But what does this phrase mean to you:
“People in glass houses should not throw stones”?
Does it mean you might break things, these things
or others, not yet named, nor dreamed of?
Or that the wasps outside in the bundled grasses
are visible, extravagant and copper, and electric
tempests flash? Some people collect small glass shoes,
of green frosted glass, milk-blue or Nile green;
or persimmon-colored baby-shoe toothpick holders;
or slightly iridescent boot-shaped cologne bottles;
Others prefer a petrified sea-horse; still others
a Japanese sun-fish lantern, or teapots
shaped like cats, or aeronautics. Maybe
you count yourself one among them. Or maybe
you’re an oversized man, stomping around
in big shoes, in jungle boots or waffle-stompers,
a bull in a china shop knocking things off shelves.
It all comes back around to what seems real,
the fruit that appears in Aesop’s fable, then disappears
again into a watery idea, its relevance transparent,
its surface easily shattered, an apple made of glass.
It’s a familiar saying, an adage, and means just what it says.
And just as long as you’re its creature, and its subject,
will you just sleep in that big armchair in the sunlight,
like a cat the color of cinnamon, the sun streaming
through the windows, a cat in an enormous chair,
the embers of the sunset all around you?
Geoffrey Nutter is the author of the poetry collections Christopher Sunset, Water’s Leaves & Other Poems, The Rose of January, and most recently Giant Moth Perishes, among others. He runs the Wallson Glass Poetry Seminars in New York City, where he lives with his family.
READ NEXT IN TURNING POINTS AND REVOLUTION:
MATTHEW LIPPMAN “HOME SAFE“