Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Casting wafers

In the back ward of the Alzheimer unit,
I prepare a table for communion
and drop two wafers on the silver plate
with a quick hand motion—a throw.

Dropping on the tray, two dice
tossed below the foot of the cross
stare back at me with their white face
uncubed, flat, and circled.

A shiver shoots through my spine:
we are soldiers still casting lots
for Jesus’ robe. I stare at the snake eyes
and wonder what I have won.

Two signatures: the sign of white crosses
stamped, nailed an imprinted metaphor
of bread stumbled through my eyes:
the body of Christ passes over my tongue.





Film

Shutter Island

Director Martin Scorsese goes for broke in Shutter Island. The style is a particularly gaudy brand of expressionism. The production design is dominated by dried-blood reds and smeary browns. Robert Richardson’s cinematography is more radically underlit than the old Universal monster pictures from the early 1930s. But the movie is a fiasco.
Poetry

Buried with him in his death

We fought for one more sputter
of the old life. Even though a breeze passing
over your sieve of skin could send you
screaming, you muscled up your diaphragm
to whisk more air into the fire.

I held my own terrors to my chest:
failures and brush-offs, cancers and crashes,
all the anxieties I had grown to love
heaving and cracking like your ribcage
until we both gave out.

Then there was the mess of prying us loose:
wailing women and splintered lumber,
flesh stubbornly sticking to the nails.
But what swift hands, that Joseph of Arimathea,
what purposeful footsteps crunching the ground!

He wrapped us in linen and spices.
Only the hapless world could think of packing
fifty pounds of aloe around a dead man’s wounds.
But we drank it in like deserts
until finally even the lizards scurried home.

I lay in the cave and wanted to touch you,
but my hands were no longer mine.
They closed in on themselves like daylilies.
The stone rumbled over the window of light,
and then our difficult rising began.







Film

Avatar

By the time you read this, Avatar will have grossed enough to pay down the national debt, bail out a few more banks and provide top-shelf health care to everyone west of the Mississippi.