Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Free spirit

Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside is a triumph-of-the-spirit picture with an unconventional premise: the hero, Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a quadriplegic for two decades as the result of a diving accident, is seeking the right to end his life.
Poetry

Vanitas still life

When petals from a lavender
larkspur drop onto the gray
rock on the mantel, I let them
stay where they fall, next
to the empty vase,

shocking myself later,
chilled in bone and flesh
by dead blossoms on cold stone
beside a vessel, powerless.

Poetry

Waxwings in the pryrocanthus

Heavy the waxwings hang upon the bough,
A gospel dozen, sharing summer fruits,
The pyrocanthus touched with winter snow,
Alive with yellow-banded crested suits.
There is no solitary prophet here,
Spying the setting, ranking lesser wings;
They come in droves, in droves they disappear,
Unlike the dove, alone no waxwing sings.
Of course the birds are metaphor to me,
The waxing congregation sharing all;
The dove, I think, practices poetry,
Solitary, an “individual.”
Is it perverse to sing a lonely song,
When love prescribes the place where we belong?
Poetry

After long illness

          God never makes anything without a remedy.
                                                          T. H. White

Sprinkle me with rose water, saffron and powdered cloves.

I crave Basilisk baked in hummingbird milk, haunch
of unicorn—O, Lord, set before me full platters.

I celebrate star fruit, brie, angel hair pasta,
artichokes, tilapia, wine,
                                           drizzled truffle oil,
and parsley both curly and flat.

Bard pheasant breasts, crush garlic, whip cream,
and let me lick the bowl and the beaters.

Deep fry onion rings. Stew the okra
and the collard greens. Fill me with popcorn, doughnuts
and fried egg sandwiches.
                                            Hold the ketchup—
I am not completely shameless.

I praise even the coarsest of salt
crusted upon sliced limes,

for it is good to hunger and thirst.














Film

Kids with cameras

Zana Briski is a New York photojournalist who went to India in 1995 to document the plight of women in a patriarchal society. In 1998 she encountered the prostitutes working in the red light district of Calcutta. She moved in with them and got to know their routines.