1979: The Mucil Age


Was there any finer adhesive
Than sticky brown mucilage?
Your paper, your fingers, your desk, and your hair
Could all play a part in collage.

Kids today only use “school glue.”
There isn’t even paste to eat.
We must send 48 glue sticks
To stick the damn kids to their seats.

There’s disappearing purple and staying purple
And teeny, weeny sticky dots.
But for me, mucilage was king,
Because mucilage was all we got.

Note: Sort of like government cheese, mucilage was much more common in the 1970’s. As a child who was often bored with the lesson, I experimented with viscosity, drying time, and bond strength by gluing my hand to the desk. I’d also glue my fingers together and pull them apart slowly to watch the mucilage form tiny tendrils that finally….SNAPPED. This was likely a less charming habit than it seemed at the time, but I was quiet and at my desk, so that was a plus.

About that picture: As punctuation to an unrelated conversation, I announced, “Well, I guess I’d better glue my hand to a piece of paper now.” My husband was nonplussed, which seems odd because he has met me before. After he was insufficiently impressed by my indoor shots, I took my hand modeling gig outside for the neighbors to wonder at. So…that’s a piece of paper glued to my hand and photographed while hoisted skyward. Hi, neighbors. Just me again.

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