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some stuff from my poetry seminar with erica funkhouser

December 15, 2009

she is awesome.

I discovered Philip Levine this term. he is amazing, check his stuff out.

also recordings of his poetry readings will blow your mind.

This poem was based off of one of his about a pig going to market called: Animals Are Passing From Our Lives.

other than that, studying for finals blows. can’t wait to finish and play with my new music equip. (future post)

enjoy yourselves.

***

We Started Out As Fish That Crawled Out Of The Water

If first I was a fish
arms formed from fins
then how is it that I cannot see underwater?

While reaching out and pushing, with cupped fingers,
cerulean water, I imagine the deepened colors:
Sparkling secrets evolution has kept concealed.

I try to imagine a darkness filled with color
and I cannot. I try to imagine the deepest deep:
benthic creatures crawling through the abyssal depths.
I straddle the pool’s floor like it is the Continental Shelf
(that secret place beyond the perimeters
marked by mapmakers)

Then I imagine the terror.
The terror of being trapped in a warzone,
attached to the ocean floor as if pinned
on a landmine.
The terror of living without light.

If the deep-sea is like deep-space then astronauts
have come the closest to ever living in the
the Mariana Trench. The substrate bottom has
so much emptiness, is a colorless nothingness.

From the bottom of the pool I can see the water’s surface bubbling.
Shimmering. An iridescence emulated on the surface of
a salmon’s back. Was once too my skin perhaps.
I imagine salmon rushing upstream to find the one.
And I laugh. Since I’ve only ever rounded up to 1.

I am in awe of evolution,
the process
that planted
the seed
that drives
a fish
to risk
his life.

I hold my breath while my body, languid, floats to the top.
The silence: broken with a gasp.
The water’s smooth surface: broken with a splash.
The world
above
the water
remembered
(The dazzling fluorescent light, the ripped life guard in red.)

Die for Darwin? No. Not this fish.

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