From: (a hurricane triggered by a butterfly's wings)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Wedding Report Suite: Ed and Elena
Date: 1 Dec 1997 19:38:01 -0800
Organization: the breaking of small, important bones
Lines: 170
Message-ID: <65vvqp$ba3$>
X-Trace: 881033885 15761 plord

I. Variations on 
       "Variations on a text by Vallejo" 
            by Donald Justice

There were wed in New York in the rain,
On a day when their sun was very bright, 
A day like days I remember, a day like other days,
and yet a day that nobody knew or remembered yet,
And their sun was bright on the umbrellas of strangers,
And in the eyes of a few friends from their childhood, 
And of the relatives in the courtyard,
While the gardeners, standing apart, 
in the still shade of the orchids,
Rest on their rakes, and smoke, 
Speaking in Spanish softly, out of respect.

I will think of it often on a Sunday like today,
(Except that the sun will be out, the rain will have stopped,
And the wind that today made all the little shrubs kneel down);
And I will think of it on Sundays because today,
When I took out this paper and began to write, 
Never before had anything looked so promising,
except their lives, their words, their hopes, on a gray Sunday.
Meanwhile the preacher, shivering under an awning because of the storm,
Looked out at them with full understanding, 
and the Sun read on without speaking, and Mothers wept.

Ed and Elena are wed.  One Sunday the sun came out, 
It shone on the harbor, it shone on the white orchids,
The cars moved down the street slowly as always, so many,
Some with their headlights on to spite the rain,
And after a while the gardeners with their shovels
Walked back to the courtyard through the sunlight,
And one of them put his rake onto the earth
To lift a few stray petals, the bright leavings of the Garden,
And dropped his tools, and brushed his eyes,
Turning away abruptly, out of respect.

II.  Afterword (After Some Auden)

"Caliban Speaking to the Audience

If now, having dismissed your hired impersonators with verdicts
ranging from the laudatory orchid to the disgusted egg, you ask,
and of course, notwithstanding the conscious fact of his
irrevocable absence, you instinctively *do* ask for our so
good, so great, so dead author to stand before the finally
lowered curtain and taking his shyly responsible bow for this,
his latest, ripest production, it is I-- my reluctance is, I
assure you, co-equal to your dismay-- who will always loom thus
wretchedly into your confused picture, for, in default of the
all-wise, all-explaining master you would speak *to*, who else
at least can, who else indeed must respond to your bewildered
cry, but it's very" shadow, the un-begged question you wouldn't
even think to speak to him about.

Now, about this here helluva town.  Where else can you arrive, I
ask you, busted, dusted, and dis-tux-ted, and have your needs
met at 6 p.m. on a Friday evening?  New York is a very snapshot
town.  Things happen quickly and in fragments merely because
they *can*.  Shit-I'm-late-What-no-tux?-Fuck-OK-[cab-> Joe's
Evening Wear]-Whadayaneed?-this-when-now-ok-good-far out-'far
out'-you-ain't-from-here-are-ya-etc. etc.

You should eat at Tony's Di Napoli.  No, really.  Just don't
wait an hour for a table, like we did.  N.B.: reservations will
not necessarily guarantee this.  But whollyjeez, we ate.  and
ate.  and ate.  and rolled home.

So what do you so in New York when you have a whole weekend?

* Attend your friend's wedding, first, bozo.  It was wonderful,
and you are sorry you missed it.  Ed and Elena are such a pair!
The twining tendrils of their love have deep roots, the kind
that would cause your parents to sacrifice the willow tree,
since it was "just going to break through the driveway in a few
years" or something.  But this is not your father's Oldsmobile,
and they live in New York, which renders the whole driveway
question somewhat moot.  Anyway, it's a big, strong healthy
tree.  Much stronger than this metaphor.

Chocolate Stout at the reception.  Mmmmmmmm.  Too heavy for
dancing, although many managed.  Speaking of many...

* Meet, re-meet, and renew old and new friends.  I betook me to
the wonderful futons of Ken (best man, hellcat notwithstanding)
& Shira, then, later, Larne, who of course also provided net
access (just don't call me junkie.  I hate that).  Corp made the
journey East as well and, from the sound of things, had an
awfully interesting weekend (the sound you hear is one shoe
dropping, and both of MY feet are warm).  Nina is the most
charming baby ever, and graciously allowed Annie and James to
keep our company for the better part of the weekend, with nary a
look askance.  Well, ok, when she was doing her Norman
impersonation, and we all laughed, she got a little upset.  It
was *classic*, but I can understand that our comedic response
might have been in conflict with her intentionally spare and
haunting presentation of the material.  Come to think of it,
four months is awfully young to expect a reasoned response to
ANY criticism, no matter how honest.  But I digress.

* Take in a show.  Ken and Shira (I just KNOW I'm misspelling
that, and I want you to know that it hurts) had spares to
"Defying Gravity," a play about, I kid you not, the Challenger
Disaster.  Ok, so we went in thinking tragedy, but what
transpired was um...worse.  Did we really need to re-live the
explosion *twice*?  The playwright must be an ex-actor, because
every character has a monologue, if not two.  Christa
McAuliffe's daughter was played by Alicia Goranson, who you
probably remember as Becky on Roseanne.  She improved as the
supposed age of her character decreased, which does not bode
well for her future acting career.  It would have been a
complete wash except for one unfathomably brilliant,
brain-damaged writing decision: Claude Monet wanders
sporadically through the play, brushes and easel in hand,
interacting meaningfully with the characters, and spouting
philosophy.  Yes, he ends up painting in space.  Great bit, and a
killer role, in an otherwise forgettable production. 

Oh, and the Playbill spoke warmly of Debbie Gibson's
performances in "Grease." Roger?  You listening?

* IMAX.  I know, I could go down the Peninsula, or further, and
catch the big screen.  In New York, we could decide to check out
a 3-D IMAX film on five minutes notice, grab a cab, make the
show, and be home an hour later.  Good News: impressive tech. 
God forbid they ever show 2001 or Koyannisquatsi on one of
these; the heads would be lined up for miles to get in.  Bad
News: the content/FX dichotomy is only made worse by the
impressive tech.  I would fear for the film industry, but the
battle is long lost, and hey, I *did* give them my money.  My
head hurt a tad from the 3D, but much worse from the dialogue.

* MOMA.  Hell, why not?  You've probably got a few hours to
spare.  More Miro than you can stare at for hours without
understanding: why all the dogs?  

* Take the train.  I mean, you have to, at some point.
This particular train took me to a lovely evening of dinner with
a partial canetoad quorum (Grendel vanished after the reception,
sadly), thence to Larne's futonage, in brief preparation for the
ungodly morning flight to the office.  

Quite a weekend.  I'd do it more often, but you're all up and
moving West (no complaints)!

III.  Prologue, after Dorothy Parker

Tell me one of flowery words,
Tell me one of clever.
Tell me one whose eyes are swords,
Tell me one who's never.

I have told of lovers sleek,
I have told of hunger.
None of those did last the week;
Isn't it a wonder?

I'm lonesome now as I'll be dead,
But happily, and fickle,
So now you tell me they are wed?
Isn't that a pickle!

"I have seen angels wrestling with lovers,
all of them crying salty tears of regret
for the passion never felt by goddesses
seeking satisfaction from the hands of beggars" -- Broun Fellinis