I’m back in circulation. And it’s long, long I’ve waited.
So mind your every step. I’ll repay you with
interest somehow, mind. And every time you see a long
coffin lying about, do a little shake in your fine little boots.
I don’t want money, especially not yours.
Before I came ashore, having money about was not especially important
Avoiding a little
taste of the cat-o‘-nine-tails was a little higher on my little list.
It caused me extreme anguish to watch it used on others.
I didn’t choose to sail, as you have reason to know. You forced me into an extreme
state of no little agony.
Cherish your freedom, because soon you’ll be good and left, left
after being delivered by myself into extremest rendition.
It will do me good to see hypos keeping you awake…. myself comfy and taking
extremest pleasure in watching you arrive at where you are left to rot.
I call this city a land. Land.
I mouth my rage and my joy; to the east
is the sea, spleen, a hand-to-mouth existence; here, an antithesis of east: land.
Esther Greenleaf Murer, 2014
Call me Ishmael, by Jackson Mac Low
The original is an acrostic series using words
from the first few paragraphs of Moby Dick.
The present poem expands it into a new narrative.
Original words in bold.