Sea Storm: extended version

violently rocking in the ocean,
alone and helpless in this abandoned ship.
a whale circling me,
taunting my shaken heart with its size, but
it’s not the whale I fear.
the large beast
submerged under me, threatening, even
with its momentary absences,
to capsize my body,
shred me to tiny pieces of a hated picture,
rip me apart like spaces in a paragraph,
my words and thoughts disconnected and
sent desperately into the seas.
That’s not what I fear, not this whale that swims under me.
I fear the ocean that my thoughts are sent into when the whale tosses me overboard,
the whale’s home, my guest-house that is becoming more and more familiar.
the whale can cease to torment me
when it tires, and it will.
but the waves of that eternal ocean cannot and will not ever cease.
The storms are white and rapid,
crashing against the sides of my ship,
weathered and torn from the storm,
over and over,
stealing my prayers with its currents,
so that my cries may never reach the heavens,
and replacing them with more and more fear.
I don’t fear the whale,
the living and breathing tool that the ocean uses
for evocation of its horror.
no, my shaken and broken breath belongs to the bed of water I am sailing upon.
racing heart, beating sails, I belong to it.
and after my body has taken the beating,
after the horror film has played its end,
the water will calm its waves down so that I may feel nothing,
not even the pain that its whale kept me alive with.
I will become a trapped, circling animal in its enclosure,
slapping myself across ships and quaking hearts.


Sea Storm

It is not the whale that I fear.
That large beast bellows empty threats,
submerged directly under me,
but it is not what I fear.
Instead, I fear the whale’s home.
The whale is mortal, but the sea is not.
That beast’s tortures may cease, but the sea’s
waves are eternally present, eternally threatening.
The storms are white and rapid; they hit the sides of my
small and sea-worn ship over and over.
It steals the prayers I cry out with its currents,
washing aboard no answers, but fear.
It is not the whale, the evocation of the ocean’s horror,
that truly causes me harm.
The water retains my anxious and broken lungs,
until it spits me out onto a sweet saving shoreline,
promising to return again if ever it wanted me.



body vibrates more than usual and everything inside is too much for skin to hold. blood bursts out of veins at 100 miles per hour. eyes bulge out of sockets because they just keep growing and looking around and moving moving moving. heart beats so fast and so suddenly that it might run out of steam at any moment. orchestras and concerts and operas and raves all take place inside, ear pleading for bad weather to call the events off. when it all gets too much, every organ flees the chaos of the vibrations inside and, suddenly, an empty vessel.

still ceramic piece, body does not vibrate at all. a rock, knowing that a river is gliding over, but not really feeling the water at all. the hyperactive dragonfly has turned into the stone it dances around. no heartbeat, not like heart that was once going so fast that it was going to jump right out like a frog onto the next lily pad.


Master of Trickery

I come with a camera for eyes,
taking snapshots of the body’s lips, hair, legs, torso
saying that my pictures are what is real about this whole ordeal.
I look at the body, touch it, listen to the mouth, making words that I have decided the body can make.

I laugh at moods, I dissect words, I make up my mind about the nature of you and I,
when the true nature hides behind the trees I have foolishly been thinking I planted.
The body is a master of trickery, winking and smiling and dancing
and crying and pretending to be all the things I want it to be – real,
but when the soul leaves the body alone it does not wink or smile or dance.
When the soul leaves, the body is nothing but atoms theorizing their form.

The body does not love you or me, it does not love at all.
Without the soul, the body knows not what it is, what it’s meant for.
I sit in a room, purposefully lined with art and furniture and bookshelves,
and I use my eyes, I use them all up, looking across and up and down,
but I cannot feel anything.
My soul has left my body all alone, to fend for itself in the wild.
I find myself wishing I was blindfolded, so that my body would be as far
away from my reach as feeling.