Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How the Jellyfish Got in My Cereal

How the Jellyfish Got in My Cereal

It didn’t just swim from the Gulf into my milk bottle.

Perhaps it was placed into my bowl as a gift

the way the Central Intelligence Agency

booby-trapped explosives in shellfish

for Castro to open.

I found out only later I was not a participant

in my parent’s separation. It was too late anyway.

It floated there so miserably, opalescent and gelatinous

as the brain of Roosevelt ignoring or expecting

the Japanese fleet of kamikazes on Pearl Harbor,

seagulls spearing the ocean for fish.

Just to feel valued I threw myself down the stairs,

forgetting no one was home.

There were raisins too around the jellyfish

like little people down below Operation Frequent Wind,

the choppers airlifting American soldiers and citizens

from Saigon.

Away from everyone you love, or everyone you love

away from you, captivity and torture

seem to be the same as a child deserted on a raft

while parents on shore sunbathe sleepily.

Soft marine animal, blobbed on the top, adopting the color

of milk. Color has always been an issue for artists and tribes

to war with. The Sudan Liberation Movement

protests the Janjaweed and Janjaweed protest the SLM.

So naturally if one runs out of caviar for the dinner party

there are no neighbors.

I suffered without quarters at the arcade and I ate my candy

before dinner, so my father slapped me and ordered me

to my room. After he was asleep I ate more candy

staring at myself through the glass of his rifle cabinet.

I don’t know how it got here, like the discovery of God

or likewise the discovery of there being no God at all

or a God with laryngitis, mouthing signs with his hands,

and the translators, all of them, misunderstand or disfigure

or relay the message in their own image. Which is very God.

Then I knew. And bit into the brainless bell

of the invertebrate’s mushroom head.

1 comment:

Red Light! Green Light! said...

ok. you've really done it now. well well. the best i can do is react to your scribling of wires and branches cropped by the fenceline. the best thing anyone can do. if theres no reaction, they're not paying attention. sure you can cut it down. bowl over the fence. prune the branches for lack of winter. but whats that for? am i misinterpreting god? god forbid! this poem 's so full of epigrams, i jump for joy. why do i love the poetry you work for? where you doubt yourself? because you return full throttle. because you take a piece of the conversation and thrust it forward, take the rebuttle and weld it into the answer. this shared quality which sometimes emerges in our best efforts inspires me to propell forward. i'll post exactly what works for me later. great job, franke.