I was sitting in art class, no make that fine art class,
and the other Philistines were making a city street
out of perspective. Instead, I held a dab of glue in one hand
and a crumpled up bit of colored tissue paper in the other hand.
I was making Popeye by a process sort of like latch hook.
If Popeye played baseball, he would be a second baseman like me
and the peace loving man sitting next to me. This second baseman
talked about the game as if it was only to be shared, not won.
I got a glimpse of the losses he suffered on the diamond
that did not harden his heart, only made his hands softer.
It is a fine graphite that can grow from flames,
covering the whole paper parlor until you don't know
where the fireplace is. The treasure, like newspapers
in all their orientations of being read, somehow stands
the heat and curls slightly with age. If you picked up
a pair of scissors in this room, they would be the new poker,
a pencil for circling the help wanted to keep Christmas
in everybody's heart.
My next project was replicating, in identical
cards, the original twelve days of Christmas.
I became an automaton to do this job. It was only
upon installation of the pear tree on the simple motor
parade that I fell in love with the girl sitting next to me
whom I had not noticed until then.
My second ceramics instructor made a pear out of
two halves of clay that fit together seamlessly.
Meanwhile, Neptune's clay chair was being considered
for senior thesis quality, much more barnacles
than I have ever encountered at an university.
That was once upon a time when the dust bowl,
through meditation, turned into the sky bowl, and my little,
leaping lords took to the sky.