Yesterday I was fishing off the rocks in my secret place and caught a black fish with rust-colored patches on its flanks and descending to its belly. I was happy, of course, as I rarely catch a fish. When I got it home and began to clean it, however, I was in for a psychedelic surprise. The fish's liver was bubble-gum blue, the kind of blue in a 7-11 slushy. Worse, its flesh was the same blue. "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." Was it edible? Was it poisonous? In all my life I had never seen such a thing. It was not the color of food but candy. Blueberry gum.
As a fish lover I wasn't going to let the color defeat my urge to consume the fish. So I called my friend Ralph, whom I call "The Fishmeister" because he's a much better fisherman than I and knows a lot about it. He told me the fish was a Greeling, a member of the Ling Cod family, whose members also come in a candy apple green. So I cooked it and it was delicious. As it cooked the blue color transformed to the usual white. (I think it was a Jumblie fish and I should have been in an oceangoing sieve to have caught it).
On to the men's circle. My experience of psychosis, especially of the religious kind, has made me skeptical of any "spiritual" experiences. Nevertheless my psychiatrist recommended this men's circle and retreat. Naturally he attends. In preparation for the retreat our facilitator is sharing about the Jungian archetype of the Magician, the Trickster, Odysseus, Loki, Coyote, Raven--you get the picture. It's one of four archetypes for men: Warrior, Lover, King, Magician.
I left the first meeting at halftime, but last night I made it through. We were told to close our eyes and imagine our magician and call to him. In my mind's eye I saw a raven in flames that did not burn. This is an apt metaphor for my life; I have had many close calls with death and other detours, but by luck and wits and the grace of God I have managed to escape from many narrow situations. Then there's being a poet, musician and psychiatrist, all categories of the Magician.
Thus I can definitely identify with this archetype. Whether I will levitate in the sweat lodge is another question, though I do hope my belly will hide the size of my member. Penis comparisons among naked men is unavoidable, the inevitable sideways glance quickly hid, and my increased weight from the medications will, of course, make me smaller appearing. Thank God at least I have big balls. Speaking of balls, yes, I have a poem on that, below, though it's about a special case.
Thine in Seussian Fish,
That Government Hook
I know a man whose balls
are pink and delicate
carnations of irradiation,
twin oysters supercharged
to never spit a pearl.
He managed to get out in six
while doing seven to ten
because NASA sought virile men
and wished to know how many licks
a man's jewels could take
before the shine came off.
Convicts will volunteer from boredom
as much as for freedom.
If killing time means killing your balls,
big fucking deal.
Who wants to be a father anyway?
Mine was an asshole.