Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tom Sterner writes and illustrates

~never mind its odorous depth~
~moss reaching fingertips~
~bend down & close your eyes~
~toss pennies if you like~
~come hunting wishes but~

~there are ghosts down there~
~a host of green angels~
~order us to slay our naked fish men~
~haul them up to be eaten~
~flesh borne to our table & body complete~

~a crack appears in the withering wall~
~bear witness a trembling dance of devils~
~we are caught out seeking & wont to become~
~a panting penumbra, pale shadow green angel~
~mermaids, naked fish men~
~a bubble of breath at the bottom of the well~

1 comment:

  1. In early tales mermen were said to be wise teachers, but eventually sinister motives were attributed to them. Greek mermen were pictured with green seaweed-like hair, a beard, and a trident. Irish mermen were described as extremely ugly creatures with green hair, teeth, and skin, narrow eyes, a red nose (due to their love of brandy), a tail between their scaly legs, and stubby fin-like arms. In his 1828 collection of Irish folktales Thomas Crofton Croker included "The Soul Cages," in which a merrow named Coomara ("sea-hound") entertained a fisherman at his home and displayed a collection cages under the sea that contained the souls of drowned sailors. The Finnish nakki was a magical, powerful, bearded man with the tail of a fish; he could cure illnesses, lift curses, and brew potions; residing in murky pools, wells, docks, piers, and under bridges, he was reputed to pull young children into the depths if they looked into the water to see their reflection. During Midsummers night, he would rise from the water to dance with the human celebrants. Although very beautiful from the front, his backside was hairy and extremely ugly but he could transform himself into a beautiful woman with three breasts (or into a silvery fish, a horse, or a hound) in order to lure his unwary prey into the water. Along the Amazon, the boto took on a human or merman form in order to seduce and impregnate human women. Mermen also employed their enchantingly beautiful singing voices for the same purpose. In Medieval Europe, mermen were held responsible for violent storms and for sinking ships, while the Chinese also blamed them for causing storms but believed they could surface only during a storm.


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