“Reading Moby Dick Again” by Roy Beckemeyer

1
“…a way I have of driving off the spleen”

says Ishmael, and I wonder
if the writing of it is as much the remedy
as the decoction of travel, the pen and page
as much as the Pequod prescription,
if the narrative, as dense as a cud of bolus,
is truly the prima medicina for men at sea,
at least for sailing men of letters
longing to be shut of the shore,
carpet bags stuffed with shirts,
paper, a bottle of India’s finest,
black, corked, ready.

2

“the whale would by all hands
be considered a noble dish,
were there not so much of him”

…and Moby Dick a noble book,perhaps because there is so much
of it, and all that explanatory
digression between the true and
hearty, grab you by the short-hairs
narration is really needed, because,
by Ahab, by Queequeg, by God,
you cannot appreciate the story
without you understand the job,
the whaler’s lot in life, his tools,
his fare, his devotion to his brothers
on the sea, to the whale, his prey,
the incarnation of his every need,
his very nature.

Watch for Roy Beckemeyer’s new book of ekphrastic poems, Amanuensis Angel, coming soon (March 2018) from Spartan Press, Kansas City, MO.

 

 

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