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At the Glassblowers’ Convention the Glassblowers Meet Their Match

Virgil Suarez

The pros have gathered around a man

who claims he eats nothing but the finest

blown glass. He prefers marbles, well-made,


swallows them like grapes, a king’s ransom,

but he can also eat any type of glass. The men

become jealous because it is one thing to make


the glass orbs, breathe life into the glass,

but another is to consume it without risk.

When the man crunches, they fall silent,


hearing the black molars grind the glass.

Everyone at this year’s convention will remember

such a man. How he will return home


to his wife and children, turn off the lights,

pick at his teeth with a toothpick-thin splinter,

belch by the moon-lit pool, and a fine dust


glitter will float out of his mouth like rain.

Some men feed from the work of others, live

well by it, live better, some men can never


understand the appeal of simple things like glass.

For the man who eats glass, this is a life-long 

hobby, a passion like any other. He simply


likes the attention, likes to show off his skill.

A lightbulb here, a chandelier’s leaf, a cup –

such hunger is next to godliness, grace, so it goes.


In such times, lacking a god, he is still happy.


Thumbscrew No 17 (Winter 2000/1)