Whatever Floats Your Pequod

“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.”
                                             —Herman Melville; Moby Dick
“All politicians are loco.”
……………………………………..Tip O’Niell, politician

call me Ishmael
—on second thought don’t

call me Lazarus because
I ‘ve a second skin—
the old one was flayed
by a madman pacing on
his stump of hate;
below deck
you’d hear him overhead
articulating his life-loathing
to the cadence of the thud
of his stud upon quarter-deck boards
raging and forlorn
—a rumble overhead
like thunder  of a gathering storm

call me Lone Survivor
alive by dint of luck and flotsam
—if you call it luck to have been
under the spell & thumb
of a lunatic chasing a
malevolent memory

call me Happy To Be Alive
—and do I have a story for you!
now when I breath the air
of summer blossoms
and taste its berries
I know what they mean

call me The Old Man And The Sea;
someone eventually will
—big fish are hard to let be
and we all know the allure
of horizons; but
no, really,
call me Queequeg’s Confidant,
buddy of a harpooneer, an island
prince in a tattoo shirt
in a small boat chasing
mammal mammoths
psyched for murder
aiming to slay them
with a tiny, barbed spear
its tip all meanness
and barbarity

call me Henchman in pursuit
of lamplight, oil and cash ripped
from the flesh of leviathan

it’s all the same to me
—whatever floats your Pequod

all me Ishmael
call me Man.

by Jim Culleny, 6/23/11

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