Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Vision of the End of the World in the Valdosta Holiday Inn

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Vision of the End of the World in the Valdosta Holiday Inn

Article excerpt

About the nether world, I -would rather live in Manhattan,

Kansas, and belong to the garden club

except for Fiona Hubbard and Mrs. John Widman III,

who are setting up for a PowerPoint presentation

on November's topic: the care and nourishment

of cacti in the great plains. In the paper today

215 dead in Lagos at a beauty pageant riot,

and last night on C-Span, Salman Rushdie held forth

eloquently before I switched to another channel,

and Io there appeared Louis Farrakhan saying

governments might have power, but his God

would bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

When he said it, a fuse lit in his eyes, his voice shook

and those big bodyguards drew in tight around him.

About the nether world, some believe it is here now,

but Fiona Hubbard, in a cashmere cardigan

and tweed riding britches, is double clicking on an image

of the desert rose, and Mrs. John Widman III

is saying one might be surprised how easily

it can be cultivated, even here in Manhattan

where everyone who thinks she is not dead wants to retire

to Albuquerque or Santa Fe. Some cite

the days of sunshine, others miscellaneous allergies. …

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