Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shellfish Aphrodisiac



Let your song be delicate as that
of the dock,

The ships are in! The ships are in!
Unloading the day's catch, the hum of the crane.
Mongers with ice chests. Pink belly fish.
White aprons. Air thick with salt
& conversation ---

The gnarled hands, of the jovial man, gripped tight,
as the knife slips the seam along the lips
of the shell. The violent rasp of the shuck,
unveiling delicate flesh.

The opening of the mouth, taking it across the tongue,
with that little bit of ocean. Drips off the chin.
A scavenging of seagulls overhead.

The wet slap of waves on the pilings,
a boat chugs, as it pulls off.



40 comments:

  1. You have captured a bit of the life of the fishermen here. Not sure that I picture their life as a 'delicate' life...but perhaps you have written the opposite of 'delicate.' I do think a fisherman's life is a hard one...but I am glad that some are willing to do the deed! Smiles.

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  2. To be there and feeling the sea in that oyster.. like a scene from Fisherman's warm.. there is something quite erotic with those shells.

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  3. The sea is such a fountain of tales and your poem pictures this so well. That wet slap at the end reminds the reader of the sea constant movement and danger working with such a force.

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  4. Shellfish are wonderful but can be extremely dangerous to anyone having shown allergic reactions. I think oysters are overrated as aphrodisiacs. In fact most shelfish owe their flavour mostly to the sauces served with them. However, one's imagination can work wonders, lol. Lovely descriptions x, esp the seagulls fighting overhead for scraps.

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    1. Did you realize one of the group names for sea gulls is a scavenge? I thought that was pretty cool.

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  5. Here is the murderous underbelly of our Shellfish Aphrodisiac! Ouch. But, you have also captured the bizarre sensuality of the delivery of shellfish to the market: "Drips off the chin." If I was unaware of the nature of the seduction, I would say you were describing rape. The power in this poem, the details! Were you a fisherman? I will not be eating clams, mussels, and oysters again soon.

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  6. Ohhh! Shellfish are my favourite thing (why I always fail at going vegetarian) and I grew up around fishermen. I love this mixture of the violent and delicate, and the way you have brought it all so vividly to life. I could smell it all!

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  7. Ahh those opening lines are a feast..the sea of life can be an unforgiving place..hopefully we all find a safe harbour and a place to dock peacefully and fully

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  8. oh wow X i feel the mood , I smell the essence of the life of a fisherman. This is splendid. You should send it to Fisherman Monthly, if there is such a thing. As always, a pleasure to read ;)

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  9. So many sensations, scents and sounds... such explosion. I really like the deceptiveness of the first line... I found myself reading softly, but was nearly shouting by the time I got to the end.

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  10. There is such a tender beauty to an honest day's work, even for the observer. I like this interpretation of delicate.

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  11. the last crass cherubSeptember 16, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    I think the hidden title is actually "Selfish Afro-Disiac." ;) There is nothing worse than an oy-stare with a selfish Afro. And quite clearly it's only a hop, skip, and a jump from "disiac" to "disco." I can completely see why your shellfish claims the right to be selfish. She sounds pretty awesome to me.

    "Mongers with ice chests." Ha. So what's so cold? The heart? Or the nipples?

    delicate = de (the) lick-it (or lick/ate, depending on your mood)
    violent = V I owe Lent ... So I guess this is when you give up oyster-eating for Lent. Ha. Someone's wife is going to be pretty pissed over this decision. :) But if you "owe" her such neglect, then I guess she did something to piss you off before you cut her off. I think this is a hilarious marital exchange. So what did she do? She complains too much, and is maybe too bossy. And your logical response is, "Fine then. No more crane-humming for YOU!" LOL. You crack me up.

    "The wet slap of waves on the pilings,
    a boat chugs, as it pulls off." ... This is my favorite part, and definitely the most hilarious last-four-words-of-a-poem I've ever read.

    "pilings" ... What a weird word. Pie Ling(ering)s. Yeah, that's better. ;)

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    1. I totally almost made the title "Afro-disiac" but I totally did not want people to think I was bringing race into it.
      Shellfish Afro-disco though, now that would have been totally fun.

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  12. East Coast .. West Coast, scenes/sounds/tastes mimic each other ~~ come visit Oregon.

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    1. Been a while since I was there. I almost got caught in a snow storm coming out of Bend. Now that was crazy. But I was thinking of Seattle as well. Been to the fish market there too.

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  13. There is this way of language
    that defies pedantic
    logic of formalities..
    my understanding
    Moreoverasfeeling
    is this is poetry
    and rare
    do i
    see
    an ocean
    breeze in
    oyster
    juice
    expresSing
    this..now
    last crass
    cherub.. you
    have amazing
    friends.. like
    this X as
    well..;)

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    Replies
    1. And only a 'math
      teacher' will
      fully
      see
      'thIs'
      'FeeLinG'
      'LogicK'..;)

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  14. Oh you took me to that dock, I could almost smell the shellfish and taste its briny flavor. So well done!

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  15. Such an exquisite piece of work :D

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  16. I love the life you have painted here Mr X. Its so full of life as the breeze whips through the wharf and the song is endless...

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  17. Let your song be delicate as that
    of the dock....


    I take it you mean not very delicate at all! Great visceral imagery here.

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  18. I can see the delicasy of this scene, the joy of the fishermen in their accomplishment, the taste of the ocean and somehow the sensuality of it all. Enjoyed the description, though I don't eat shellfish.

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  19. hmm...reminds me of some docks I've seen and you can smell the fish as they come off the ships, but what came to mind was an oyster..opening her to find
    the mystical pearl..would it be black or white..and does it matter...you make oyster shucking seem sensual...I don't eat oysters or raw clams they make me ill. Would it be selfish to want to behold the pearl? Just pondering...

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  20. Love this! It reminds me of the Hamptons and a piece of my husband's past.

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  21. Your words painted images I haven't seen.

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  22. Your words painted images I haven't seen.

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  23. Truly amazing...I was there, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, smelling the smells.
    This is so vivid and evocative...I can even taste those oysters slipping over my tongue...:))

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  24. Love the title, the energy of movements from ship's unloading the catch to taste of ocean fish as the ship pulls away ~

    Simple framing yet powerful ~

    Grace

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  25. I sense the irony of that first line. Your fisherman's song is robust and rowdy, earthy and crude, lusty and energetic. I like those kinds of songs as well.

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  26. As always in your work, one scene evokes another, from the outside crowd on the quay to the inner dream of the heart--really a slice of salt and sweat here, that speaks of the yearn of return to the feminine ocean.

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  27. I love the juxtaposition here of gentle language, and the savagery that's actually taking place.
    Favorite line:
    "Air thick with salt
    & conversation"

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  28. The violent rasp of the shuck,
    unveiling delicate flesh.

    Reminds me very much of the joys of getting at the shell-fish. More enjoyable in prising it open than on eating the flesh! Great lines X!

    Hank

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  29. The violent rasp of the shuck,
    unveiling delicate flesh.

    Reminds me very much of the joys of getting at the shell-fish. More enjoyable in prising it open than on eating the flesh! Great lines X!

    Hank

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  30. The language is simple but oh so vivid

    The violent rasp of the shuck,
    unveiling delicate flesh.

    I really like the way this sounds and I don't just mean when reading the words out loud it has a sound, like silk tearing. I am not sure if I have ever eaten an oyster. I used to get mussels at a Chinese place they had them in a spicy mustard sauce only place I have ever eaten them actually but they we exquisite. Now I am hungry and thousands of miles away from the restaurant in question!

    mindlovemisery

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  31. The tender flesh of the shellfish is delicate and needs the protection of the shell - which nevertheless fails to protect it from the shucking knife of the fisherman. Great metaphor for things aphrodisiacal! :-)

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