Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Dream Carp

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Dream Carp

Article excerpt

People traveled from miles away to see my paintings of fishthe jeweled armor of their scales, the beadlike

set of their eyes in rubbery socket rings, the glimmering swish of fin and tail

so real it seemed that you could almost dip a net deep into the paper and pull up the arching wet

weight of a golden carp, a shiny trout, or the dark muscular heft of a bass with

its mouth stretched into the surprised, wiry "oh" of a child's windsock. I captured my models from the sea,

lake, and goldfish fond in the back garden, so careful not to let their mouths be torn

by the hook, their scales chipped, or the silky tissue of their tails ripped by a clumsy hand. I kept them in

large glass bowls, fed them mosquito wings or dry silkworm pupas offered from chopsticks,

and when I was finished making sketches, I quickly took them back and set them free again. Every

night I dream I swim with these fish as a golden carp-black spots on cloisonne scales,

pulled to the surface by the deceptive creamy luster of the moon or the sizzle of firefly lights

across the water. …

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