Poem: Joey The Underwater Milkman

 

octotot

After years of being a milkman,

 

Joey decided to become an octopus.

 

He studied them as much as he could.

 

 In the delirium preceding the slitting of his throat,

 

Octopi were his thoughts’ sole focus

 

 

 

In the following murkiness, the dark hours

 

Of draining blood, the growing schism

 

Between spirit and body, Joey’s essence poured

 

Itself back into the world, rewaking, couchant,

 

Before the throne of Jove, who, diving his soul’s purpose,

 

Cast him deeper into the sea’s foams

 

 

 

Then all was a chamber of blue,

 

Procreant from a shuddering shell,

 

He left his egg, fragile doorway of the world,

 

His hard, horny beak breaking through its bonds,

 

To clack into infinity

 

 

 

Not bird, nor fish, nor snail enlarged,

 

His thoughts expressed themselves

 

In the billows and contraries of undulant body,

 

Not a recoil, nor the spilling of crimson ink,

 

But a net, a hunter, a capturer, an acrobat

 

Hunger-governed

 

 

 

He danced with polymorphic agility through this matrix

 

Of ocean, seaweed-silhouetted, peeping beadily through

 

Shoal vistas, circumspect, puncturer of any thought,

 

Listen to his mind: the crunch of soft-tissue and bones

 

 

 

Concealed in pebbles,

 

Minareted in sands,

 

Perched on the brink of sub-aqueous cliffs,

 

Waiting, searching, fin-tasting and charged,

 

A maze of motion, of unwritten currents,

 

Jet-propelled prism refracting muddied

 

Fragments of stealth

 

 

 

II.

 

But then days arabesqued into more than just

 

Stealth-lined shadows – of prying life-pryer:

 

 

 

The coral was coloured too harshly,

 

Dizzying his mind into unwelcome mazes:

 

What if there is more to being an octopus

 

Than being an octopus?

 

 

 

“There is,” unthroated strangeness confirmed,

 

“For all things stretch back to and emanate

 

From the centre. All things lead to where

 

Your tentacles are going, your thoughts

 

Disappear in discoloured ink.”

 

 

 

And he was a kid again, at the fireside,

 

Hearing his father wax lyrical on the delivery of fresh milk:

 

 

 

“At the centre of the ocean is an octopus bigger than all of this –

 

His far-reaching arms balance the eight directions,

 

Juggling the five elements,

 

His ink is the blackness settling the night,

 

His eyes the flash fire of ineluctable day.

 

 

 

“He Is the reason your Father dies after ejaculation,

 

And your mother a sack of eggs serrated by self-slaughter!”

 

 

 

“But why must I be so?

 

An eight-armed orphan to the world?”

 

 

 

And Joey remembered the seasons of his father’s woe,

 

The dread certainties manhood would make him mate.

 

He knew of no more earthly love than this.

 

 

 

So he cried into the ocean,

 

Neither man nor mollusc,

 

Just a net adrift, conundrum-captured,

 

Hunting and roaming,

 

While throats, still slit, dribble reality into the sink,

 

As The Baboon God beats out his own brains.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s