Lobsters and Poetry

by Chelle


Dear B,

You are going to get two posts about this topic, but I have to write a preemptive one to psych myself up for tomorrows events. I've always been surprised that I didn't turn out vegetarian... considering my appreciation for animals is at times excessive.

Anyway tomorrow I'll be putting that to the test as several friends are coming over to kill... I mean cook lobsters. We are buying them live - then .... well giving them their final steam bath? Is that putting too much of an optimistic twist on it.

So I’m writing you in an effort to prepare myself for this event. I think my main dilemma will be looking into the tank of lobsters at QFC and knowing it’s going to be Frank, Fred or Toby’s last night… I’ll pick the meanest one and then perhaps I won’t be as sad.

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This is my latest piece from art class. I don't have a name for it yet. We're just starting to use charcol (the little pieces of it rather than the pencils) and so this class was about lines versus edeges and things like that....

Also I started a new book this week which I love Plan B Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. She is pretty much the exact opposite of me in every way... which is maybe why I love reading her so much! Anyway she opened with this poem and I thought it was lovely. What a scattered post. Sorry! Expect the lobster follow up this weekend... perhaps.

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes

around the streetlights in Paris

and what I see is an aberration

caused by old age, an affliction.

I tell you it has taken me all my life

to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,

to soften and blur and finally banish

the edges you regret I don’t see,

to learn that the line I called the horizon

does not exist and sky and water,

so long apart, are the same state of being.

Fifty-four years before I could see

Rouen cathedral is built

of parallel shafts of sun,

and now you want to restore

my youthful errors: fixed

notions of top and bottom,

the illusion of three-dimensional space,

wisteria separate

from the bridge it covers.

What can I say to convince you

the Houses of Parliament dissolve

night after night to become

the fluid dream of the Thames?

I will not return to a universe

of objects that don’t know each other,

as if islands were not the lost children

of one great continent. The world

is flux, and light becomes what it touches,

becomes water, lilies on water,

above and below water,

becomes lilac and mauve and yellow

and white and cerulean lamps,

small fists passing sunlight

so quickly to one another

that it would take long, streaming hair

inside my brush to catch it.

To paint the speed of light!

Our weighted shapes, these verticals,

burn to mix with air

and change our bones, skin, clothes

to gases. Doctor,if only you could see

how heaven pulls earth into its arms

and how infinitely the heart expands

to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

- Lisel Mueller