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Monday, March 31, 2014

Writer and Editor Russell Jaffe runs the Strange Cage poetry reading bacchanal in Iowa City near-by where I now live in Coralville.   He edits an on-line poetry magazine he calls "USA"...and he's published one of my newest poems.  Here's the link:

The Big Tuna

I'm rolling in an ocean tank
called Coralville
When the wind comes shooting across the roof
and I hear the metal ripple
sounding like a large tuna can opening
Oh it's a damn big tuna can about 80 feet in length

I'm the big tuna sitting inside
cut to pieces that fit
by the death of my mother whose eyes dried up
like an old lemon in the fridge
no more sting
no more sour
then it ripples one more time
her best friend floats belly up in the tank 7 days later
and then the lid finally reveals the meat inside
my best friend
slips across the great barrier reef
I feel like the goddam tuna of death
because I went swimming with them all before I left
I fishtailed into their worlds to make my report
only to be gutted
As each one was hooked with no release
the hooks pulled chunks of my life
away into this odd shaped can

The wind ripples across the top of my house
one more time
and I'm the tuna again
trying to reattach my fins
to get the hell out of here
the thoughts of things undone
incomplete friendships and projects
pulled into a new tank
where my pieces just don't make sense
because I'm still a tuna cut up in the can
thinking about how to swim away
from what I feel
only to find I have been skinned
no longer raw
cooked in the can
and no ocean in sight
swimming in some unnamed oil
an oil that washes up on a dark shore
that cooks as it kills
Welcome to the can it says
you chose the oil instead of the water

I'm just the fish in this sandwich
Maybe being the bread on the outside
could more appealing
as the teeth of the world sink into them first
which means I've forgotten
that even the bread gets eaten
so nothing makes it out of the can
or the sack
or the mayo jar
nothing makes it out alive
All we're left with is empty cans
crumbs and dirty dishes
for someone else to clean up

Copyright © 2014 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved.

 published by USA online, Russell Jaffe, Editor