Magazine | August 27, 2012, Issue

Poetry

CHRISTENING

A melancholy soul is penning verses

downstairs, between two pillars and a post,

imposing limitations on himself

with rhyme and beat, for lack of confidence.

The box fan makes a loosely grumbling host.

Mahogany and brass support the shelf

beside him, where a singing child rehearses

building with letter blocks that make no sense.

He eyes his tiny diva with suspicion,

up close, as if beneath a microscope,

when all her structures falter from their forms,

intrude into each other’s sides and fall.

She rocks back, grasps a plastic antelope.

Her aria is put on hold, as swarms

of crickets chirp a raspy composition

beyond the doors of the adjoining hall.

He knows she will rebuild the forms.  She sees

Abandonment would only spell defeat.

And even now, the crickets have begun

To make their partial choruses complete.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Four Challenges

Whoever wins the presidential election will have political responsibility for an economy beset by four distinct problems. At the moment neither party has a compelling answer to them. The first challenge ...
Politics & Policy

Olympian Self-Seriousness

It’s that orotund opening theme song that drags you into watching the Olympics, that inescapable Cecil B. DeMille bombast suggesting Vulcan beating a kettle drum. Bum-bum-ba-BUM-BUM-bum-bum-ba-BUM-BUM. Battle stations! Ramming speed! ...
Politics & Policy

Like a Boss

What do women want? The conventional biological wisdom is that men select mates for fertility, while women select for status — thus the commonness of younger women’s pairing with well-established ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Veep Chaos

The day after Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern won the Massachusetts primary in 1972, reporter Robert D. Novak called around for comments. One of his sources, a liberal senator, provided ...
Politics & Policy

The Italian’s Job

‘I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”  When President Obama spoke these words, on ...
Politics & Policy

Shoring Up Fragments

Conservatives have long understood the importance of fighting the cultural war against the Left simultaneously with the much more straightforward and easily delineated economic and political wars. In many ways, ...
Politics & Policy

Blistering B-Listers!

There are few Hollywood career transitions more fraught than the leap from “star in the making” to movie star outright. Consider Colin Farrell: The handsome, roguish Irishman worked his way ...
Politics & Policy

Making War

‘The size of the internal American market and its wealth of buying power and also raw materials . . . guarantee the American automobile industry internal sales figures that alone ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Deep Hunger In “Quidditch, It’s Not” (July 30), Andrew Stuttaford has some positive things to say about the Hunger Games trilogy, but in the end he dismisses the series as basically ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The Democrats are ramping up the invective. In just the first week of August, they called Romney a tax cheat, a murderer, and George W. Bush. ‐ In a victory ...
The Long View

TO: YUM! Brands

TO: YUM! Brands FROM: MarketGAY Public Relations IN RE: How to maximize YUM!’s position in the marketplace This is a short document to “set the table” for our deeper discussions in the following ...
Athwart

Creation Unscience

Perhaps you read my latest popular-science book, Colons: How the New Science of Punctuation Is Changing Our Book Titles. I intended it to change the conversation about how we have ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

CHRISTENING A melancholy soul is penning verses downstairs, between two pillars and a post, imposing limitations on himself with rhyme and beat, for lack of confidence. The box fan makes a loosely grumbling host. Mahogany and ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More