbled into some very interesting debate about Buffy, the Buffy/Spike dynamic, whether it matters how an actor versus a writer speaks about his character and the like...this post in particular made some good points, particularly about how power gets defined in relationships and how problematic it is to start slapping the label "abuse" on them.

Speaking of which, I may as well do the fandom meme:

1. What was the very first fandom you got involved in?

Star Trek (at the time, the one and only original series). I went to my first convention in high school.

2. What is the most recent fandom to catch your interest?
I'm still on the all-Lord of the Rings, all the time channel. Fortunately the literary fandom and the actors are so diverse that it's been impossible to get bored, and when I get frustrated I just find a new corner to play in.

3. Fandom you've stayed loyal to the longest?
Star Trek. I have Captain Kirk action figures on display in my bedroom. 'nuff said.

4. Fandom(s) you're most passionate about?
I was at one time more passionate about Voyager than any other, but I don't think I would or could ever be that passionate about a media fandom again. These days I'm kind of a slut; if it's Wednesday, odds are I'm thinking about Smallville, and if it's Sunday, odds are I'm watching Sharpe while folding laundry.

5. Fandom(s) you wish you could get into, but can't?
I wish Buffy had held my attention better for longer just because there are a lot of really smart, neat people in the fandom. But I'm not sorry not to have written it or anything.

6. Fandoms you're curious about, but never had the chance to get into?
Anime. I'm fascinated by all the cultural issues reflected there but I'm a real dilettante.

7. Fandom that's been the most fun to be involved in?
At its best, Voyager fandom was amazing and I met some of the best friends of my life because of it. But I was also much too involved, and after having run a fan club it's a big relief just to be a casual LOTR fan and read a lot of fic and chat with people here.

8. Fandom that's been the least fun to be involved in?
Also Voyager. The waning days of KMAS before we made the decision to shut down the club were terrible and I never want to go through anything like that again.

9. Fandom you're ashamed to admit you were involved in?
I'd say RPS but that would require admitting that I've been involved in it. *g* Seriously, I don't think there are any I'm ashamed of.

10. Are you looking for a new fandom, or actively avoiding getting sucked into something new?
Just taking it as it comes. I'm quite happy with my current fandoms, insane excesses aside but every fandom I've ever seen has those, but I'm always happy to add new interests when time permits.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Poem for Monday

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
by e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands


Many people know that one from Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, I think, which is unfortunate; I'm glad I'd read it in school before I saw it.

Wore the wrong shoes yesterday because I was under the impression that the adults would not be allowed to climb at the kids' party. Silly me. The adults (the fathers actually) took turns learning to belay, so they had harnesses on, and then when the kids went into the other room for cake they took turns spotting each other on the walls. I am frustrated that I didn't get to climb but was busy serving cake and stuff anyway. There are certain people who I pretty much only see at this point at kids' birthday parties so I like to catch up with them. No major gossip yesterday though; I got more of that at the soccer game afterwards.

Speaking of gossip, I read a rumor that James Marsters said at a convention over the weekend that he will be co-starring in the film Italian Heat with Sean Bean and Derek Jacobi. With James playing the married gay man. What a cast! As says, please let Sean be playing his lover and not his wife's lover...

Watched the Tonys. I love the long hair on Hugh. I knew Harvey would win but I'm thrilled anyway. In general I was happy about all the Hairspray awards and everyone thanking their beautiful boyfriends. I like the Tonys so much better than any other awards show.

Blast from the past from , and given the choices I won't complain, though I have never had any interest in being any Picard love interest:

You are Vash. You galivant around
the universe with Q. 'nough said.
Star Trek TNG:
Which Picard Romance Interest Are You?

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Sunday, June 08, 2003

Climbing the Walls

Back from my son's birthday party and soccer game. Remind me never again to eat Bugles, Doritos, Vanilla Coke and M&Ms for lunch if I want to avoid a splitting headache. Good thing I'm having healthy *snerk* Popeye's chicken for dinner.

Lots of fun was had by all. Real update soon.

Poem for Sunday

From "To the Moon"
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing Heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth--
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?


The wonderful and awesome provides these still and moving captures from Caravaggio! Go worship her!

Am getting ready for my younger son's birthday party (my son's actual birthday is at the end of July, but everyone is always out of town for his party...and this year we will be out of town as well!) He wanted to do rock climbing, so since none of us know much about belaying, especially with seven-year-olds, we are having the party at a climbing gym with 15 little boys. This is the first all-boys party, and I am feeling grateful that I do not have a daughter who wants a hair-and-nails party as one of my friends does, because I know less about french manicures than I do about climbing.

Despite the torrential rain yesterday, most of the kids went into the outdoor pool at my older son's class end-of-year party, at the home of one of the families of a girl in his class. It was also a wedding shower of sorts for his teacher, who is getting married in a couple of weeks, so it was quite festive and there was a ton of food despite it not being a luncheon party. This is a very diverse school with people from all over the world -- we live in a really wonderful public school district in that regard -- so there were lots of interesting conversations about travel and politics as well as the usual What Are You Doing On Your Summer Vacation chat.

I came home and had to write three articles last night. My husband made my son's Yu-Gi-Oh cake and organized party favors so I would just like to note that the man is a saint. Though we just realized that neither of us sent his parents an anniversary card, and the day's tomorrow. Oops!

From via , The Desert Island Meme:
1. Which ocean are you in the middle of?

Pacific, out of monsoon zone, someplace warm but preferably not equatorial.
2. You're allowed one companion. Who is it?
My husband. That's pretty neat, I guess, that I would take my husband to my desert island.
3. What three movies would you have with you?
THREE? Aggh! Amadeus, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Joe vs. the Volcano (desert island!). But ask me tomorrow and this list may be modified.
4. What three books would you have with you?
I guess The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is cheating? The Bible, The Mists of Avalon and I Was Amelia Earhart (look, if I'm on a desert island, I want my desert island reading, too). I can recite a lot of poetry I really love from memory, which is why there isn't any on this list.
5. Three music CDs you'd have?
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony conducted by Bernstein, Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits and Saturday Night Fever.
6. You have a neverending supply of one meal and one beverage. What are they?
Chicken satay and sweetened iced Earl Grey tea.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Poem for Saturday

By Kenneth Rexroth

Our canoe idles in the idling current
Of the tree and vine and rush enclosed
Backwater of a torpid midwestern stream;
Revolves slowly, and lodges in the glutted
Waterlilies. We are tired of paddling.
All afternoon we have climbed the weak current,
Up dim meanders, through woods and pastures,
Past muddy fords where the strong smell of cattle
Lay thick across the water; singing the songs
Of perfect, habitual motion; ski songs,

Nightherding songs, songs of the capstan walk,
The levee, and the roll of the voyageurs.
Tired of motion, of the rhythms of motion,
Tired of the sweet play of our interwoven strength,
We lie in each other's arms and let the palps
Of waterlily leaf and petal hold back
All motion in the heat thickened, drowsing air.
Sing to me softly, Westron Wynde, Ah the Syghes,
Mon coeur se recommend à vous, Phoebi Claro;
Sing the wandering erotic melodies
Of men and women gone seven hundred years,
Softly, your mouth close to my cheek.
Let our thighs lie entangled on the cushions,
Let your breasts in their thin cover
Hang pendant against my naked arms and throat;
Let your odorous hair fall across our eyes;
Kiss me with those subtle, melodic lips.
As I undress you, your pupils are black, wet,
Immense, and your skin ivory and humid.
Move softly, move hardly at all, part your thighs,
Take me slowly while our gnawing lips
Fumble against the humming blood in our throats.
Move softly, do not move at all, but hold me,
Deep, still, deep within you, while time slides away,
As the river slides beyond this lily bed,
And the thieving moments fuse and disappear
In our mortal, timeless flesh.


I would just like to send big hugs and gratitude to and for sending me stuff yesterday that made a huge difference in my mental state, even if I was too busy whining here to remember to thank them properly. This is why I go so insane without cable...I can't even stay in contact with the people who make my day when my day is shitty!

Today my son's class is having an end-of-year pool party. Thus is it pouring rain outside and there is a flood watch in effect. What does one wear to a non-pool party? And after that I have to get ready for my own son's birthday party tomorrow, and write three articles since I got only one done yesterday due to my cable woes. I am endeavoring not to say "arrgh" again.

I can't help it, I needed to know. (Remus! I'm here, waiting...) Is there something wrong with me if I correct the spelling in these quiz results before I post them?

dark arts
You excel at Defense Against the Dark Arts. Which
is really good because who knows when you'll
run into that disgruntled troll or banshee going
through menopause.
href=""> Which Class at Hogwarts Would You Excel at?
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