Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Funnels made of silk

It’s fall and the grass spiders, the funnel weavers,
have entered the house.
Last year the shower of Leonids,
now, daughter, you in my arms.

Yesterday, after last rites, my husband helped
find a casket for a three-year-old.
Today he took communion
to a boy in the hospital.
The body and blood now sit in a box
on our kitchen counter.

After the nebulizer has freed the chambers
of your lungs, I carry you to your room.
Another yellow snail has died in your aquarium.
My fingers cradle its lightness,
toss it in the garbage.

Once in bed, you sleep the sleep of danger,
breath clicking upon itself.
Get behind me! I whisper you to say.

The grass spider wants dark corners,
even with four sets of eyes.
Between the bricks and door frame waits
a funnel made of silk.







Film

Domestic front

The Valley of Elah is the legendary spot between two mountains where, according to 1 Samuel, young David slew the mighty Philistine warrior Goliath. The site is an appropriate allusion for writer-director Paul Haggis’s movie about the American experience in Iraq. In the Valley of Elah posits that the U.S. may be the military Goliath brought down by hit-and-run insurgents.
Poetry

Euonymus Alatus

Outside my window, the bushes have turned, redder
than any fire, and the sky is the same blue Giotto
used for Mary’s robes. My mother says, if she still
had a house, she’d plant one or two of these bushes,
and I love how she’s still thinking about gardening,
as if she were in the middle of the story, even though
we both know, she’s at the end, the last few pages. Down
in the meadow, the goldenrod’s gone from cadmium
yellow to a feathery beige, the ghost of itself. Mother,
too, fades away, skin thin as the tissue stuffed
up her sleeve. The scars on her stomach
itch and burn, but inside, she’s still the girl
who loved to turn cartwheels, the woman
whose best days were on fairways and putting greens.
On television, we watch California go up in smoke,
flames leapfrogging ridge to ridge. Here, these leaves
release a shower of scarlet feathers, as everything starts
to let go. Oh, how this world burns and burns us,
yet we are not consumed.
Film

Unglued

Neil Jordan’s The Brave One has a lacerating opening section. Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) is a New York disc jockey who dedicates her radio show to the neglected or vanishing splendors of the city she adores. One evening she and her fiancé (Naveen Andrews, of TV’s Lost) are mugged while walking their dog in Central Park; he’s killed and she winds up in a coma.
Film

Mob culture

“I’m not a fan of heist movies, where the mechanics of the heist are lovingly detailed. But criminality and people who live in a state of perpetual transgressionthat is interesting to me.”