Poetry‎ > ‎Prairie Schooners‎ > ‎

Looking Glass

Saint Paul, 30 December 2005

Brood over daylight parallelograms in paragons of female anatomy
Hairline cracks belie the countenance of declining varnish and vanity
Silver coins insinuate the minted emblems of immoderate wealth
Weeping wax candles drip brevity like perpetuity exits an hourglass

Sockets of a skull cradle miniature portraits of anonymous patrons
Ape-like figurines positioned to doubt impugn the truth of a mirror
Roses comprise dualities less palpable and more lasting than beauty
A vase overflowing with blooming achievement teeters on its stem

Examine the studio windows on rising bubbles poised to rupture
The objects depict an uneasy twilight between this and extinction
Monochrome washes cast weight to the cruel economy of existence
The looking glass reflects your radiance wistful in reluctant hues

Looking Glass is derived from contemplating 17th century Dutch still-life
paintings that exhibit some aspects of vanitas. The Latin vanitas refers
to the "vanity" of worldly things, such as riches, beauty, pastimes, learning,
and the arts. Still-life vanitas paintings contain symbolic subject matter
that, in toto, laments the transience of all things.