Poems by Jen Coleman

Plan D: Hot Tap

Below the thunder horse oil rig, a mile below,
a sea serpent is an Oarfish never seen by human eyes,
an oarfish far between 250 thousand god-given liberties and the surface.
An oarfish, the largest of the deep mesopelagic sea,
undulates, fins splayed in a molasses current.

Did Poseidon see an oarfish? Did he wear a two ton
top hat and did he leave it on the sea bed? And did
Poseidon set fire to his deepwater ice, set fire
to his methane slush and set his robots to thread
a straw to suck diamond shaped impostors through the sea bed to quench
the thirsty Atlantis?

Atlantis the continent and the liftoff and the Saturn island
ringed with sea. Atlantis the plentiful, Atlantis the ship
Atlantis the massive apparatus the earthworm
tunneling through orbit circling the planet
singing to the sea Atlantis singing to the newborn star
shaking off the cloud of its birth,
leaving a truly empty hole never seen
in the universe a truly empty hole in the sea of the sky

Did Poseidon squeeze off the surge
of a rogue well with a cork of experience? Did Poseidon
have limits of experience on the sea bottom, the god-given
sea bottom, full of liberties?

Did Poseidon have a cozy relationship with the
minerals management service? Did Poseidon
of the high-sea phase-changes change phases instead,
declaring Aquaman a ridiculous spectacle,
declaring a worst-case scenario, declaring himself
angry and sickened, did he pull a monotheistic cloak
about his head?

Atlantis with six million tons of blastoff in a final orbit
in a single violent gesture sinks into the horizon,
sinks into the obscurity of the land of the oarfish.



Psalm for Dogs and Sorcerers

Let the sea colored eels teem with urchins and worms,
and let the orangutan with mad mouthing tongue
fly above a slurry of swifts in the sunset
and into a clutch of centipede eggs curled coy
in the middens of the whitebark cones
come to feed the Douglas squirrels that feed the big
brown grizzly all the way down to Idaho
and let a rat be a short eared bunny
or just a rat in a short eared universe
and the bicyclists after their chicken catching kind
swell their hearts too and feed the river cats
near the railroad track and let there be future
farmers among the pigs and sheared Shropshire sheep
and kind of a baby cow and miniature rams
and let all be fair in the hay and sawdust
and in a serious storm of being aliveness teem,
according to a kind, and to every sea horse
a black tongue according to its kind and good,
wild medflies after their kinds, sassy potatoes
with corn dogs and buttermilk after their kinds
and all koalas that clutch according to their kinds.

And one kind hungers after another kind in accordance
with past nature, another kind takes after yet another
kind in kind. According to creatures, this is kind
of a kindness time after time.



Census of the Fishes

The time is ripe.

Humans must share
with marine mammals and sea birds
squid, krill,

and one quintillian copepods,
the value of knowledge
for its inherent interest:

A Census of the Fishes.

A serious Census of the fishes
the prowfish the lungfish the glassfish
the blind sharks the blue eyes the smelt

onesided livebearers and the white eye
the jawless fishes, pinnipends,
count up the deep sea sculpins, snail and limpet

the blenny, the bonnetmouths and bonytongues
count the catsharks and false catsharks, brotulas and false brotulas,
Count the lumpsuckers stuck fast to rocks

the dreamers and dottybacks, the gulpers and gunnels
the hingemouths and garfish with green bones
noodlefish, icefish, gibberfish and gar

naked suckermouth catfish
count the ricefish
count rabbitfish, pigfish, roosterfish, and seahorses

count the puffers
count milkfish
count emperors or scavengers

fairy basslets, catfish, thornyheads and thornfishes
ribbonbearers, bonnethead, menhaden and ocean-basses,
jacksonshark, armored gurnards,

count up the lovely hatchetfish.

A serious census of the fishes

whether the wish exists.



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