The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday, High School, Glass Sanctuaries

Western Conifer Seed Bug
By Cleopatra Mathis

He'd become a house guest, noncommittal
and impassive. She tried to see to it
he wasn't disturbed, nothing to trip him up:
a book, perhaps, laid down
in some rash motion might scare him
off an edge, although he had a talent, it seemed,
for focussing on himself. He'd been so carefully
attended, she thought—her warning
human guests to watch for him on the coverlet,
not overreact to his homely presence.
She kept close guard, as was her nature,
a kind of partner to help him make it
through the cold. She'd done the research
when he showed up; she knew all his business,
she had a duty. With these advantages,
how had he taken it upon himself to die?
But there he was in that trite pose,
feet in the air, as if arranged on the sink top
for her to find him. She brushed her teeth, considering
all the pine trees surrounding the house,
their heavy scent calling the half-sleeping one
at the rightful time. Hardly another month
and he would have been free,
piercing and sucking that sap deep in the cones.


From this week's New Yorker -- how have I never read anything by Mathis before? I must get her 2008 book White Sea.

It was Adam's first day of high school, which I expected might be more traumatic than it was (when Daniel starts college next year, that will be traumatic). Adam walked to school with two friends from the neighborhood and seemed quite happy overall, except that his schedule didn't work out for him to take newspaper along with all his honors classes and instead of a computer programming course they stuck him in a class on how to use Microsoft Office -- he says he'd rather take orchestra, which makes me rather gleeful, though I suspect he may end up taking gym just to get it out of the way, since Daniel is stuck taking it his last year of high school because it's required no matter how many outside tennis or fencing lessons one takes.

Daniel doesn't start classes till Tuesday because of freshman orientation, so he came to lunch with me and perkypaduan, who was visiting my part of the state on Monday. We had Indian food and dragged Daniel into Crate & Barrel to look at area rugs and sofa covers. Then he and I came home and watched Dogma while I folded laundry -- I was in the mood for Damon/Affleck and Rickman, Hayek, Carlin, Rock, Smith, et al, and I knew he would like it because Shin Megami Tensei has made him appreciate fallen angels and contemporary demonology. Adam came home after it started and watched while writing a letter to his guidance counselor requesting a change of schedule.

The evening of the first day of school always means filling out lots of forms -- emergency contacts, lunch surveys, carpool permissions, code of conduct -- and organizing new textbooks. We had grilled cheese and peanut noodles for dinner and double-checked that all the college forms for the guidance counselor, Daniel's and mine, were in order and in the folder that needs to be returned to her on Tuesday. Someone on Facebook noted that I mention doing laundry a lot -- is that worse than posts about exercising? I'm not even sure I've made it from Hobbiton to Rivendell yet this year because I can't stand the idea of blogging daily distances!

Tonight's photos are all of two works at the Corning Museum of Glass by Scottish-born artist Eric Hilton.

The first, Life Sanctuary 2001, is from the Heineman Collection.

This is made of cast, cut, engraved, and sandblasted glass on a granite base

I have an affinity for a lot of the symbols carved into the glass...

...a tree of life, pyramids, a lotus, fallen leaves.

The structure and base on which the carvings rest has dozens of rainbow prisms.

Hilton's Innerland is displayed with contemporary glass by Steuben near displays of Tiffany, Lalique, Orrefors, and others.

Here is a link to the museum's description of this piece, designed by Hilton and produced in association with many glasscutters.

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