Lee Chapman, June-July 2020
I The British museum boasts seven million “objects,” not all of them on display: curators show off the most important. But I’ve seen ~ the Rosetta Stone, ~ the Elgin Marbles(1), ~ the Lewis chessmen (does each pawn count as one “object”?). Now I’d like to see, say, the humblest hundred: ~ mummy fingers, ~ arrowheads (or rocks), ~ everyday butterflies pinned to spreading boards, ~ ancient anteater big toe fossil fragments, (is each fragment an “object”?) ~ pottery shards, ~ pottery sherds, (a video explaining the difference).
1 the next day I was on the Acropolis, studying emptiness
II There’s no chance any of my guitar picks will ever be on view at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s no chance my prairie-style birdhouse will hang in MOMA— even in an elevator lobby next to the Andrew Wyeth(2) they despise. There’s no chance my Yoko Ono Wish Tree wish(3) will be dug up in Iceland(4) and read. But it is conceivable, albeit astonishingly unlikely, that through some fantastical sequence of unforeseen unusual events, with an unimaginably vanishingly small probability, (epsilon approaches zero, but never reaches zero), somehow, some century, my bunion will become the seven million and first.
2 his 1948 masterpiece Christina’s World
3 I wrote one at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice
4 Ono claims she does not read them, but buries them at the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay.