The Return, II
By Catherine Barnett
My brother thinks it's best to distract my sister,
not ask her about longing and its dirty tricks,
its flirty tricks, her girls
oh, hiding under the sheet waiting to be found,
digging ditches in the dirt,
blowing out the candles --
He holds her up, his arm over her shoulders
so she won't see the eyelashes they leave there,
for luck, like she taught them,
for making wishes that can't be spoken aloud
but I know he hears them,
as she does,
asking the same thing again --
come with us come with us --
From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in this morning's Washington Post Book World. This is from a first book by Barnett, which Hirsch describes as "as a work of full maturity...a taut, heartsick and grief-stricken sequence that keeps returning to the site of a life-changing catastrophe," the deaths of her nieces in a plane crash: "You can read one version in the newspaper/ and another in the courts/ and a third in my sister's face,/ in my sister's sisters' faces,/ in my mother's face -- // in the candles burned down to their jars." Here's another from the book, which has the same title as the poem below.
Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced
We unstrung necklaces into two glass bowls
and passed them round to the mourners.
The beads were onyx, agate, quartz, all manner
of stone. Everyone was to take two
and at the end of the service
put one back in my sister's hands.
What could she do but collect
the round weights all night?
She has not restrung them,
not wanting to be finished yet with death.
The New York Times on the death of surprise on TV courtesy spoilers. "'Is there a spoiler site on the Internet as ruinous to fan enjoyment as the Fox network's promo department?' Hercules, the pseudonymous TV maven at Ain't It Cool News, argued in an e-mail exchange." Joss Whedon and I disagree strongly on this subject: he thinks surprises are important and vital to people's psyches (man, he sounds almost as pompous as Chris Carter these days) whereas I feel like any story that it so dependent on a twist is cheap genre fare, unless it's something truly extraordinary like The Crying Game which an attentive audience -- and, more to the point, someone deeply invested in the implications of that spoiler -- could have figured out anyway. Take The Sixth Sense for instance; I guessed at the twist based on the subject of the film before I had ever seen it, but knowing in no way diminished my interest and I think lent the story more pathos, in a way.
And, on an unrelated pornish note, has anyone ever read an AU where Janice Lester was accidentally killed in Kirk's body in "Turnabout Intruder" and Kirk was trapped in Lester's body for the rest of his life? I had a discussion last week which made me remember thinking about this a long time ago, and now I can't remember if it was a bunny I had or a story summary I read somewhere! I definitely did not read the fic, and if it exists, I would like to.
Also, someone please tell me there are screen caps and vid clips from last night's Bush/Rumsfeld SNL skit somewhere. And please tell me where.
Happy Mother's Day everyone. My mother is in New York with my sister's children, and my in-laws are here, so I must go!