I have been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the ship [....] But preparing the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind begin to rise. However, at low water I went on board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually as that nothing more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another, I found some thirty–six pounds value in money, some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. “O drug!” said I aloud, “what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking off of the ground; one of those knives is worth all this heap. I have no manner of use for thee; even remain where thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving.” However, upon second thoughts, I took it away[....]
Today's poem ("Liar" by Alison Luterman) is the last from the happily poem-heavy June 2007 issue of The Sun. It begins:
I'm a liar,
he offered on our first date,
as we trudged hand in hand
through sliding sand on Alameda Beach.
Naked toddlers squatted
over half-dug holes,
wielding plastic shovels.
Teenagers played frisbee
and wrote their true loves' names
in wet sepia with a stick.
Easily done, easily erased. (29)
and ends with the deeply disturbing image of "his eager, silky penis / which, in its own way, was always honest." "Eager" and "silky" conjure up nothing so much as a fabulously inbred toy dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
Isn't it odd that so many of the poems I have read so far in my daily poetry project have featured the poet/speaker on a beach or looking out of a body of water? Ah, Matthew Arnold, will your image-tyranny never abate? Luterman's poem, about the refusal to believe a liar's one statement of truth (that he is a liar), seems a direct response to the cry for intimate fidelity of "Dover Beach":
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
So, as you have probably gathered, I am still plowing my way through Robinson Crusoe, and make a slow start on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (unsettling racist stereotypes abound in both, but in the Ken Kesey novel they seem to be part of a larger satirical strategy of extreme representation, if that makes it any better - and it might not). My two ARCs, one from a very kind fellow blogger and one from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, persist in NOT ARRIVING, despite the fact that I spend every day crouched by the window, looking mournfully at the path down which the postal worker does not come. Sigh. The torments of the book-expecter.
I am also becoming a bit alarmed by the state of fullness to which I have brought D's TiVo. It is one thing to fill up your own (two) household TiVos to the point of explosion and/or hard-drive failure, and quite another to fatten up someone else's until it begins deleting old programs. I may have to address some of the movies I have been recording. But how can I do that when the remaining three hours of The Ten Commandments are glaring at me with a Biblical scowl??