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AMPHIPRION


I have been a bloodless fish tossed about
with wild blank eyes -- whiter than the foam that smashed me
into rocks that flaked my scales and sent them scattering
gold vermillion flashing at the knees of stinking fishermen
that bent to taste me,
one hand in the folds of their trousers where they started to stiffen
and the edges of their boots all caked with guts.

With salt crust forming in the corners of their lips they turned
to face each other, to shake hands or
compare rod size -- I made this community!
A limp queen rotting into water where I lay with seagull shit and algae scum
that floated and coated the mouths of babes and still I heard
harsh laughter,
carried in the wind to sluice my innards from cliff faces
and flavour all the oceans with part of me.

I have been a wailing cadaver, slinging hooks to ships
and several first mates drunk recalled a mermaid, though they can’t
stand the stink of the sediment under their fingernails at night.
With the lack of light and of course my flesh decomposing (and the horrible secret that is
a love flavoured thus)
their fingers slid black slow like leeches through the ear holes of sleeping dogs
into nothingness, where at once they drowned.

At the funerals they served me, and I was someone’s miracle
serving a thousand angry guests with too-tight suits and fingers used
to fuck their mistresses under the tables with.
Their wives drank clam chowder
and this is not an extended metaphor, the clams were clams
I was the bloodless fish
that made each and everybody sick! Some made it to the bathroom
but, taking their plates with them, they shoved me grey
into their mouths and into others’ mouths. I have been
aphrodisiac and ipecac
I have been curdled on this brave man’s shirt and the tongue
he stuffed into a gaping mouth.

I have been. But then, under his cool gaze I cannot lie
I felt no longer the reviled flesh that tempts the bones
to break and mouths to bruise
and I could only feel the blood rush through my scoured veins,
the pain from sudden wrenching over years by every gluttonous freak was erased.
I found instead that I had hands and that my hands were shaped for him
I found my feet -- but as they were crushed,
from the heavy dance of men with short attention spans and whiskey blooded eyes,
I lay down in the woods with him and fooled the buzzards
that circled us noiselessly, waiting for us to die
And we lay for thirty years under a tireless sun with red ants and our fingers in our hair
waiting for the oceans to dry.

<p>

zero. edited
Add a Comment:
 
:iconalberolingarn:
alberolingarn Featured By Owner May 20, 2008
i absolutely adore it when i stumble across writers with talent on this site. in this case, remarkably good talent.

prepare to have your gallery raided.
Reply
:iconlasagnabomb:
lasagnabomb Featured By Owner May 9, 2008
WHERE ABOUTS HASN'T IT I I I IIIIIII
Reply
:iconants-et-octopi:
ants-et-octopi Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2007
i clap, with all eight of my arms (arguably tentacles in the minds of fish).
this is perhaps one of the best pieces of poetry to reach my half dozen plus two eyes.
yes, i am an octopus with arachnid eyes, and i love your writing.\
!
Reply
:iconmirai87:
Mirai87 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2007
I must say,
Your use of imagery is stunning.

A work of art.
Reply
:iconsupernova-stain:
supernova-stain Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2006
Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

That's all I can say, because it's hard to say much else when:

a) one is speechless
b) one is awed
c) one is jealous

Ever read something, and wished you wrote it?

Yeah. Right there.

Damn. You've got an immaculate amount of talent.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Reply
:icondamond-only:
Damond-only Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006
i really had a dream all the way through this, it was quite an expereince. incredible insight, to think a human could know a fish so well is the most astounding think i can find.

oh,... i wish i could hug you.
Reply
:iconjunkyardparamour:
junkyardparamour Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
ah, well deserved praise.
Reply
:icondontfretimhere:
dontfretimhere Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2006
Excellent, excellent piece.

A few favorite turns of phrase:

"their fingers slid black slow like leeches" - Indulgently good pacing.
"I have been aphrodisiac and ipecac" - I like words too much.

Huzzah. I've found my first favorite.

~ John
Reply
:iconbjornagain:
bjornagain Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2006
holy shit....i loove this.
Reply
:iconcatching:
catching Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2006
Stunning poem. I, for some reason, especially loved "and this is not an extended metaphor, the clams were clams / I was the bloodless fish." Have you heard of Dana Levin? I had her recently recommended to me, and you seem like you might enjoy looking into her. Regardless, excellent work here. An easy +fav.
Reply
:iconemptyluckystrange:
emptyluckystrange Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2006
brilliant.

and i will be back later with more.
Reply
:iconetoilerose:
etoilerose Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2005
Amazing. Truly a masterpiece. You kept the central image and theme throughout the entire poem, without become repetitive. I noticed a few things: wind to sluice. Did you mean "slice?" Also: and fingers used
to fuck their mistresses under the tables with.

A very powerful image and statement, but the "with" is superfluous.

Otherwise, a wonderful read. Well done!
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2006
i don't remember thanking you for your comments here, and for using the word masterpiece, so here that is.
Reply
:iconmyloveliestsequence:
myloveliestsequence Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2005
i like this one muchly :-).

i think the perspective from which it is written (first person narrative of the fish), together with the inspriringly detailed imagery, is its benefit.

i don't want to go much into details here because i want the impression this piece made on me to last without analyzing it too much. that's the part that will come later, when i have printed this out and thus am ready to savour it appropriately.

two points i have to make:

1. wild blank eyes - unless there's some deeper meaning i did not get yet, i think it should (/could) be wildly blank eyes. how can eyes be blank (= without perceivable expression) while at the same time conveying wildness (=an expression of something untamed, uncontrolled ) ?

2. i love the shift that is taken with the last stanza. i love the last two lines, too, yet i have the impression that there is more to it than i perceived at first two sight.

from my point of view, this is very good writing; and indeed epically executed. applause :clap:.

have a nice day :-).
Reply
:iconzphoenixdownz:
zphoenixdownz Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2005
rime of the modern fisherman, no doubt
Reply
:iconfluid-motion:
Fluid-Motion Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2005
Oh damn, I forgot about this. you're just so good. kudos on the suture feature.
Reply
:iconslur:
slur Featured By Owner May 14, 2005
this has the best lines ever "And we lay for thirty years under a tireless sun with red ants and our fingers in our hair
waiting for the oceans to dry" it makes me want to cry.
Reply
:iconprincepoo:
princepoo Featured By Owner May 12, 2005
i'd agree about the punctuation, but

"Their wives drank clam chowder
and this is not an extended metaphor, the clams were clams"

puts the pu in punchline. nice, tart.
Reply
:iconsumants:
sumants Featured By Owner May 6, 2005   Writer
I'm not a big fan of the neverending enjambed line. It bugs me because I feel like it likes the sound of its own voice. On the other hand, it wouldn't be as feverishly-paced if you slowed it down with punctuation. But I want punctuation.

This is Prufrock when he's depressed and angry and depressed. But he talks too much, I think.

So do I.
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner May 9, 2005
it does need more punctuation, poor poem. but who the hell is prufrock? as in eliot's prufrock?
Reply
:iconsumants:
sumants Featured By Owner May 9, 2005   Writer
That would be the one.
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner May 12, 2005
alright i edited it a little, it was in need. thanksyall
Reply
:iconbleedingpairs:
bleedingpairs Featured By Owner May 4, 2005
wonderfully revulsive. "aphrodisiac and ipecac" made me jump against the wall like i had been electrocuted.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner May 3, 2005  Professional Artist
Anger like this is so foreign to me, and you've expressed it purely. I'm curious as to how many drafts you wrote - no worries, though, if you don't want to pull the curtain back. "Ipecac" is wholly unexpected and appropriate. I'd forgotten how interesting the word is.

:claps:

C
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner May 3, 2005
thank you! my work with very few exceptions is strictly on a first draft basis. in particular this one was written in two halves.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner May 3, 2005  Professional Artist
That's what I thought. It comes through.
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner May 3, 2005
you dunno. here i'll give it a go: i was a slut and for a second i was a princess. cute eh
Reply
:iconxxxxxx:
xxxxxx Featured By Owner May 3, 2005
oh okay. real poetry is just i dunno. 100% interpretation and that's bad in my case.
Reply
:iconcarissima82:
carissima82 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2005
breathtaking execution of theme.
horribly good.


i'm so happy to read some poetry from you again.
Reply
:iconpurecoldbath:
purecoldbath Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2005
I can only say - which I resent myself for - that this is markedly striking.
The immaculate attention to detail and the faultless adherence to the style of the piece are a testament to your writing skill, but the genuinely emotive aspect of it is more unusual.
This will more than certainly bear repeated reading, which renders it rather distinct.
Reply
:iconfluid-motion:
Fluid-Motion Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2005
anoying whores turned on pop music loudly in the room I started reading this in. I enjoyed what bit I could read in quiet. Epic.

First stanza you spelled slice "sluice" unless you intended that, of course.

I'll be back.
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2005
sluice: it means to wash. glad you could enjoy what bit you got to and i'd appreciate it if you did come back to it at some point.
Reply
:iconfluid-motion:
Fluid-Motion Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2005
This is a really interesting poem. It's painful at points, but the way you go about giving your message is grand.

a few things i noticed:


The second stanza is sublime, though "A hundred men or more tried to grasp my body" seems much more blunt than the rest of the poem.

"Their wives drank clam chowder
and this is not an extended metaphor, the clams were clams"

i'm not quite sure what I think of this line.

last stanza: "waiting for us to die" hovering buzzards already sort of produce that idea.

Well done.
Reply
:iconepimetheus:
epimetheus Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2005  Professional Interface Designer
Holy fucking shit.

Holy fucking shit.

That is incredible. Your level of detail and strength of voice are immaculate. You imagery grotesque and powerful, without ever becoming purple or distended. Well fucking done.

Adam
Reply
:iconfauxgravity:
fauxgravity Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2005
thank you so much adam, i really appreciate that.
Reply
:iconepimetheus:
epimetheus Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2005  Professional Interface Designer
You deserve it. It's one of the best pieces I've read in a long time.

Adam
Reply
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