the probable madness of an unnamed mariner

There exists all manner of incarceration: bricks and bars, of cours

The reward for having fallen out of favor with some jurist,

Black-robed and clad with a fitting solemnity,

But any number of others as well–all less tangible, less corporeal,

And, as such, all the more insidious.

Most forbidding of all confinements, though, are those of our own making,

Or (even more maddening, more exasperating) those of our own being,

The limits of our sight-lines at the horizon,

The boundaries of our own perception,

The tyranny of the senses.


Suffer my folly, then, to put out to sea

In the hope (though I fully understand

If you must term it something else altogether) of finding

Some odd grail residing in the interval between dreams and the defined,

Though possession can achieve nothing more

Than to taint it with the stench of the workaday.

I know that this mad exercise in carpe diem will not likely end well;

My safe return dependent on instruments and forecasts,

Man-made and consequently fallible.

When such time comes, keen some song of the dead for me

As you wail upon the beach, if you must;

I will have likely achieved some approximation of contentment.


9 thoughts on “the probable madness of an unnamed mariner

  1. I always marvel at the tales you tell, but today I will focus on your excellent choice of words so aptly used in context: “corporeal”, “insidious”, “exasperating”. I love to get the opportunity to read the work of one with a kick-ass vocabulary. It is not something to be taken lightly.

  2. the free verse of an ancient mariner, who came to shore though water barred his way…as you might say, surely this is your best…at all events, a magnificant achievement

  3. the limits and finitudes of being alive… that’s no small undertaking for a poem. but you deliver us in a bark of hope (by any other name) and we arrive at some approximation of contentment, wondering if contentment is the x on the map. or even on the map at all.

  4. I don’t know why you are so quick to sell your mother to the gypsies, writing as fine as this could catch a pretty penny or two from Lobstermen, hipsters, or even this poet in the twin cities. Again, you words spark worlds of insight with such minuscule details, this hardly reads as poetry: it reads as life. Viva la

  5. I second Ed’s statement, this is grand and authoritative, and (for me) hearkens back to the great poems of old. I’m not familiar enough with your writing to judge where this ranks among others of yours, but I do know this is damn good poetry.

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