This is a bildungsroman fossilized like seashell. Let’s go back to 1971
Seattle. This is a conduct story about setting aside the lyre. Birdbrained
trompe l’oeil. Slit-tailed sea cow, crowned. Taking up some new instrument.
Shall I tell you the secret of old marine books? The seductive mystery
of a fishy seaport pulls you in like a writhing net. Can symbols be sexed,
as in sex symbol? As in screen siren? As in a 16th century Norse woodcut
forcing some corporation to think deeply on the exciting seafaring history
of coffee? Anything can be mined for material. Starbuck from Nantucket
was a realist, though he wouldn’t have minded a little navel. Which was
axed, after my breasts. I was once quite Rubenesque. This is about the splitting
of bodies rearranged. About a third space, a place of a community and a place
of solitude. You are special, deserving of leisure. Pay attention, a lot is riding
on how well you understand this. A lot of brainwork went into this reframing.
Boardrooms of white male execs, word guys above the poverty line: not so much
tail, rewrite, no nipple, friendlier face, colour change, praise, praise, praise.
Luring me into the think tank.
HOW TO SALT A FISH
Lurid rush of protein, perspiration.
Salt cured skin is a staple diet for
the buttery mouths of men in Southeast
Asia, the pink gums and thoroughly picked
teeth of coastal Russia, and the Arctic.
A vast number of techniques can be used:
smoking, drying, dehydration, hanging,
freeze-drying. Don’t be put off by wailing.
Flesh flaky and fresh and white. Or perhaps
you’re craving for the rose-orange body
heavy with spawning. Something is triggered
by the sucking wetted oyster of a
mouth that cuts itself wider to consume.
The brine goes stiff with waiting.
DOMENICA MARTINELLO is from Montréal, Quebec. She is the author of the forthcoming poetry chapbook Interzones (words(on)pages, 2015), and is Head of Publicity for the literary journal The Puritan. Recent work has appeared in Lemon Hound, carte blanche, The Town Crier, and Metatron, among others. Domenica lives in Toronto, where she is working on a longer project about mythological sea women. Find her on Twitter @domenicahope, or combing her hair with a fork.