Words & Pictures East Coast, LLC

[Home] [Bookstore] [Gallery] [Poets/Artists] [Fun Stuff] [Vital Links] [Contact]


Art Gallery

Poetry & Humor
Lots of Poetry
Featured poem
Humor/Light Verse

Professional Services
About us
Writing Services
Art Services
Web Services

Visual Artists

Local Events

Fun Stuff
Free Samples
Free Art Lesson
Experimental Stuff

Vital Links
Writing Links
Art Links
WEB Info Links

Email & Address Info

[Previous] [Menu] [Next]

Page 223

I hope each of these pages is as much a surprise to you
as it is to me. This is -- no denying it -- one long riff --
or rather an irreverent unravelment, rife with rough
refulgent riffs. Rough, but, I hope, ours: These words I speak now
(inwardly) -- do you not speak them too? Each of you,
all of us together -- becoming a long choral riff, supporting
a spectacular tropical splurge of impromptu life,
shoals of neon-blue words swimming in tiny left-right darts
through shoals of black and gold words (like fish,
mostly face, each species thousands of identical round-eyed
masks flicking left right up down in synchrony), and,
poking out hideous jack-in-the-box faces from the riff, mores.
(Tired of snorkeling? Climb up here on my riff raft.)

However shall we bring this to a close? For a bad end hovers,
needle-sharp, in the pellucid language just ahead --
but can we bear a coda? (Reader, such puns hurt me
more than they hurt you, and if you believe THAT....)

(And then what's left for me? Decades in the Library of Congress
stored in micro-fish.)

Riffs and reefs both fascinate me. I got the worst sunburn
of my life (calves and ankles) snorkeling just off the dock
in Bon Aire -- couldn't tear myself away from all those
intermingling galactic clouds of creatures every color I could name,
and, even with the aid of "cerise," " periwinkle," "saffron," " indigo" and "puce" --
far more; how, in their flickering ten thousands, millions,
they all but touched one another and my sprawling lobster pinkness,
came kiss-close in deft, darting dares, but never once
touched me or each other! In my parboiled hours of paddling
and peering, I saw thousands of species, each maculately uniformed
in its own vivid, brilliant stripes and stipples (school colors?),
each bearing its own perfectly replicated expression -- bulldog
underbite or wide-mouthed gawk or grim smile...schools
passing through one another like playful galaxies
redesigning heaven, but no one being eaten (maybe plankton?),
All dancing the same dance. Nor, later, did I rue
(rude unrueful riffer of reefs) the next day, lost in my dark cabin,
nursing my raw-beef-red calves (veal-red, I, well-read, suppose).

If you spend enough hours among tropical fish, you are bound
to osmose a bit of their color. The words that flicker though your thoughts --
aren't they turning opalescent, with flashes of electric reds,
blues, yellows turning to you the sudden leers
of a thousand clown faces?

Note: In stanza one, "choral riff" spawns a coral reef, of course. The hideous faces poking out among the colorful words are mores, that is, morays. (An ugly eel – that's a moray, as Dean Martin used to sing ["That's Amore".) Why should mores be ugly? I suppose when words just want to play, they feel imposed upon by folk customs that have grown rigid and taken on the official stance of law, not that art should be immoral or amoral, but that it operates on a finer frequency. In stanza two the pun refered to is "bear a coda" (can we bear a final closing passage?), which suggests "barracuda", because often just ahead of you, as thousands of vibrant blue-and-yellow-and-red-mottled fish dart and swirl about you, you will see, hovering needle-like in the water, a barracuda (which, for some, will be a bad end).

[Previous] [Menu] [Next]