Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

The question

          Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
                                                                                           John 6:68

Never the I-dare-you gauntlet in his sack,
Full as it was with fishhooks and the like,
A whittled bird—industry of Nazareth,
A cowl his mother wove;

And when he looked at twelve men lingering,
Some women, too—intrepid girls
Whom others labeled bold,

Where boldness grew transparent.

As I was saying, when he looked . . . he thought,
How numbered, wayward, pitiful,
Their feet, caked from their trekking back and forth,
Poolside to shade, where he would speak

Of busheled lamps and fig trees.
Should he demand excess, when all the rest
Had shuffled back to portals and to sleep?
And, if he did, how many—if any—would say, yes?

John’s mother would be horrified, of course,
So young, and he had mesmerized her baby. Would
Golgotha go quicker by his side? And what
Of Peter’s wife: another net suspended.

The sun basted the hillocks purple-green;
The men shifted their feet, the women pulled
Blue cotton, hid their hair—Now what?
And so—at odds, the flesh of his heart hefting his

Love, he looked at each and asked, full knowing
They had nowhere, not any where, to go.















Film

Roman de Gare

Claude Lelouch’s 1966 film A Man and a Woman remains the North Star of romantic French movies. It also remains his obit-leader, since Lelouch has done nothing in the past 42 years to approximate that runaway success.
Film

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), the first nonanimated big-screen feature film based on C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia books, Prince Caspian is visually spectacular, emotionally stirring and dramatically potent.
Poetry

My father and the dark

Ten inches of snow this week,
gradual, over four days,
so that we didn’t realize

until we tried to walk
the tow path along the canal
how deep it was,

and I think again how quickly
this first trimester’s gone
a season already, reaching

around to rub her round belly,
its waters stirred this month
by tiny fingers and toes,

knowing our baby
has earlobes now, and genitals,
hearing again the racing

heart in the doctor’s office,
wishing my father, who sat up
at night like this to smoke,

could be here,
so that I could show him
how I sing into the belly

when she lies back down,
and could ask him
about the dark and its lack of answers,

dark he slumped in for years
with his beer and news radio,
dark he drove to work in

and came home in,
lived on those last few months
through tubes and drugs,

dark he lives in now,
or does not,
dark our baby swims from tonight,

in the waters where time begins,
adding cells and muscle and bone
all the hard way to our lives.





















Film

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The biblical archaeologist at my seminary once donned Indiana Jones–inspired attire to publicize one of his discoveries. He claimed not to enjoy this publicity stunt. If so, he’s about the only movie-watching male who didn’t want to play at being Indy, the brainy, hip, unflappable professor of archaeology who could fight off Nazis with little more than a fedora and a bullwhip.