Maybe not one for calamari fans, this too first saw the light of day in PIR. A simple poem about jealousy (one of the new collection’s central themes) but inspired by a shunga woodcut by Hokusai, who turns up in another of the poems.
Click on the title for the image that sets the tone…
Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
The fisherman’s wife’s licked out by one octopus
and French-kissed by another, a tentacle
gripped in a passionate fist. It’s just a dream,
she says, and not even a pleasant dream.
The fisherman is upset by the whole spectacle
and retires to his boat for a month of net-
mending, keel-scraping, caulking and sake.
It isn’t just the cunnilingus
that he finds impossible to forget.
The whole human-marine genre, the tacky
fish-porn predictability of her lust
tortures his days like the refusal of the cherry
to blossom. He can’t believe she loves him. But it’s just
a dream, she says. I’ve said I’m sorry, and I’m sorry.