Call Me Whale-Boy*

Call me whale-boy,
call me razor fluked,
call me sharp
in my harpoon-skin suit,
call me lungs
of tungsten steel –
you’ll need poems made of bathysphere
to hunt me down.

Lunging shark-breath,
I’m your Voodoo Sleighride
to the bottom of the sea,
blowhole Davy Jones’ locker
to smithereens,
chew the rotgut spleen.

Color me flensed, stripped,
and rendered,
blind faith with fatty acid,
my heart on fire
and burning for you now –
soul light in the tryworks.

All together now children
Repeat after me:

One fish.
Two fish.
Red fish.
Blue fish.



*Incorporating by reference the first line of Moby Dick: “Call me Ishmael”.
**Dr. Seuss, but you knew that.

For DVerse MTB

33 thoughts on “Call Me Whale-Boy*

  1. This throws down like a harpoon and cuts deep. Should have done a sound cloud; reeks of slam! Voodoo Sleigh ride to the bottom of the sea, and gobs of great allusions. You get extra points for your choices of lit. Oh, and a nod to the rhymes and meter. Standing O.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Moby-slam! I think I/we owe a lot of our willingness to play with language to Mr. Geisel. OK, he doesn’t roast whale heart on a spit, but somehow I can get there from the Sneeches. And Melville, well, I went looking for a harpoon in my cup of Starbucks, but all I got was a crappy latte…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now this poem made me chuckle…, Nay! Aye actchyuley was a-chortlin’ hartey me lads!
    I am picturing the teacher who has taught Moby Dick so many times, over decades it has been dissected, stripped and rendered and served up, and the student essays are so repetitive, that the fiery heart of Melville’s beast has been transformed out of sheer repetition to become as rote as One Fish, Two Fish… etc sung in harmony. This poem has actually made me want to go read the darn thing again! And Seuss! Well we have ALL always wanted to read Seuss! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, once I had “Call me Ishmael” stuck in my brain, I was like ah crap, now what am I going to do? And you have very intersesting take on the Seuss – that hadn’t occurred to me, but see it there now. Great way to read the start/end literature brackets.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dr Seuss never seemed quite so disturbing! Not a pairing of books I would have expected, but you blew the prompt out of the water. Or not. I feel like you are doing something different with your writing at the moment. It feels more expansive?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah – thanks. I don’t know why the Seuss popped into my head at the end, but I thought “Oh! That’s *dark*… ” Glad you liked the poem. Yes, I think I’m pushing the language harder, and working to stay out of the way. I appreciate that you all give it a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

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