Friday, October 26, 2012

But That’s How A Melville Metaphor Ends

In the mind’s ocean
every woman’s bare shoulder
is a great white whale.

“O head! thou has seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one syllable is thine!”

in Melville’s “Moby Dick”
quoted in The Mind’s Ocean Redux

I’m not a big Herman Melville fan but
one time I wanted to impress someone
and somehow I remembered Ahab’s quote
and maybe something like a butterfly
maybe something like a Red Admiral
a small butterfly as butterflies go
I said that quote like a butterfly goes
drifting along at the edge of a storm
or maybe I said it like a whale goes
drifting along under a madman’s boat
or maybe I said it like a spacecraft
drifting along above a storm in space
or maybe I said it like a pigeon
drifting along above electric lines
and I wonder now how I remembered
that Melville quote because I’m not a fan
and when I think back I can’t remember
if I read “Moby Dick” for school or fun
but the woman I wanted to impress
wasn’t impressed and that’s the way things go
but I still remembered that Melville quote
though I can’t imagine how I did it
and it bothers me now the not knowing
but to finish off this Melville topic
I am also bothered because I know
these watery weathery images
aren’t a dense enough flow of chaos
to obscure the silhouettes of the shapes
the whale butterfly spacecraft and pigeon
and that someone I wanted to impress
well that woman I wanted to impress
still won’t be impressed and in fact will laugh
because she’ll see through all this Melville stuff
and not caring I’m not a Melville fan
she’ll laugh and say “These syllables are mine!”
but of course not one syllable is hers
so she won’t really laugh and say the words
but that’s how a Melville metaphor ends
so I’m happy with this one even though
I’m still not a big Herman Melville fan.

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Plastic Snow? (A Saturn Update)

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