Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Keanu to the rescue

Hell wants him, heaven won’t take him, earth needs him.” So proclaims the poster for Constantine. It sounds like an ad for a previous Keanu Reeves movie, the ridiculous Devil’s Advocate. Yet some of the same publicists who promoted Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ are promoting Constantine—and for similar reasons.
Poetry

Conspiracies

Listen! And hear the whispers of uprisings
all about you, springing not from the blood
of desperation, revolt from under the grinding heel
of emperies; grounded instead in eastering
earth and its hovering Spirit. Conspiracies
of roots and bulbs and seeds! And who knows
what under the stones the worms are up to?



Poetry

Bell

      Good Friday, 2004

Since time flies one way like an arrow,
the sugar can’t be stirred out of your oatmeal
and no matter how long the murderer sobs
on the median strip—sorry!—he can’t reverse
his swerve, cannot rescind his drink

before the crash. Like him, was Jesus heartsick
to find history’s not a zipper running both ways?
He who loved eternity—its roominess,
its reversibility—as he grew up, did he
have to learn he never could unsay a thing

he’d said? And yet today, like all Good Fridays,
He hangs on the cross again. On altars
he hangs. On necklaces. His death is like an x
that rides the wheels of time to come again
in ritual, that miniature eternity, that spring

re-sprung. Dear God, there in your big eternity,
remember that your hands and feet can never
be unscarred again. Hear these words spoken
by a body that suffers, by a tongue
that will stiffen soon and be gone.

Have mercy on us who love time.
May this prayer be a tire
that rolls over every inch of the way
to find You. May it be a bell
which can never be unrung.









Film

Trusting and believing

A pair of British imports explores faith of different kinds. Millions, directed by Danny Boyle from a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce, is by far the slicker of the two. It is chock-full of glitzy visual effects, something to be expected from the man who directed the kinetic drug film Trainspotting.
Poetry

Sometimes I wish the rain

could wash my impatience away,
my hardness-of-heart rinsed like grit
from the blackberry bush by the road,

the rain-soaked boughs of the sassafras
bobbing in the day-after wind
like waves turning in a lake, a spray of droplets
suddenly shaken down.

I could stand in the field surrounded
by such luxury and feel for a moment lighter
as if I’d forgiven one thing, one.