dimanche 22 mars 2015

Wearing Leonardo da Vinci’s Hat









This weekend I went to the Santa Maria dell Grazie to see Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
What an amazing work: such colour, balance, all the characters seem to be joined and working together. On my train ride home, as I ate my garlic stuffed snails from my light green tupperware, I couldn’t help but think about their antennae, shells and longevity. So I wrote a poem about it.

When I measured the 
2.2006 microns that straddle
The peering tentacles of a Roman Snail
And multiply that distance by 100
You get the same distance between
2 horse ears

And upon further observation
The visual memory of a snail
In captivity or in jail
Could last a good 10 years or
The same as any Ecquus Caballus trotter.

Surely snails' snail view few mountaintops
Rather the paths it slimes over
with scoops of  home blend mucus
Are part of it visual highway of information

As I pulled an antennae delicately out from my teeth
It dawned on me how when I was 6 years old
A row of snails ran into a srteam where I used to play
Making olives bounce off the water 

And I saw the water swirl over their shells in
The same manner that 
Years later in Med school I witnessed 
Blood in the left ventricle valve of a giraffe
Swirl and gush before reaching the lungs.

(Lazzaro Spallanzani the father of Gastric Juice
and chemical digestion, also uncovered the mystery of
Skipping stones, in Italian,
Rimbalzello or in Chinese, frog jumps 
The record today by
Kurt Mountain Man stands at a jumpy 88 which 
exceeded my skipping olives by 22)



Fascinating how just like the heart valves,
The snails would not recede 
On their mucus bed they rule
even upside down albeit some drool

The Roman Snail that I am eating
Sails at 2.5 inches per minute
Yet a Red Hook Snail 
Trucks at 9.2 inches per minute
And though snails can hibernate
And live long 
A hermaphrodite Roman snail 
Surpasses the Red Hook by 3 decades!


In my simple train compartment
The mountain pass offered unexpected jiggles
With my special fork I pulled then
Placed my lips over its shell and
Sucked and aspirated the chewy mollusk
Its body arrived in my mouth at
80 feet per second
Meaning that if I or it or
We together in a car
Travelling at present
Would be flashed by radar at a speed 
Most objects would fly
I need now to calculate the quantity of 
Ooze that need be emitted to reach such

Prodigious speed.

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