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 Page: Profile: Poetry   Total Views: 16,004,528  

Poem Specs

VxPoem ID: 18284


Posted: December 1st. 2005 6:21:36 PM

Views: 1815

Memory: Why I Don’t Eat Fish (For my father)

by Rook

Age Group: Adult

Fiberglass stick and plastic line is clutched
in a six-year-old’s trembling hands;
Daddy laughs at her fear and won’t help her murder
what she sought to claim, thoughts of a waterlogged pet;
breeched innocence on a flooded, swaying paddleboat,
Bud Light in grasping hand, forked tongue in his shaggy head.

Fondled—like a self-check breast exam
in the quiet, erratically breathing dark, buried
beneath hand woven quilts,
color in a lightless room; the imagination bats
at vague shapes, amoebic bubbles, shifting
against thick layers, a black and white relief
behind closed orange lids, a captive of snowshoe dreams.

Etched as a linoleum block has been so deeply marked, brittle
rubber ready for acrylic pain to smear, blend in new, quivering lies;
carved behind closed, lashed curtains, caught
between a steel line and a serrated edge,
a sink for ichor-stained scales to land.

Unseeing, unlidded, crimson eyes chide
an infantile desire to master
the world, count steps, ball fists, clench jaw muscles
to counts of three, teal gray turbulence
at the foot of a remote location, autumn in a Minnesota wood.

Author's Notes: Wasn't sure whether to stick this under Personal Life or Healing, chose the latter since this poem served me as a kind of catharsis (as they would say in English; shedding emotion in a controlled atmosphere, I would translate) .

I've tried writing a poem about my parents' divorce before, failed miserably. I think I got a lot closer to the mark I was aiming for in this poem.

To clarify:

My dad and I were at my late Gramma's (who died when I was six) , out on the lake that was behind her house. Fishing, as usual (fishing's a big thing on my Da's side, and my Mum loves to fish too, whenever she has the opportunity, though it could be a Northern thing) .

Anyway, the poem references a bad thing he did to me when I was about four. And it also talks about a bass I caught that day; almost thought I was gonna pitch over into the water, when my line was taken. The fish was taken back, put in a sink and ultimately had its head whacked off by a cleaver. I haven't eaten (seafood/fish) since, excepting the occational can of tuna, great with Miracle Whip and cushy white bread *s* ....The middle parts of the poem refer to my thinking back to when I was younger.

On a point I'm proud of, which was incidental. "acrylic pain" should have been "acrylic paint" with the "t", right? I was thinking of art class when I did a linoleum block print in high school. Thought it was an apt image. But the t thing was an accident, though a good one, in my opinion, really did good for the poem.

Author's Location: Columbia, Missouri
More Poems: Rook has posted 61 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about Rook - Click HERE
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