One tagline for the first Basic Instinct movie reads, A brutal
murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can’t resist the danger.
That’s the one where every reviewer went to town about the scene
where it’s obvious the actress, crossing her legs, is sans underwear.
Will she do that at her own trial and cross-examination? Her
former nanny (oops, pardon me, her children’s former nanny)
is suing the actress for harassment and labor malpractice: the racial
slurs, the overtime pay she didn’t intend to give. As live-in nanny
(she kept her that long? four years?), she must have done more
than feed them meals and snacks: see them off to school and back,
pick up the debris that children are wont to make, their soiled
laundry (I bet, including underwear), tuck them in bed at night.
So when the news runs the litany of the actress’s complaints—
the paid help’s ethnic food (it’s fishy? it smells?), the heavy
foreign accent (didn’t want her kids to sound like her),
I think, Oh please, not effing again. This is why the first
peony, which opened in the garden today, can’t be cast
as bitch: too small to topple from the weight of rain,
it merely tilts its flushed face toward the woods
—its unbleached craft and intense color, that of survival.