Tuesday, November 13, 2007

60 mg of librium for the graving dock

even my coming here at all
I tell them
has been fraught with elemental forces

what are you, they ask, what?
battleship, I say, fresh from the sea-wars
half of her bottom ripped out
by submarine attack
just on the way here

listen, I tell them,
and I open the hatch
out there in the fog you can hear
the grumph of sixteen inch guns
chill whisper of torpedoes
whine of dive-bombers

the war, I say, the war, damn it

(way hay blow the man down,
I sing)

who is her? they want to know
my superstructure, my ironclad heft
my bottle-killing carapace
I tell them

why are you here?
for the enclosure, I say
for the berms and caissons
for the respite
but prop me gently
for I have fragile sonar domes beneath

(way hay blow the man down)

you can't just send me back out there
I tell them
there's a pack of them lying submerged
across the route home, waiting
and my weaponry all in tatters

this sealed package, they say, will do
to stop the foundering
the worst of the shocks
don't insert the disk
until you're way out at sea

wait for the tide, turn off
the engines, drift through
on silent green swells

(way hay blow the man down)

loaded with depth charges, loaded
we crash into the street's heave
roaring out our sea songs
through wolfpack mist


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