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Morse 63 David Morse Poseidon Say Poseidon say if I don't come up with the cash soon I be sleeping with the fishes. I don't correct Poseidon's grammar. (Like it is fish, bro.) Cash fast. Cash fast. Cash fast. Cash fast. I don't say "You talking metaphor, man. It ain't the cash; it's the approbation." I want to be like one of those elephant seals that dive so deep they sometimes fall asleep, to conserve oxygen, but with eyes open a slit so's if they see a fish they can wake up and snatch the little sucker. I want to glide so deep, dream my way free. If I see Poseidon I will fake sleep. Pretend not to see him. Now Calypso, she say the trick is to avoid eye-contact. (I told Calypso, you mess with Poseidon, tact is everything; it's the icon you can leave home on your bureau.) And what if Poseidon see me first? But if I can get past Poseidon, what then? What do I expect to find down there? My eyes adjust to the surface bullshit. Pieces of styrofoam, clumps of oil, mylar balloons. I roll over once slowly, drowsily. Spread my flippers, get ready to dive. Jive dive. Jive dive. Jive dive. Just above me is the shimmy of wave-dapple, undulating serpents of light wigwagging past me. I kick deeper into the bluegreen depths. You know I ain't just got to escape Poseidon. It's the approbation. Calypso's sweet jellyroll. This isn't no fairytale. What I don't understand is the passage of time. Above me, in the pale green light, too far away now to make out individual wavebottoms, just the flicker of shadows crossing and recrossing, is my immediate past. You dig? And below me, in this swooning dive, is my immediate future. And yet—can you dig it?—when I return to the surface, as I got to, then past will become future. This little rap now, this sinking reverie—if I had me a plastic notepad and a waterproof marker so's to write down this whole somniloquy—the words written first are the ones the reader would read first. Right? You'd encounter them, dear reader, in the same sequence I wrote them in. But nothing moves in a straight line. Einstein; the Hopi corn cycle; you dig? Ask any sister on the street: What goes around, comes around. 64 the minnesota review I can do anything down here. Explore caves full of scarlet mammyrammers and bearded clams. Discover thermal vents where specially adapted organisms grow: sulfur-dioxide loving diatoms; magnoliaceous maidenheads; squids cuddling in the red glow. My specially adapted sinuses permit me to equalize the pressure on my bloodstream, so I can make my winding way through clefts in the rock and upwardly mobile bubble bouquets—as long as I don't wake all the way up; long as old Poseidon don't find me. I be heading into the future; long as I got enough air in my lungs to return. Here on this strand of kelp I tie a little scroll. Too dreamy for me to decipher. Diving deeper into the future, past a stratum of old jogging shoes stretching off like a highway, I hear voices: Deeds are not so important now, says one voice. What, then? says another. Trends. Diet Cola. Teflon bullets. Zero-interest bonds. The kelp branches. I spiral down around what I suppose is the main trunk; and although the light is sickly now, green and mean and bleary, it don't be total darkness. My pupils are huge, sucking up every little bit of light. Still, it don't be black; it's like the gloamy calico you see behind tight-shut eyelids, in childhood hiding places among coats at the back of a closet, seeking true darkness. How black can it get, Momma? Got to be careful not to think too much about the color of things. Use of my oxygen of similies. I leave another one of my little scrolls, like a Buddhist prayer, looped in a half-rotted filament which is rooted somewhere...


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