crayfish punishment

nothing_on_the_horizon_s

She said I was a baboon
dangling without a vine,
but I’m a crayfish stranded on the land.

I will punish myself today
for my regrets and future errors,
the accumulated consequence
of antithoughts and indecisions.

~/~

They’re meeting on the twenty seventh floor,
mostly humans, while I serve refreshments.
The other crayfish will be jealous.

I overhear their exhalations,
their extrapolations:

… yesterday we futurized our
retrospective planning …

… research neutron micro-stars
to power all our upgrades …

… no competitors, where they’ve gone
is 
quite the mystery …

I serve the tea with difficulty.
I’ve been searching
for my glasses for a week,
or someone else’s,
so I can find my contact lenses.

~/~

I’ve walked the path of pebbles riverside,
heard tales of other worlds,
their beguiling mysteries,
loved and unloved, cared
and uncared, found life
a mathematical maze,
a laughable equation, stretching from the whiteboard through a window, to be pecked by birds above.

It explains why something
in the end is always nothing.

It’s written in the language of the crayfish
and yet …

~/~

I’m a trifle puzzled now. They’re staring,
whispers round the table.
I stand before their whiteboard,
before crustacean symbols
in my orthodontic hand.
Did I think out loud?

Tap tap tap, a diamond stylus
on the marble tabletop. A casual word
from the chair to her assistant.
He shuffles though his paper sheaves.

You have a unique perspective … Simpson.
I’ll expedite your severance pay,
and let us speak no more of
the philosophy
of crayfish.


background
A few lines here were left out of an older poem Day job and they appear in the comments there. Orthodontic handwriting: letters such as n m u w, or n m u w with braces.

artwork
nothing on the horizon, detail above

30 thoughts on “crayfish punishment

  1. How delightful! I could use some delight about now, too! Too many hurricane thoughts. Thanks for the delicious diversion. I like how your name’s in it, Simpson! I can just see you searching for glasses so you can find your contacts! Oh, we silly, adorable, totally flawed humans…

    • Thanks BG, you need a diversion. I’ve been reading about Hurricane Irma, hope it’s not too severe when it arrives. ‘Crayfish’ is based on some of my uncomfortable realities, as well as other people. Exaggerated, fortunately. 🙂

    • Thank you Frank. I fully intend to. The Theatre is all around us right now, and I plan to fit in with the other players by proposing the government fund research on whether glasses or contacts are more suitable for crustaceans. This information will be invaluable when the world is underwater and humans are extinct. 👓

  2. ehehhehhaa
    I sit in my flat
    feet raised on a stool
    blanket covers my legs
    a moment of old
    bach violins and flutes fill the air
    I read your poem and laugh out loud!!!
    I laugh with happy tears released from my eyes
    What a mind you have 🙂 Thank you Steve

    • Haha, well done, I can picture and hear it, and you’re very welcome. 🙂 I also enjoy a little Bach, a little Mozart. 🎻 I listen to a lot of music. I’m not sure whether it affects my mood (and my writing) or whether I choose it because of my mood at the time, but it’s always there. It’s spring here, a warm day, and now it’s Vivaldi time. 🎼

    • Vivaldi, ahhhh so close to my heart. I also always listen to music. Often picking some to intensify my mood if I’m writing or painting. Debussy: Clair De Lune, played by James Galway is something I play often. A child once said I like to hear music for it fills all the holes in the house.
      Lovely talking to you
      and happy spring days to you. we are slowly entering our fall with colours filling our skies

    • Thanks, Paulina. I enjoy your poetry and prose as well, the range is impressive. 🙂 I am in fact a ball of insecurity (apart from the guilt and regret). I spend my life trying to not be noticed, and although I’m not quite the crayfish in this piece, for one reason or another I always fail. Here is an example. I was once at a Clive James talk where a few hundred people were having dinner. He pointed me out because I wasn’t wearing a dinner jacket like everyone else. It was meant as a joke because he didn’t have time to change himself after his flight, but I think you can imagine.😳

  3. Thanks, Paulina. I enjoy your poetry and prose as well, the range is impressive. 🙂 I am in fact a ball of insecurity (apart from the guilt and regret). I spend my life trying to not be noticed, and although I’m not quite the crayfish in this piece, for one reason or another I always fail. Here is an example. I was once at a Clive James talk where a few hundred people were having dinner. He pointed me out because I wasn’t wearing a dinner jacket like everyone else. It was meant as a joke because he didn’t have time to change himself after his flight, but I think you can imagine.😳

  4. First, love the artwork. It looks like a marshmallow caught in aurora borealis. Lovely.
    Second, I didn’t realize you had crayfish in Australia! Very cool. I like to pick up stones and watch them dance when I was a young’un.
    Third, I understand the feeling of being misunderstood, not being this creature but another, yet still missing the relevancy.
    It’s all of the paradoxes. Sensitive and insightful.

    • Uno. Thanks Sascha, Florence did something unusual, not the usual stuff, but I liked it too.

      Dos. Yeah, we have freshwater, saltwater cray and weird stuff like Balmain Bugs. But I just read the internet and got confused (as usual). Apparently what we call saltwater crayfish are neither true lobsters nor crayfish. Anyway they don’t have the big snappy pincer things so I think “crayfish” is a good name. I’ve rarely eaten actual lobster, at Fisherman’s Wharf once and that might be it.

      Tres. Thanks so much. I may have to attend male insensitivity classes now. 😜 cuatro cinco cinco seis 😄

    • This raises an interesting question, ie, interesting to me. In the animal kingdom there are many forms of communication: visual, vocal, etc, and not a lot of poetry, but could I wrote poetry with just ‘ook’? I think not. If I sit in my normal-person cave and only say ‘ook’ continuously, there is no communication of information.
      However if I add another phoneme, or simpler still, silence for the same time as an ‘ook,’ I have two ‘symbols’ like binary computing and I can communicate, and translate anything into ook language, including poetry. You might ask why any normal person would do that. I prefer not to ask that question. Here is the letter ‘A’:
      ook—————ook

    • It’s very possible that animals have poetry, which we cannot understand. b—-ook or the r—–ook who says something more than ook channeling haiku h—-ook (I think my brain is officially fried.) 🙂

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