Monday, August 30, 2010

Poem for Monday and Corning Antiquities

3 Men: Portraits Without the Human Figure
By Deena Linnett

Hotel-casino: lights flash, crowds tread
patterned carpets hoping for a turn
in fortune. Despite the ardent wishes
of the women you have left you are not dead.
You're good at lively passing things
that happen here: at restaurants, in bed,
at tables tossing dice and cards. That smudge
at bottom right stands in for me, as you plunge
breathless into chance as into women, risk
like drink obliterating everything.

Studio: smells of linseed oil and turpentine. Brushes,
palette knives, mixing-sticks; bottles, jars, tubes. Paint
in daubs and gobs and smears and dots and slashes.
You left the window open and everything stained.

Greenhouse. Beneath little panes pocked
by time and dotted with mold and lichen, rot,
a riot of tropical effulgence, small framed portion
of the endlessness. Spiky plants blossom
like ideas; light glances off the glass and gleams
on the permanent hunger, steams. Everything
blooms or is green. You shrug into your coat.


We had a pretty quiet last Sunday before the first day of school, mostly because we had chores that had to be done at home (though Adam did go to the pool with friends and did not manage to clean his room). I spent the morning working on a Shutterfly photo book from our New Orleans trip last year -- I had a coupon for a free book that had to be used by Tuesday -- and the afternoon working on essays for Daniel's guidance counselor, since the school sent home a packet last spring asking for information and anecdotes about our students that's due on his first day of school.

We all watched the Emmy Awards, which were the most entertaining I ever remember even though I'd seen fewer nominated shows this year than ever before. The only award I really cared about was supporting actress in a comedy, and even though I love Julie Bowen, that one HAD to go to Jane Lynch for Glee -- it's just gravy that Stephen Colbert presented the award, and could only think of men playing women in comedy. I love that Lynch won and I love that she thanked her wife. It was nice to get glimpses of Patrick Stewart, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, and various other actors I like a lot, and though I didn't see all the performances -- including the one that won -- Best Actor in Movie or Miniseries at the Emmys has bigger names than Best Actor at the Oscars these days.

Eastern Mediterranean mosaic glass bowl, created between the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., now at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Core-formed Mesopotamian glass objects manufactured in the Mediterranean region between 1460 and 1200 B.C.

Jars made in Mesopotamia and Iran during the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.

A plaque with an actor's mask from Alexandria during the late 1st century Roman Empire, mosaic glass technique. The Macedonian Greeks who ruled Egypt were fans of Greek drama.

Roman Empire flasks shaped like fish, probably from the 3rd century.

Glass flagons and amphorae from the Roman Empire.

This is the Disch Cantharus, dating to the late 3rd or early 4th century, found in Cologne, Germany and named for the collector who was its earliest known owner.

A funnel beaker from the 10th century found in a grave in Birka, Sweden, a major trading center with a large pagan population that buried useful household objects with the deceased.

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