Sous Rature



Aidan Thompson

With my head in the clouds my feet look like two fish searching for the sea. Casting a net to weigh my desires, I find ambivalence dabbling in breezes, which makes it impossible to distinguish salty waves from anticipation crashing against a sternum. I found relief in gulls jabbing at a loaf of Wonder Bread, while onlookers holding colorful balloons against a white lie put the scene into context. I get hung up in gusts unable to settle in pod-like shapes bobbing on watery fields, despite our history of metal. I'm on a verge overlooking truth, or is this a pretext for the weight of lilies in a shallow box? A fishy order can be more reckless than rats. Controlling coughs could damper the body’s ability to renew, meaning flesh is fragile. A real soldier will laugh in red making a white dress even more poignant. Or has the ethereal messenger, limping in the previous frame, jogged through too many centuries? What did he say? “The planes are pounding Baghdad.” There should be more insistence and less ignorant repetition. It is this and only this that makes the Atlantic Puffin's comical hopping from rock to rock sad. I think of wintering at sea instead of getting older, but floating would mean I couldn't ground things on has-beens. You cannot make your mark on the coast because splashes never follow the rules and rip tides have an insatiable will to swallow. The boat maneuvers six-foot whirlpools and the crew wavers between chance and fate on the back deck. Again, the context gets larger, although many things end up in nutshells. When most of the oxygen is gone there is less oxygen inside than outside. The water outside pushes harder against the framework than the air inside; what happens to the hull? I throw in hook and line, instead of salt over the shoulder, hoping that angels will turn into anglers because the catch of the day is better than feeding someone a tale.


I wouldn’t mind being a fish swimming against the current, navigating between boulders, white water, and hooks on long lines, but I’ve had enough of cold blood and the potential for mishap at every bend. It has been our hope that the deadpan style questioning the difference between illusion and reality might unnerve the man in his Whaler and keep him from bombing around the inlet; however, the arrows capering in his blood stream require him to gun the throttle. The canvas had to suffer violent transformations, wiping and scraping off, continually destroying in order to go beyond, but let’s not get carried away. The overall sense of the frame directing the eye to flatness and an end had me minimalizing into oblivion, or is this just another era? It should be clear that the woman balancing on her right foot with her left knee extended back and right arm lifting toward the apple turns virtue into fault, while the tree listens to history with its ear for error. It was a shaky moment when we discovered nature’s active part with the imagination and its constant game of roulette, confronting the unknown, grappling with randomness and accident. Or is this tricky, thoughtless, and wrong? I’m not sure what happened to Shakespeare’s foil or the full inheritance of wry wit and bawdy humor partaking in the flaunt of a pen or the pointillist’s sprinkling of little green men. I could reach for the unemotional and say this in one sentence, but the ply of words exposes the throat to chaos and we squeeze emotion into the paragraph. I listen to the dog drinking water and hear one lap as a foreign country and ten as deep sea fishermen throwing smiles at land. You might play a fiddle in the galley or dance on the rigging, but whatever happens you’d better be ready for the dive. I tie a bowline around the piling, which allows the boat to rise with the tide, and get tangled in expectations and a false sense of security. It is impossible to spot the horizon in fifteen-foot swells, but the gull flying above registers the arc of the globe, bending with breakers and the hefty back of solid ground.


Home    Current Issue    Archives   Guidelines   Statement    User's Guide    Links    necessetics