Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Rachel to her midwife

On the barren road you speak my name,
offer me a drink. That morning
at the well Jacob rolled the stone away as
if it were straw. What a man

would do for me then. He told me
“I saw God face to face, yet my life
was spared.” And now you say
“Your son comes,” but your hands

struggle inside me as the owl cries,
and I know this earth will take everything
from me, even the name I give him. Sister,
there is not enough salt in the Dead

Sea for all out tears. Our bodies, destroyed
temples. We are exiles, all of us. I give you
my name for your daughters and their girls
to come, but remember this: a man’s favor

is a heavy offering, it crafts one day into
seven, then multiplies the years. Slams a veil
between sisters. In the end, when you hear
your name called, all you long for is home.







Film

Two Lovers

The romantic drama Two Lovers is the perfect small movie. James Gray and his co-writer, Ric Menello, were inspired by Dostoevsky’s short story “White Nights” and especially by the exquisite 1957 movie version by Luchino Visconti.
Film

Gemorrah

Nominated as Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards and awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Gomorrah chronicles the violent activities of the Camorra, or “the System,” the sprawling crime syndicate in Naples and surrounding provinces. The film, directed by Matteo Garrone, is based on a 2006 book by Roberto Saviano, which was a best seller in Italy.
Poetry

The empty tomb

      John 20

That woman was the first word spoken
must have taken even the angels by surprise,

who were used to bringing their fiery glory
down to the clanging swords of battlefields,

to priests tugging at their beards
in lamentation, to voices thundering in temples

and muscles hefting stones from mountaintops,
not to a trembling woman whose hair clung

to her neck with tears, who for a moment
held the souls of the nations like a basket of figs.









Poetry

Daughter

I don’t remember. I was twelve, not yet
aware of how a parent dies before
a child’s bewilderment. I lay beset
by fever, lost to life. I will not bore

you reconstructing how they called my name
and wept. They were perhaps more deeply stricken
than some, my father’s leadership a claim
on God’s beneficence. I’ve forgotten—

I don’t remember anger. What stays
with me is waking to voices about
my bed, one voice clear in the haze
of wonder, and Father’s joyous shout.

So long ago now! I live bound by that surprise,
and long to hear again that voice “Daughter, arise."