Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

The pastor's wife considers purgatory

My Pittsburgh son haunts thrift shops,
collects old rosaries, hangs them on nails
down cellar, near his bathroom door.

Buried with their best crystal rosaries,
crocheted among their fingers,
all those old ladies trouble me
when I consider how their every-day
rosaries were taken by their daughters
to be entombed in gold, pasteboard boxes,

until years later when the daughters
were readying for their move
to Florida (for the sake of the mover’s bill)
lightened their load by donating the darker
contents of their dresser drawers to Goodwill.



Music

On music

It’s been some time since I donned my best professional earbuds to focus on a question of audio fidelity. But the band in question is the Beatles and the discs part of an ambitious remastering of the band’s catalog.
Poetry

De-icing the plane

A small black truck huddles
behind one wing, buried in a shroud

of smoke. Exhaust fumes? fire?
No. A cloud of detergent

billows over the plane. When every suitcase
is stowed, every seat belt buckled,

and the runways plowed, the black truck
sidles up again, the airport’s winter “familiar.”

The silver bird, with floury faces ovalled
on its side, slithers into a blizzard, hugely blind.

No mincing steps, no Lot’s wife here.
One hesitation could mean death

ablaze on a snowy superhighway. Everyone
prays, “Up, up,” to the engine’s crescendo,

like sparrows sudsed in a birdbath
just before flight.













Film

The Lovely Bones

Back in 1994, when Peter Jackson was a relatively unknown director, he made the small but brilliant Heavenly Creatures, a tale about an “unhealthy” friendship between two teenage girls in 1950s New Zealand that led to bloody matricide. It remains my favorite film by this extremely talented filmmaker.