Chicago Scattered

September 8, 2010

Great glass vapors come to the great windows.
We’re in Chicago for The Praise of Glass Festival.
In praise of dawn, in praise of sun!
Each morning as hundreds of tired businessmen
are forced aloft, akin to ghosts, the sun arrives—
and they can’t all be silicon come alive.

What if each window pane became a man
and soul each night, at dawn the vapors fill
the dry night air—the moisture lives, the sun
in vapors, a reverse metamorphosis…

What if, for example, Degas never finished
The Milliners, that one morning he stands before
the canvas like the sun is to the earth, always
before the dawn, always at noon, always
at night, always not a part
of the perspective earth creates…

What if this canvas— turned by him
into a painting that had once contained
a customer and now did not—was now
at ease with being alone,
a milliner making a hat, in silence,
sentence by sentence, as it were, in her hands
and head, a hat that she would never finish—

a Penelope of the skyline, so distinct…

What if the sun does rise over Cloud Gate
the one right here in Millennium Park—
and both try to mimic the perfection
found only in those scattered clouds—
what if we all did this—
What if we mime the navel of the world
with all our wounds and wonder too—

What if Mr. Breakfast, enabled years ago,
arrives today, this morning for some tea—
A spot of tea, he says—to break the fast.
Reflect with me, he says. What if he says that?

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