Blood and Water

“I was reading a lot of Melville when I wrote that. Just that whole enormousness of life and being swallowed by it and pursuing and being pursued and not always knowing the difference therein.”

-From an interview, circa late 1996

You can call me Ishmael –
I’m for salt air and reality.
A siren’s wail and a greenback whale,
Seem all the same to me.

To sail your seas and spit
Upon your oceans.
To sing your chanteys,
Burn beneath your circled sun.
The rolling and the boiling
And the foaming of emotion.
Now devotion.

The white lies fly the steely eyes,
Of white truth with the tooth upon tooth.
Foolish, I would try
To know retreating from pursuit.

And all your sons,
And all your restless daughters.
Who never did belong
Upon the captain’s helm.
Pursue an ever after,
Half in laughter,
Half in slaughter.
Blood and water.

Father leave my bones to bleach,
I will not grieve them for a glance.
But pick my soul up off the beach,
And teach to dance your dance.

Beneath the skin Leviathan
Is steaming.
Beneath it all,
The crow’s nest call is just whistling.
But these boneyard schemes,
Can only seem
To seize me when I’m dreaming.
I’m not Dreaming.


“Blood and Water” appears on Don’t Be Afraid and C’est la Vie.

© and ℗ 1989, 1997 Marques Bovre