Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Jesus at the Juvie Hall

Jesus pulls up a chair to tell me about his day. Today at breakfast,
when the doors were unlocked, he and the others came out of their
      rooms,
and to his surprise, there were muffins! Everyone here is crazy
about muffins. They mean nothing on the outside, but in here
(he looks at the floor and trails off). Jesus tugs at the little braids
in the nape of his neck. I go to court tomorrow. They say
I’ll be sentenced and moved on Friday. He drums
the metal table, balances his feet on their heels. With a sign, I heard
you can get Snickers over there, at least. Just then, he remembers
and pulls a glow-in-the-dark rosary out of his shirt. Jesus says
he is learning how to pray, albeit with help from the Virgin
prayer card from the priest. At night he draws the blanket
over his head and cups the rosary, as if brightness itself
offers protection. There is comfort, he says, in knowing
his grandmother blessed each bead, and when he slides them
through his petitioning hands, it’s as if he’s lacing his fingers
into hers. There, in the sanctioned darkness he whispers, Glory be.
Poetry

Google

He eases into the barber’s chair, closes his eyes,
relaxes as the lather warms his face, remembers
what it was like before they found out he knew . . . everything

His associates had always been impressed that he read
a dozen papers and a chapter of Dickens before breakfast,
remembered their birthday and preferences for coffee,

could announce the heat index in Tehran and the latest numbers
of the Nikkei Exchange, the whereabouts of Jane Goodall
and all the positions for G7alt on the guitar,

but it wasn’t until he let slip that this was only
results 1-10 of about 63,000 in .17 seconds
that they began to imagine his commercial possibilities.

He remembers signing the contract, watching them build the tower,
the miles of petitioners hiking switchbacks up the mountain,
the ceaseless Post-its, his fingers aching

from hours of scribbling, head pounding with another inquiry
about the Kennedys, a recipe for chocolate cream pie,
the weight of the pope’s hat, where to buy Ginsu knives.

He returns from his shave to find 2.3 million
“while you were out” messages obscuring his door,
straightens his multicolored tie, notices

his reflection in the window: the smartest man on earth,
the wonders of the world at his fingertips,
a name on his desk that suggests infinity

and the babbling of an infant.















Film

Outcast

Those who have seen Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark know that Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier tends to focus on issues of sacrifice and forgiveness, especially involving women. Dogville adds rage and revenge to the mix.
Film

Memory play

Charlie Kaufman may be both the most original screenwriting talent to emerge in the past ten years and the most exasperating. He inspires fervent loyalty among some film buffs because his ideas are playful and heady; they don’t start out or play out like anyone else’s, and at their best they can liberate actors’ most inventive impulses.
Poetry

To the gift giver

Since Grace has struck once more
with gifts beyond all need of giving,
we give ourselves to giving thanks.

In giving thanks, we find once more
ourselves inclined to giving;
by Grace giving, we give thanks.

Should Grace return once more
to bring us joy in giving,
all will know a round of thanks—

Once more giving to the Giver thanks.