Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Praying with Luke

“When you pray, go into your room,” He said,
so each green dawn as spring light stirs, I sit,
womb-snug, in my small room, hushed high
above unfurling leaves, with Luke who’s all
of five days new, but solid as a loaf of bread,
and, oh, such wisdom; petal-soft, in and out,
I hear his breath. Receive. Release. That’s all
there is. Just this. Quiet. Nothing more.
Film

Looking for love

Purporting to deliver the straight goods on modern sexual interactions, Closer is glossier than last summer’s similarly themed We Don’t Live Here Anymore, and it has a more impressive pedigree—an award-winning director (Mike Nichols), a highly acclaimed British stage play (by Patrick Marber) for its source, and a glamorous cast: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Jude Law and Natalie Portman
Film

Escaping

It is hard to be moved anymore by films about concentration camps. The grainy images of scarecrow figures; maniacal guards firing pistols on a whim; parents dragged away while children stare—Hollywood has managed to turn such horrors into stock visuals. It has made the unspeakable not only speakable, but almost rote.
Poetry

Weather report

The snow in North Dakota asks a question
with no question mark, no capital letter,
to indicate where it begins and ends
or what lies in the middle, for that matter.
The question is white and drifts above the cab
of the snowplow while in its orange light
people lean into the wind along the curb,
digging out cars that vanish in the night.

At home their dogs are silent, hearing no sound.
The cattle huddle and freeze, and buffalo
crossing the buried fence, free now to roam,
stand silver and stiff as nickels in the dawn—
eyes frozen wide and blank as if they tried
to comprehend the question while they died.





Poetry

Night sounds

          For Jay

At night your children ask
in cries for you to come to them

In the space between sleep and light
you pull on a baby sling, tuck in small fingers
soothing who you can. Not at all times mindful
what treasure you hold.

In the morning things align themselves
like dishes in a row
work to do, and people
who have need of you, always

The space will not always be there,
the night
      you meet your children in.
Someday not so long from now, no one
will wake you from your sleep and dreams.

Pictures will move behind your eyes
again, noise given only to floor boards,
traffic, a rotating fan.

But what is more grounded
than the pavement you tread at 3 a.m.?
weighty jewel against your chest.