Friday, November 03, 2006

Monsters too terrible to imagine

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Lies We Tell At Sea
For Cindy

We tell our landloved daughters the sea is a fancy room
in Florida, or a seminar on rigid software in San Diego,
anything but the awful tideless truth. But this is a grand deck
on a grand ship and there is a swollen wobble in the world.

Tonight I dream sixty knots on glass with Mexico racing by.
There
are superstructures scattered in these waters erected to drain the
seabottom, siren tongues to dart and flash, to ensure the safety
of a way of life we fool ourselves into thinking we cannot afford.

These are the deep lies of leviathans pulling the long black
night through the eyehole of a moonless sea that cannot exist
anywhere but where it does. Dawn sleeps somewhere in soft
cotton skies as we glide over monsters too terrible to imagine,

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but we do, we do anyway. At the piano bar, a string trio
gives us pause, frets us to consider the music of sinking
much sweeter than this somehow. They say drownwater is
an icy choir that cavitates a rapturous threnody in the soul.

Gunwales become a polished remorse, buoyancy a luckless joy.
Our daughters already know this for they too have learned to
tell us they mean something else, equally fathomless. After
all, the truth is too tenuous to trust. By virtue of some ancient

salt-faring past, we agree to tell these lies only at sea believing
this place worthy of holding all our schooling conceits, all the
unmeasured keepers and lamentable throwbacks we can muster
to heave overboard if only to see what floats and doesn’t.

Joseph Gallo
August 18, 2002


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5 Comments:

Blogger billie parried...

"These are the deep lies of leviathans pulling the long black night through the eyehole of a moonless sea that cannot exist anywhere but where it does. Dawn sleeps somewhere in soft cotton skies as we glide over monsters too terrible to imagine, but we do, we do anyway."



My favorite passage - and very selfishly why I love reading poetry while working on novels... this just sends the mind spinning toward stories... evokes the very powerful desire to write an entire novel just so this could be quoted in front. :)

billie

November 05, 2006 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous parried...

I love some of the imagery in this. Each time I come to it, something different grabs me and takes me for a ride.

November 06, 2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger joseph parried...

Billie: You made my day with your comment. I must confess that more often than not these lines write themselves. I barely have much to do with any of it. I just guide the pen and the piece emerges. Thanks for your lovely citation. Can't wait to see your story.

Joni: What is taking you for a ride, I can only guess. Does it have tentacles and a long schnozz? ;-) There's an element to this poem that I don't think is quite evident, but I'm okay with leaving it as it is. Perhaps it can be guessed at, perhaps not. Such are the expired licenses granted secretive poets. :-)

November 07, 2006 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Cindy parried...

Thank you, Joseph, I said what had to be said to a daughter questioning far off, for the truth then, as is now, is still mine alone.

Cindy

November 09, 2006 3:08 PM  
Blogger joseph parried...

Cindy: You're most welcome and I understand comepletely. I was there, remember? In this, I honor those necessary secrets. No excuses, just a delicate stab at the clever triggerfish of truth. :-)

November 09, 2006 11:07 PM  

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