Florida Diaries, Day 1: Die, Lionfish, Die!

This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast.  Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.

If you’re not familiar with the lionfish, it’s a predatory reef fish and on those delicate fins are spines which can be used defensively to deliver a painful sting.  As stated by divemaster Mike Ryan to Erin Spencer in National Geographic:

“It won’t kill you, but it’ll make you wish you were dead”.
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The Fiji Chronicles: Prologue – Sustainability and the Ethics of Eating Fish.

The one thing that is very hard for a person who loves the ocean is the idea of eating wildlife, aka fish.  I touch on it a little in my poem “Suicide Bomber“, that everything from the lowly crab to the mighty marlin is classified as “seafood”, as if there is some common thread between these animals, beyond the fact that they both live in the ocean.

Oh, I’m a “soupfin” shark? Thanks for the name, jerks.
Image via Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Poem – The Hunt

So, last night I performed at the Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus at the Alwun House in Phoenix, AZ.  It was a great show, with some fantastic performers that it was an honor to share the stage. Thanks to Ernesto Moncada and Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix’s poet laureate!) for asking me to perform!

When I walked into the venue, I was introduced as “Phoenix’s leading shark expert” – which, flattering, but probably not true!  Ernesto, when inviting me, asked me to consider writing a shark erotica piece. I was up to the challenge!

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