The first knife cut is the most important
Because it decides whether or not you have a hand that is patient
Or one that will ruin the room, that will torment those around you,
And you must be kind.
You will know everything as you shave paths
Through skin and body
Because you’ve never realized that there is something in between
Life and living,
Because for a person, once you pass the skin, it’s just blood.
Even in death, be particular about the company you keep.
And you’ll never get through it all because when you get to the ends
When you hold tiny hands in yours you won’t go around
But cut through, and there will be a piece of everything that it’s ever held
And you will take it through this final process.
Gently touch those you love as you disassemble them.
Rub and clean and pack and sew
Everything is details then,
Even in how the eyes stare up at you from what remains
And you know that the last requirement of all artists is to
Eat your carcasses.
It is easy to forget when you stand in
The Museum of Natural History
That most of the creatures there were alive once.
We see them, still, snarling, roaring, pondering,
Perhaps with young at their side that was most probably not theirs,
And we can’t imagine that this could be as strange a thing
As a photograph of a stranger’s child suckling at a woman’s empty breast,
Eyes regarding no hint of recognition
Only glass surrounded by flesh and glue.
It is easy to forget how once these things moved
And ruled the land and ate and bled and died
Because in passing, they seem like art
In the empty sense of art that is supposed to be an impression of something real
Instead of a reality that breathed air and broke bones,
That fell to the ground and rather than be eaten by carrion
Was carried to a land across air and sea into a sterile box
Shaved and styled and filled with artifice
And it teaches nothing unless the lesson that people seek is
How a full existence can escape decay
And offer meaning in whatever form the onlooker desires
Even when there is nothing actually there.
Watching: Sailor Moon Crystal — This is going way, way, way too slow for my taste. It actually really isn’t, but I just want to see Sailor Jupiter. I really love this new version. The animation, the transformations, the attacks. All of it. It’s awesome. And on Hulu.
Loving: True Blood — Yeah, this is kind of a “watching” too but what do you want from me? There’s only one episode left, and I’m actually really sad it’s come down to the end. What’s going to happen? How is all of this going to get resolved? I’ve also been rewatching the rest of the series. There was a great momentum in the first few seasons that I think faded off, especially in the season before the current one.
Reading: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon — I feel like I’ve talked about this a lot recently. Anyway, I’m reading his first book because the second one was so good (Show Your Work).
Hearing: Violent Femmes (self titled) — Oldie but goodie. I was a bit late to this rodeo, but I don’t care. I come back to this album a lot. Lots of interesting energy. Unique but rock-y.
Doing: Taxidermy — Technically I’m not doing this right now (and I didn’t do what’s in the picture here, it’s by the Chiodo Brothers for Dinner for Schmucks), but I’ve been reading about it. As you may recall, I did this a while back, and I’d really like to do it again sometime soon.
It’s Monday. What are you doing?
So…a few weeks ago, I took a taxidermy class. I always see these opportunities as the kind that makes amazing writing later on. I have material to last me for years.
This is the Glass-umentary of that experience.
Warning: dead animals, generally weird stuff, adult language.