The Gentleman Octopus

Gentleman Octopus

This is a poem inspired by an octopus pinata (that I didn’t make myself, but I wish I did: it was awesome!). I wrote this back in  2014 for The Festival of Literary Oddities, one of the strangest and most wonderful spoken word events to hit downtown Phoenix. It was put together by the folks at Four Chambers Press. It featured a group of poets reading their work simultaneously in a crowded gallery full of hanging mutant pinatas while 3 performers did their thing: Ernesto Moncada bedeviled the crowd with Jodorowsky-ian performance art, Joy Young juggled and made balloon animals and I was a howling mad carny barker shouting at every person and car that dared to cross anywhere near my path. So it was kinda like someone listened to The Flaming Lips “Zaireeka” and thought “hey, lets turn this into an open mic”. It was glorious.


The Gentleman Octopus

What does a gentleman octopus hold in his tentacles?
A tumbler of brandy.
A matchbook with the phone number of a graceful squid
inked on the cover.
A cigarette holder.
A walking stick, tipped with the silver head
of an angler fish.
A clam shell compact mirror
(so he can make sure that his top hat
is always tilted at the most rakish
angle possible).
An unlucky tuna, desperately trying
to escape his grasp.
A dream of a classier, more civilized
waterworld… where cephalopods
were cephalopods
and jellyfish knew their place.

What does a gentleman octopus hold in his tentacles?
Immaculate taste.
And fish guts.

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