Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hellmouth Blows a Bubble, Part Two

I will return to illustrating poems soon--I guess--but for now, please enjoy a hammerhead shark! He lives in the sea.


cuchulainn said...

Such a delight to find this here. 'Blue Planet' et. al. are nicely done enough, but they tend to simply photograph what's there, and wholly miss the sly intestinal nematodishness of Sphyrna mokkarran (the only thing beyond size distinguishing it from the bonnethead, really). Hammerhead trivia: If you emerge from a sub-tropical freshwater river covered in Hammerheads, you can remove them by touching them with a cigarette lighter. Or with a lighted cigarette. But that only works once.

Tricia said...


Anonymous said...


A freak of the future, sylph or cobra,
A claw-hammered, gullible,
Gumdrop head cloven
Like the thumb of a kid
I knew when I was seven,
Near Holtswood, Coatesville,
The Susquehanna, his thumbnails
Glaucous lenses on prongs

He deployed to unsnarl
Fishing tackle, like chips
Off a crystal ball, the purpose
Of anything its use, unraveling
Gaffing, hooking a mermaid’s
Fluke because a worm answered
The light and asked for it,
A catfish black as ink in milk.

Tricia said...

I can sympathize. My pinky finger was slammed in a door when I very small and thereafter took on the appearance of a tiny peach.

Anonymous said...


It was stiff, cloven halfway to Yost’s
Knuckle, each prong with its own
Glaucous eyeball of a thumbnail seashell,
Like a white moon in a blue sky
In fact sallow, an opposable sigil
And fluke of change, its stoic

Indication of the future and the past
Blind, deaf and dumb, its status
Useful to untangle fishing tackle,
A freak of chance that’s everyone’s
Being and presence, everyone weird
And divided, hitching a ride, holding back.

Tricia said...

What happened to it? Why was his thumb that way?

Anonymous said...

He was born that way.
Some people have six fingers
Each hand, some have webbed ones.
This kid had a cleft thumb.
I was thinking, pondering
Your google-eyed shark
With the blue scar or electric scarf
Of a perineum, how a freak
Of chance, or presence,
Was the beginning of the future,

What Yeats called the perne
In the gyre, and how watching this kid
Unsnarl our fishing lines stuck
Enigmatically in memory for nearly
Sixty years. His brother had an ordinary thumb.
This was at summer camp. He called him over
To untangle our line with his unique thumb.
The purpose of anything is its use.
And aren't you and I hitchhiking
And holding back, as if with cleft thumbs?

(Look at Stevens' "Page from a Tale,"
How our cousins from the beached spaceship,
The Whale, approach us with outstretched hands,
Eyeballs in their fingertips, presumably looking,
As you once said, to make a touch.)

Tricia said...

Very appropriate. "The miff-maff-muff of water" deserves an illustration, but I am hardly equal to it.