Poem: The Prophecy of Teeth and Blood

“The Prophecy of Teeth and Blood”, my first shark poem, written in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  It was performed to great effect* by Team Mesa 2010 at the National Poetry Slam by myself, Brit Shostak (now of Portland, OR), Tristan Marshell, and Lauren Perry.

On this, the seventh anniversary of the disaster, I revisit Gulf of Mexico on that terrible day, through the unblinking, slitted eyes of a bull shark.
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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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Poem – The Sound of Their Drums

One of the things I’m attempting to do with the Chumming the Waters/Words for the Men in Grey Suits project is do change the perspective of sharks from their place in our culture as monsters to beasts worthy of celebration and song (or poetry, as is my medium).

Some cultures, however, need no perspective shift.  For those who practice native Hawai’ian beliefs, sharks, very often tiger sharks, are already seen as not just worthy of protection, but as part of the family.  In this poem, I am writing not from the perspective of the practitioner of those beliefs, but from the tiger sharks who learns of his place in this belief.

Thank you to Jack Stone, Hawaiian Cultural Advisor, whose advice was invaluable in clearing up some choices in this poem that may not have been respectful of those beliefs (any errors/appropriations that may still exist in this poem remain mine – and as always, I welcome feedback!).
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