John Olson, p.1


Captain Nemo serves professor Aronnax
tortue de mer, foies de dauphin & confitures

d’anemones. Meanwhile above
the water enclosing the outer

hull the breakers roll in & crash
on the shores of Tahiti & the Nautilus

unravels its meanings in octo-
syllables & tumultuous vowels

blown into opals with fins & mouths
just like a real poem. Can a purpose

be suggested for luminescence
in cephalopods? A complete answer

cannot be given because the deep-sea
habitat of most luminescent squids

makes direct observation
almost impossible. Jules Verne

wrote a number of books of science
fiction & later gave birth

to Raymond Roussel. Oysters
& mussels, syntax

& forêts sous-marines. Octopuses can crawl
through almost unbelievably small

openings. To reach a desirable lair
an octopus will flatten its rubberlike body

& ooze through a hole several times
smaller than the diameter of its body

Je n’étais pas le mâitre de mes paroles
confessed Paul Eluard at the window

of the real. The necessity of speaking
& the desire not to be heard. The meaning

in a motion & the meaning between
the meaning. A larger view of things

at the bottom or the top or the in-between
the solemn geography of human limits

like the eye of the Nautilus
opening on the bottom of the ocean