“This movie stands stubbornly alone…” A.O. Scott, reviewing Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”
A sapling, reaching up, ambitiously
Obscures the Clearview Cinema’s marquee
And ripples green across the title’s rubric.
There’s something there by Hitchcock. Or by Kubrick?
With pink or scarlet flowers it might pose a
Problem, but it’s locust, not mimosa.
Enough is visible for us to see
That we would rather stand and watch the tree.
Job Proposal for Gavra, Aged Seven, Who Has Been Given a 452-Page Science Almanac
Today, while going to the shops, you told
your dad and me about the tapeworm’s cycle,
how each untested pork chop means survival.
Thrilled to teach, you would not be controlled.
We got the full McCoy: you had the feeding
habits down, the scolex seeking tenure
in the gut’s sweet, fleshy, floral pasture,
the weight loss, faintness and suspicious bleeding.
Next time we’re in a room of lurching bores
discussing stocks or some upcoming show
or what’s gone floating through their private lives,
I’ll pay you fifty bucks for three whole hours
to tell the buggers everything you know
(plus bonus, when the final person leaves).
Oh, how I love extruded food!—
shrimp that are minced and then combined
with substances that hold them glued
in perfect curls that fool the mind;
onions ground up and mixed with paste,
squirted and fried in flawless O’s
remotely oniony in taste;
pressurized cheese that smoothly flows
in piping from a metal can,
a cheese with which to write one’s name,
which tastes like no cheese known to man,
shelf-stable, constantly the same.
O triumphs of modernity,
you foodstuffs of eternity!