The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday and Chihuly Dreaming


The Culture of Glass
By Thylias Moss

          Thanksgiving 2004: I'm thankful for

Columbo’s eye, Peter Falk’s indivisible
from the other’s vitreous dupe that he can pocket,
rub into, off of, and shine the crystal eyeball after
it subs in a game of table pool. Oh yeah!

The future of fortunes is manufactured revelation
of a snow globe: when the right someone gets his hands
on such a world, that world is shaken to pieces, the glass

is tapped in the aquarium, semitransparent arowanas remain
inexplicable, a tapper’s desire breaks out: oh to become glass,
to slide the foot into a transparent baby slipper arowana
and dance with a prince whose glass toenails
shatter when he runs after glass-footed beauties

born that way, skin so thin it hides nothing
without actually being clear, sneak peak
at the friable optic nerve, the components

separated only by glass
through which all seen becomes transparent, criminal
activity obvious, the put-on of opaque alibis
exposing a fear of crime’s transparency:

finger prints on the latex interior of the gloves,
imprint of a face on the wrong side of the mask:

at some level, a matter of seeing eye dog versus unseeing
eye dog, culture of breed, hole-in-the-wall expectations, cash
transactions, motel by the half-hour versus extended stay
opulence just to sleep there for real

with seeing eye dog sleeping on a braided rug half-under
the bed of a blind girl, the girlishness not an issue,
the dog not meant to be her guide into decisions, just
crossings to which she becomes committed independently,

regarding the cool dark of evening, the lapse
of the feel of light as day’s form of breathing,
getting illumination off its wide chest
until able to face again the responsibility of light
that even this girl must accept behind glasses:
day is hers too, given by an internal clock
that wants all the bright hours, odor of rising,
flowers opening with the bakeries, stunning
synchronizations, a pas de deux, she steps, dog steps
into the crosswalk at the same time as a man heading
toward them with coffee, led also but by the Arabica, hookah
descent, descant now to the caffeine
that doesn’t adhere to the glass mug: it is all for him,
her too if they merge at first sight: the world of coffee,
the culture of glass

bottom boats, success:
liquid assets: if solidity is the basic state

that matters, it’s obvious what happens:

The dog retires, seeing what canines see
for himself, fleas cross
his coat without help other than his receiving
no special treatment,
tied in a twenty-foot yard frequented most
by sunflowers, each seed
like the eye of an insect.      An alley of a yard

that from time to time becomes a crime scene
in the blink of an eye

                              the glass one melts last.

--------

At 8 a.m. we were visited by a very friendly bug-sniffing dog that gave us good news and bad news -- the good news being that they didn't find any bugs at all on the main floor of the house, the bad news being that our bed indeed had more than the six bugs we'd seen thus far (and once the very friendly man with the dog lifted the mattress and tugged away the cover, we could see them, ugh). We are going to have the whole upstairs treated, but first we have to wash, dry, bag, and move a lot of furniture, clothing, and general stuff, which is going to take at least a week. Plus we need to find somewhere to stay with four cats.

The rest of my day involved sorting and cleaning -- more of the former than the latter, trying to decide what should be thrown away (college and grad school papers -- let's face it, I'm never finishing that PhD), given away (defunct computers and computer parts down the basement), or packed for fumigation (travel books, homemade calendars). We watched the Capitals victory parade while doing things that could be done in the living room, which was fun -- Maddy actually went downtown -- and we saw the Nationals lose, which was less fun. Since I would so much rather be in Seattle right now, some photos from Chihuly Gardens and Glass:

DSCN8136

DSCN8198

DSCN8146

DSCN8157

DSCN8207

DSCN8168

DSCN8248

DSCN8220
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