Solitaire by Deborah Landau
That summer there was no girl left in me.
It gradually became clear.
It suddenly became.
In the pool, I was more heavy than light.
Pockmarked and flabby in a floppy hat.
What will my body be
when parked all night in the earth?
Midsummer. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am not on the oxygen tank.
Twice a week we have sex.
The lithe girls poolside I see them
at their weddings I see them with babies their hips
thickening. I see them middle-aged.
I can’t see past the point where I am.
Like you, I am just passing through.
I want to hold on a while.
Don’t want to naught
or forsake, don’t want
to be laid gently or racked raw.
If I retinol. If I marathon.
If I Vitamin C. If I crimson
my lips and streakish my hair.
If I was. Exfoliate. Copulate
beside the fish-slicked sea.
Fill me I’m cold. Fill me I’m halfway gone.
Would you crush me in the stairwell?
Could we just lie down?
If the brakes don’t work.
If the pesticides won’t wash off.
If the seventh floor pushes a brick
out the window and it lands on my head.
If a tremor, menopause. Cancer. ALS.
These are the ABCs of my fear.
The doctor says
I don’t have a pill for that, dear.
Well, what would be a cure-all, ladies,
gin-and-tonics on a summer night?
See you in the immortalities! O blurred.
O tumble-rush of days we cannot catch.
Staying healthy. Gin and tonics few and far between ladies. And if you need a little bit of prodding, or gentle reminders, I have come across this book by Frank Lipman, who is my kind of no-nonsense holistic doctor very much like the practitioner I see. This book is a compendium of simple suggestions for a healthier life, small changes we can all implement – it’s meant to be opened at random, when we need a tweak. Simple explanations without long dissertations on the importance of amino-acids and all those other good things we pretend to understand but really don’t.
Bears. A bear, actually. Since I saw the trailer for “Paddington”, I can’t wait to see the movie. Me, who couldn’t sit still through a children’s movie and embarrassed to admit I don’t care for animation. The little bear from Peru who is lost in London and fumbles trying to adjust to British life is an empowering metaphor for both children and adults fumbling through life. What else do we have in common? A love for marmalade.
An affordable dress. I will admit I was piqued by thereformation for its Tudor-esque sounding name – you might know by now, I am rather Tudor obsessed. No beheadings or papists’ insults on this site, though, just pretty clothes I never shared on C&S because they are rather unaffordable. Until now – the reformation has launched a more modestly priced line one can indulge in. Skim over the miniskirts and all the tops meant to be worn bra-less (those were the days) and you will find rather cute dresses, jackets and pants that won’t rob your wallet blind.
Japan. If you live in LA and havent’s moseyed to LACMA for its Samurai exhibition yet, you have a few weeks left. James Clavell’s “Tai-pan” started my interest in oriental culture when I was 16, which was cemented many decades later by David Mitchell’s “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”. Like many Westerners, I am drawn by the intricate simplicity of the Japanese sense of aesthetics. These examples of Samurai armors are a perfect example of balance between workmanship, color and deceptive simplicity.