Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Little blessing spoken in road rage

Chariot from Hades, fire
glinting from its windshield, steel
knife splitting the atom
to pull in front of me,
so close now I can see
the driver, her phone, can hear
death ring. Searching
for a place to get away, I swerve
into a corridor of hate,
detesting her, my body fired
with full throttle hatred,
I rev up, speed ahead, so
close now I can see her
her mouth a frightened grimace.
How exposed she is, wearing
only the flimsy dress of a car,
her brief face etched
and dying on the air, when
someone calls, Bless this
child. May her parents see
her alive tonight, speaking
through me, a voice, then
peace, as she passes safely by.
Film

Room at the inn

In 1994 Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in Kigali, Rwanda, risked his life to help save more than 1,200 men, women and children from the ethnic cleansing that wiped out nearly 1 million Rwandans in 100 days. Through this true story Hotel Rwanda tells the story of the genocide in Rwanda.
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.