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Cetus

May 3, 2012

by Theodore Worozbyt

Whether I go annealed to the oyster’s demesne, but for the lack of an inner tester, the most discrete but intimate counterpane, is unknowable; yet here staves one of bone, inside the one of muscle, another scarf to wrap around my own inner flensings, and here another in my moving hand, of same blood but of blood removed, if all colors be but a version of the volume of that bibled sea which pulses hidden within us, the red sea, the blue sea (wheresoever the sun’s coin travels, its disc on a round orbit, spending our watch and watchfulness); whither I go, across the latitudes and longitudes of my nether-nexus, warping and woofing invisibly ‘neath the skin of the ever sine and cosine uncritical ocean, tell me then and there that the ocean is not a living breather absolute, when as its radical equation we observe the ritual geometries of the gams of Leviathans? Euclid spells geometries; Archimedes levers the globe with a measurement of shadow; Heraclitus bespeaks the river’s ever-flowing soul. Who will ever apprehend sufficiently the failing lights and vitals of the sea to preach the ever-looming watery yarn of the sperm whale? Who will stitch the ever-wounded skin of the cutting waters? Each weave of the sea is invisible; every atom beneath our copper-bottom hulls is a prairie where spacious grasses wave in long undulance toward the nucleic almighty brow. Our hearts mouth the rivers whose tributaries flood the brain with breath; and what man’s soul is not soothed by the sight of the vaporous exhalations of the whale, the tester of smoke which is neither smoke nor texture nor skull? There is he; he is there; he gams in his own eras. He has descended a sounded hour by the watch and then he rises to breathe our breath again. Are not our souls thusly fed with an invisible wind, thinner than the brine of our aqueous dreams? Do we not see in the workings of rain into rainbows the breach of divine color into the firmament? The ghostly hours in the deep of dark thoughts: on these we feed our solitudes and nourish our hopes for ghosts, whose specular vehicles motion us toward faith in the power of our levers and irises and pupiled brains.

after The Whale.


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Theodore Worozbyt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, Image, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Quarterly West, Sentence, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly Online, Verse Daily and The Best American Poetry. His first book, The Dauber Wings, won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and his second, Letters of Transit, won the 2007 Juniper Prize. Scar Letters, a chapbook, is online at Beard of Bees Press [PDF]. Objectless Fragments, a new chapbook, is forthcoming from Apocryphal Text.

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