Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Visiting hours

A friend of theirs had been festering
like an old sandwich, rotting
a little before disposal. They had to come,
but it got to where they held their breath
before they stepped inside the room.
The wife remembered how anything
with mayonnaise had to be refrigerated.

Even a sack lunch in an office was suspect
if stored under the desk for a morning:
egg salad was the worst.
The husband recalled a tiny door
in the stone wall of an English church,
stage right from the modest altar—a place
for lepers to take communion. Only part

of a soul could pass, and precious
little of the smell. The wife and husband
talked with their old friend like this, backing
off from his suppurations, unwilling to think,
This is our body, unwilling to think,
Dust to dust, slipping their elements of decay
into the outer cold and darkness.



Poetry

Two Annes

                           (For Hutchinson and Bradstreet)

One took the colony by the heels, slapping its flank
until it issued a broad cry of rage. Tall and forbidding,
she waxed both sharp and sweet, flying in the angry
face of magistrates, chafing the tender hearts
of the unregenerate gently with her tireless voice.
She coaxed as women labored in their cramped beds of pain.

The other fashioned quills and parsed her poems in clean
white sheets. Still, her clumsy child shamed her,
walking on stumbling feet, as real a “monstrous birth”
as the first Anne’s tissue of stubborn clots. What was it
she tried to say, poet in a wife’s starched linen,
submitting to her tasks and thanking God without
conviction for each bitter loss? Sarah, Hagar
in exile, she too never went back; the stormy Atlantic
roiled, keeping her margins, her heart rising
within her and rising, rising again.



Film

The Edge of Heaven

Most of The Edge of Heaven feels like a shaggy dog story. It’s not until well into the second half of the film that writer-director Fatih Akin shows where he’s headed with his tale.
Poetry

As I sleep

Turning as I sleep, I take
Across my eyes the silent words
Sung by our old sun’s golden birds—
They hope I will awake.

Learning, I have longed to shake
An apple from the sacred tree
That sings sleep into unity—
Before my true day-break:

Yearning, at the end, to make
My entrance in a gown of light
Woven of day, woven of night—
Hearing, at last, “Awake!”



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.