Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eric Robert Nolan- A Poem

Girl on a Film Screen

She turns
Her lithe, bare back to the bracing
Air of cold Autumn.

Her alabaster back
Is the color Melville envisioned:
The skin of a white whale,

Though slender here,
A winding white flame in her dress.

Melville knew well
The exigencies of white: how
Its flawlessness haunts us
For our want of it.

Oh, that turn. 
Her averted look
Is the silvery arc

Of a siren’s snow-colored fin
Cresting an ink-like sea.
And I, flawed and coarse,

Prosaic – a would be fisher:
A filmgoer, another male
Whose common eyes wash over her,

Another anonymous wave,
The feckless
Surf of Melville’s ocean.

The weary theater smells: 
Candy, cologne, spilled soda
Subside and I sell salt.

Somewhere underneath
The cold and coal-colored sea,
The unkind onyx water,

My white whale
Thrashes in its sea-bed.
Nothing dissuades me:

Neither icy air,
Nor violent water
Nor daunted crew,

Nor Starbuck’s slow lament,
Pushed from his sad lips,
And snatched up by a gale,

His eyes wide, his countenance
Blue with the cold –
That of a boy

Whose father runs insane,
Blood-mad and implacable
Roaring his reproach

At a sky
As deaf as it is starless,
And an ignorant tide.

But, Oh, that turn.
Startled from regret,
My stung sea-weary eyes

Fix on incongruous white –
A Naiad where my whale should be!
Grace in a slate ocean.

And she dives calmly on
Oblivious to the eyes
Of aggrieved seafarers

Who, in epiphany,
Turn their awkward boats
Reassured, to shore.

(C) Eric Robert Nolan 2014

BIO: [Eric Robert Nolan’s poetry and short stories have been featured by Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Under The Bed, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dead Snakes, The Bright Light Cafe,  Tales of the Zombie War, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere.  His poems were also included in anthology format in Dagda Publishing’s “Threads” in September 2013.  Eric’s science fiction/horror short story, “At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal,” was published in January 2014 in Dagda’s short story anthology, “All Hail the New Flesh.”  Eric’s debut novel is the postapocalyptic science fiction story, “The Dogs Don’t Bark In Brooklyn Any More.”  It was published by Dagda Publishing on November 19th, 2013.]

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