Tuesday, August 31, 2010
When The Planet Convulses And Glowing Lava Flows
If a volcano erupted here in Chicago
and I was incinerated in a lava flow
I’m afraid my final thoughts would be about lampshades.
That can’t be a good entrance into the after-life,
thinking about lampshades when the planet’s convulsing.
But if we think of a light bulb as a man-made Sun
then we can think of a lampshade as a man-made cloud
that shields us from the direct glare of our ersatz “Sun”
and helps us see by spreading and diffusing the light.
As lava rose up around me engulfing my legs
and I realized no one was going to save me
I’d probably be thinking I should have created
a series of photographs of picturesque lampshades
or a series of watercolor lampshade paintings
where subtle gradations of pigment capture the glow
of the bright electric light behind the stretched fabric.
After all, lampshades aren’t only a metaphor
about man-made sunlight, they’re a metaphor for Man.
A long time ago at a party I embarrassed
my friends Linda and Heidi. I put on a lampshade
and danced like a character in a screwball movie.
Both Linda and Heidi grabbed me, told me to stop it.
But the next day they both told me my lampshade dancing
was the only bit of fun they had at the party.
I guess there are worse things someone could have on their mind
when the planet convulses and glowing lava flows.