Monday, June 15, 2015


Over time the kraken's dreams
Have filled up with sea wrack and flotsam
From sunken ships. On stationery
From a ship that will go down in 1912
He writes with a pen that, as warranted,
Works underwater. "Dear Sir Alfred,"
He begins, "Though we have not met
You will know that I am a sea monster
Who's been sleeping since the world began.
Lately, while idly leafing through
The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
I came upon your sonnet, The Kraken.
To my surprise you have written that
Some meddlesome angel will eventually
Poke a spear in the ocean, making it boil.
(I must say, I would like to have a few words
With whoever thought arming angels
Was a good idea). At that -- I am still
Following your poem -- I will wake up,
Roaring. (As who wouldn’t at being boiled?)
Then, you write, I will rise to the surface
And die.

                  Again: I am to wake, roar, rise, die.
This came as a shock. Until now I have cherished
A range of possibilities. In my grander dreams
I have become the Slade Professor of Art
And lectured to crowds of eager aesthetes.
More modestly, I assumed I might support myself
By clerical work or, at the very least, rampage
Through some great Eastern metropolis.
Frankly, I no longer see the point of existing
And, as you are the cause of my perplexity
I turn to you for counsel, trusting you will resist
The urge to quote yourself on mine not to reason why.
Yours faithfully,
                    Microcosmus Marinus, Kraken."

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