Volume 8, August 2013
The Sun and the Octopus
Hollow driftwood tilts up,
looking like the folded hands
of the oldest surf rat in all California.
Standing in the reverse shadow
of La Conchita’s canyoned mudslide mountain—
one man fishes, waist deep—
horses kick up dust in rectangular pens
across the highway, predict a storm,
and the sky agrees.
Under that thumb-smear across canvas,
the fisherman’s line heads out straight,
measures the radius of the world—
hooks a dead octopus, floating
from the countless remoras
that lift its tentacles.
The bulb of its body aligns
with the hidden sun, its rays in eight directions
behind the wet fur of anxious clouds.
The fisherman drifts away in a perfect angle,
out of the horses’ waning sight,
speaking aloud as salt water pulls his body—
the ocean is my ink,
the ocean is my geometry,
the ocean is the chest of the world.