An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
Play me a demersal, non-commercial
song about cod.
Not the punk nursery rhyme –
Captain Birdseye sticking up
two frozen fingers
at the North Atlantic wars,
his mohawk spiked
with globs of parsley sauce.
And not the trance anthem
from the Grand Banks –
into makers of bakeapple jam
and folk artists,
permitted to catch
only shoals of trippers and tourists.
Play me, instead,
a song that's barely heard –
so rare I must work, long-term,
to learn its three-part harmony
of fin displays and males inverting
beneath their mates,
each pair riffing
in rhapsodic circles.
Your pink sea fantasy
should not include Neptune modelling thongweed,
or a school of mermaids spanking
zooplankton from their hair.
It should contain no selkie stripteasing her skin
or an octopus in fishnets (four pairs).
The seventh wave ought not misbehave
in your pink sea fantasy
or make of it an epic disaster flick,
the risen tide overswum
by giant, horny Gorgonians.
Instead, let cleaner wrasse arrive
to eat the lice from your pink sea fantasy
(heedless divers, dropped
the greed for souvenirs)
till you hear the moral in its branches –
how the catch got its by,
how the scallop found its dredge –
pursed, like catshark eggs,
in the soft of its coralling.
Susan Richardson is from Wales. Her third collection of poetry, skindancing, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2015. She is currently poet-in-residence with both the Marine Conservation Society and the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day. Her fourth collection, themed around endangered marine species, will be published in 2018.