20070419

Carol Novack
with an added visual by Stan Crocker


Fish Triptych

1. Bluefish
shun flipped out tides festive winds dancing sambas the sun’s breath
on curling lips of waves;
never look in mirrors don’t flirt
would be wallflowers as if there were walls
in water you can barely see the gray-blue hue waning beneath
   splashy cerulean, turquoise and teal,
catch the downcast fish dragging its catatonic shadow like a carcass
   along the underbelly of the sea.

Maybe it’s a spring Friday when you reach for red pills and Tequila. It’s the year you know you need to cut otiose blue with fresh lemons, buy a new yellow dress or a sanguine cravat. A pity the lemons are dear, your pension's a penny, and you think you can’t cut it.


2. Tilefish
come in so many varieties. Would you care to order the catalogue, discounted if you own a villa? You do, now don’t you? I can tell by the way you arch your gossamer eyebrows and your winter lipstick is so perfect, no smudges, clear color, clear as a newborn jellyfish, no cracks. Chanel’s Levres Scintillantes, my absolute favorite (don’t ask me how I know).

Psychic moi has the odd feeling your villa contains five kitchens, nine bathrooms, four playrooms (with annexed drinking dens), three grand dining rooms, and a saltwater swimming pool. You’ll need at least 90,000 square yards with coordinating fabrics, paintings, and pianos. Here’s the catalogue, the venerable tome of tilefish. It’s comprised of 35 chapters, fully illustrated and accompanied by music of your choice. Simply press the fisheye buttons on the bottom of the pages to listen.

This one, you see, tilefish 457, is called the Mediterranean opera star. Particularly suitable for playrooms, it comes with your choice of Puccini or Verdi arias. Every time you step on the tilefish, the room will flood with opulent waves of music. For an additional fee, the room will also flood with a lushly luminous light, color your choice. I personally prefer the teal with gold tails and fins. I have this number in my own favorite playroom.

For bathrooms, I usually recommend the UU tilefish 334, but it only comes in black and white, as here; you see the white fish with the black fins and red eyes. I do so love the red eyes, don’t you? I have this number in my master bathroom; it’s absolutely stunning with the matching red shower curtain and black and white towels. It only comes with one song, however. I’m sure you can guess what that is, my dear. Of course, you have so many bathrooms. There are those who would say you're obscene. But one can’t have too many, I always say. Feel free to wander about the bathroom sections at your leisure.

Now I absolutely must show you our tilefish special of the month. This is the immensely popular French tilefish 666, tasteful in any room, but best in the dining room or drinking den. See, you can tell it’s French by its puckered lips; you can almost hear it saying “oui, oui, ma cherie!” This number comes in a variety of colors, but always with a red mouth. Step on 666 and you’ll hear songs by Piaff or Brel. And naturally it comes with a set of Baron de Bovine crystal wine glasses and a La Grande Bouche decanter. Soft, succulent lighting in a choice of hues comes at no extra cost, this month only.

For swimming pools, I recommend number 345, the undulating Galapagos. These rainbow-colored tilefish glow seductively in the dark; they look fabulous in moonlight with Pinot Noir. The favored musical accompaniments of our most mature customers are Frank Sinatra and Guy Lombardo, maybe some big band or tango, while the boomers often opt for The Beatles and Bob Dylan. We realize that the teenage set prefers hip-hop and Jaylo at full scream. We therefore provide a remote control mechanism for parents, with volume regulation.

I’ll leave you to wander through the seas of tilefish at your leisure, all comfy on our water-sofa, on sale through Friday. I used to have one myself till my ex took off with it and the accessory, our dog, Porcine III. Ever since, I can’t bear to listen to Sibelius, if you get my drift, but of course you do. You know Maurice so well.


3. Monkfish
We secrete ourselves in caves, rarely emerge. We live inside our hearts, worship the light that enters our abode, light that dances on the ceilings of the seas. We sleep so much, hope so much, need nothing but the dance of light and shade, we so white.

It is enough to dine on the slim, swaying leaves that burst from the bed of the earth like hair. It is enough to know no thing, to breathe mystery. We hope.

Through filters of light pass the shapes of the octopus, shark, dolphin, blowfish and barracuda. The wonders of water leave us as is. We are born silent, come from a place you cannot remember you imagine. Unlike the bluefish, we have no smell; but we have Thelonius.

We know we’ll be cooked; there’s no use in denial. Embalm us in olive oil and a delicate pinch of tarragon.

We realize lemons are dear. Just a squeeze please, honey.








Carol Novack waged up shit's creek battles as a criminal defense/constitutional lawyer for many years. A longer time ago, a book of her poems emerged in Australia, where Carol received a grant equivalent to an NEA. Writings may or will be found in many publications, including The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets, American Letters & Commentary, First Intensity, LIT, Meanjin, Notre Dame Review, Diagram, BlazeVOX, MILK, 5_trope, Del Sol Review, Retort, Segue and La Petite Zine. Carol publishes the collaborative multimedia e-journal Mad Hatters' Review, teaches lyrical short fiction writing at The Women's Studio Center in Long Island City, and writes an off the wall love/dating advice column for a commercial magazine, sub nom Loopy Lulu.

Stan Crocker has been described as a "progressive revelation" or as others have put it "a 50 year old man doing a strip tease". Peel the layers and you will find an artisan who sold his first work at the tender age of 14; about the time he began playing with mercury and other heavy metals. His poetry has been published in church bulletins for funeral services and his short stories have appeared in the Urban Hiker.Last but certainly not least, because he has "opinions", the Raleigh News and Observer has chosen to publish them in their storied pages. Access info about Stan's art gallery at: http://smcrocker.com/Pages/home.html.

 
 
 
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