Saturday, September 6, 2014


When Mom used to work at Hallmark, she got paid to write poems.  But now she is not paid to write poems.  She is paid to stand around and guard the artwork in the museum.  This is important and exciting work, and you would not think a person would ever get bored doing it.  However, once in a great while, Mom does get a tiny bit bored, so to entertain herself, she writes a poem, just like she used to do in her old job.  But now, when she writes, she has to scribble with a pencil in a tiny notebook, while she is still standing up, guarding the artwork.

Anyway, Mom said it was okay for me to share a couple of her poems, and since I couldn't think of anything more interesting to write about, that's what I'm going to do.  This first poem is about a special exhibit of photographs called Across the Indian Country: Photographs by Alexander Gardner, 1867-68.  Mom had to guard the photographs in this exhibit yesterday, plus count how many people went in to see it.  So she wrote a poem about people who don't even take time to look at the exhibit.  Of course, some people spend a lot of time studying the photos, but Mom gets annoyed at the ones who don't.  Mom just doesn't understand that not everybody is a history buff like she is.

Across the Indian Country
Photographs by Alexander Gardner, 1867-68

What’s wrong with you, I want to say.
How can you just glance in,
then turn from this display  
of photos, made in 1868?

Can’t you appreciate the fragile
plates of glass, the heavy camera,
jolting cart, the photographer’s art
carried out in a primitive darkroom tent?

Are you not curious to see this history,
to view these long ago events?
The Indians and their tipis, the signing of
the so-called peace treaty?

How can you not take
even a single look
at history’s open book?

This other poem is about all the questions that people ask the security officers every day, which can sometimes be a lot of questions if it's a busy day.  Mom said the question people ask the very most often is where the restroom is.  Also they want to know if they can take photos.

Sometimes people ask Mom very strange questions.  Like for instance, yesterday a young woman asked Mom "Is this the building that blows up every night?"  Mom was shocked by this question until she realized that the woman really said "Is this the building that glows up every night?"  Mom had not ever heard the phrase "glows up."  She had only heard "lights up."  But anyway, the Bloch Building, where Mom was working yesterday, really was the one that glows at night because it has walls of translucent glass.


where is the restroom the gift
shop the restaurant the
elevator the monet
the van gogh the exit
the restroom the chinese
temple the caravaggio the
gift shop the great big buddha
the nearest restroom the stairs
the thomas hart bentons the
impressionists the rodin exhibit
the garage the knight on
the horse the mummy
the mummy the mummy
where is the mummy?

can we take pictures
are all these paintings
originals how did the artist
get that  texture which style
of baroque is this how do they
keep the silver from tarnishing
is that a real live mummy is
photography allowed what does
b.c.e. mean do you have
any more caravaggios
who decides which
pieces to display what type of
stone is this are those the
original frames do you
have any watercolors

don’t your feet get tired
after standing all day?

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