Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Anatomy of seduction

        it turns out
the allure of hummingbirds
                has little to do

with their own rouge—
       instead, the thrilling
     iridescence of their
               wings depends

upon the distance

       between the ridges
of their feathers, dulling structures

        my guess we’d ignore,
were it not for some blessed
                  interplay

       with incident light









Poetry

Grace

We say grace before we start
to eat good things together, as if
our thin voices could somehow
divine it. We call it table grace,
as if it were the elegance of furniture.
We say a woman has it in the way
she moves. We equate it with luck
sometimes, modify it with sheer
as if we could shave it to size.

Our gesture is not the real thing,
we know that, that’s wholly
Your deal. This is mere posture—
or should we say sheer posture—
a way to halt moving limbs, to cease
together here, to allow a tilt
toward gratitude

Poetry

After so much darkness

                      —for my father

After so much darkness, the field’s excess of light,
the day floating on itself as in a dream.
But it isn’t a dream, the small wound songs of the house finch,
the sun hammering the grasses’ bronze tips.
We had gathered about your bed

like a boat we tried to push off stony ground.
We wanted to help: we believed in the buoyancy of that water.
You held onto the ruins instead of our hands.
What did we know of how it is to look back at one’s life?

A bee swings from the nightshade.
Ants carry their burden up the post of the shed unmoved by song.The grasses bend under the weight of so much light.
And the balm of the wind: from the woods the singing of leaves.
Or is it the sound of water flowing?






Film

Juno

Diablo Cody won an Academy Award for her screenplay for Juno, and it’s true that the film bubbles along on the strength of the snappy, frank commentary that Juno (Ellen Page) offers on the travails of being pregnant at 16.
Poetry

Aging tulips

See, it’s not sweet youth
that touts a wildness, but crazy
old age. Beauty shifts. Plump
pink petals fall away, or stay,
curling every which way,
like stiff, unruly hair, dried
to a deep blood-red.

The once-upright congregation-
in-a-vase flops over, losing their
heads, but that’s all right. They
find another life in unconventional
gesture, extravagant dance:
this still troupe, ecstatic,
with nothing left to lose.