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Smoke
By W.S. Di Piero


We loiter in the cobblestone alley,
Beans, Clams, Yom-Yom and me,
smoking punk. Snip the wiry stem,
trim the nubby end, scratch fire
from a zipper then pass the stink around.
William Penn designed these blocks
squared off, brick, crosshatched by alleys
to prevent the spread of fire. So fire
runs down my throat, reed
turning to iron inside my lungs.

Yom-Yom has an uncle in Bucks County.
Country boys sneak behind barns and puff
on cedar bark. Smoke's the only thing
we have in common. Smoke when our breath
meets cold moist air, though no smoke rings
in winter, while sullen cars drag gray on gray
down city streets or country roads.
Someday I'll smoke Camels, my father's brand,
then Gauloises to prove I'm stronger than him
in burning whatever's inside that won't sleep.

--------

It was an all morning project but all my holiday cards are in the mail as of Friday! In other news, I worked on css for littlereview.com -- I think I am getting somewhere slowly, though I am still relying on templates to tell me what I'm doing, rather than trying to write it from scratch as I tend to do with html. Many thanks everyone who gave me links! And I folded four loads of laundry while watching The Sixth Sense which was available On Demand through tonight, and I haven't seen it in years and had forgotten how good that movie is...in many ways better, I think, when you know the twist and can watch to see how the illusion is constructed. But I am a total failure at getting rid of crap in my house. I was taking stock of my Barbies to see which I could put up for auction, and I discovered that I don't have the full set of American Stories Barbies -- I don't have the Civil War nurse or either of the Native American Barbies, and I didn't have the second Pioneer Barbie until eBay today (c'mon, $4.99 plus shipping, who could resist). So my cleanup efforts have netted more Barbies in the house rather than less thus far. Sigh.


A colorful Japanese Maple outside the Bird House at the National Zoo.


The zoo was in the process of setting up for ZooLights...


...a first-time event for the zoo, using environmentally friendly lights that use 90 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs.


Some of the permanent statues had been dressed up, too.


But as of last weekned, the natural color and light were still pretty spectacular on their own.


We had dinner Thursday night with my parents because they won't be around for Shabbat dinner on Friday. Then we came home and discovered that the documentary on JMW Turner narrated by Jeremy Irons that we saw a couple of weekends ago at the National Gallery of Art was on our local PBS station, so we all watched that, then the Animal Planet Big Cats show. Now there's some Eric Clapton special on. And -- this will come as news to no one -- LiveJournal has yet more idiotic, ill-thought out policies now in place! (We can still say "idiotic" without being flagged for inappropriate content, can't we?) I am tempted to draw a comparison with religious leaders who would rather accuse and punish people for alleged conspiracies to blaspheme than engage in actual dialogue toward understanding, but someone might report that as hate speech.

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