A Man Sits Down and Begins Talking 11

including A Documentary on the Sea and Its Many Inhabitants
fire consumes, but I can only excrete continuous streams of some indefinable substance, which refuses to decide whether it is liquid or solid or gas or even plasma. they were caked with dust in their moldy hold, a ship's hold of powdered explosive worlds packed tightly in barrels "return to sender" I could almost have eaten them up with my powdered lips, swallowed them down my dry and cracking throat, my blood is cold and does not move ever anymore. Inside I am blue. That is the color of my heart, my coat lining, the backs of my eyelids. There are rats on the ship, rats and dead men and a wheeling emptiness. the gulls are merciless, scavengers all. the voyage harrows onward through storm after storm until the black dusty clouds come down to live on our bent and ancient deck, and the sea makes itself into a whole range of mountains. It takes days to climb up the sides of each wave, and each one has a surface like some glass window into hell. I am the Captain. I am the Stowaway. The Whale sings a dirge for us as we plunge into the maelstrom.

12/6/96, 12/7/96

Jim Genzano




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