The Black Whale of L-Town


The Black Whale of L-Town
byy shawn misener
Yesterday
they moved a 900 pound man
from his home near mine
by cutting down two trees
sawing open the back of his house
and extricating him with a forklift
he came out wrapped in
a standard blue tarp
but you could see his form
in all of it’s massiveness
I wondered why the firemen
hid him from view
and if he was the one
who didn’t want to show his face
We all watched
enthralled from across the avenue
and nobody cracked a joke
like you would expect them to
there was only an awkward reverence
and some genuine compassion
when just a week before
some kid had referred to him snidely
as the “black whale of L- town”
I suppose a man being forklifted
from his bedroom
ignites calm sorrow in us all
as we gaze and gawk
detached

0 thoughts on “The Black Whale of L-Town

  1. “Awkward reverence”…i’ve never heard that before but it sure seems to hit the nail on the head. Stories of the unusual always grab readers. I like how the situation was examined poetically with the contrast between the compassion of people watching the event and the derision of ‘some kid’ (which all of have a little bit in us, don’t we?) giving the guy the nickname ‘black whale of L-town’.
    Descriptive and artful, more than enough to ‘detach’ the reader into that state of ‘wow’, ‘hmm’, ‘huh’, ‘uhh’, back to ‘wow’, and ‘whoosh’ in the brain train long desert tracks suddenly emerging into forested glades with lakes, loons, and skinning dipping poetic notions. thanks. that’s a Vanilla Bean Venti Frap on me.

  2. This is mostly true. Most of my stuff is drawn from dreams, I guess, but this really happened, another vintage Lansing moment. I guess the moral is “we all talk shit until they bring the forklift in.” Lansing is all “calm sorrow” anymore. Just last night an unnocupied house down the street exploded (read: meth lab). I thought something really heavy had fallen upstairs until I heard the sirens.
    I’ll pass on the Frap— I never liked those. But, if you ever get your hands on an Oberon (Bell’s beer, from kalamazoo) let me know.
    How’s the milkshake coming?

  3. Milkshake coming along ok. Got to get few more contributors without openly soliciting on H&H sight and being sent into exile. Late Summer is goal for completion. I loved your 3…will be able to use all. Will look for Oberon…that name sounds familiar…named after hero or god? later.

  4. Oh Man— Oberon is a killer, killer summer beer. it’s part of Michigan lore, as is Bell’s beer itself. It’s an unfiltered brew laced with orange essence and and absolute yumminess. Anybody from the “Glove” who likes good beer would probably attest to it’s wonders. . .
    I’m glad you liked all three poems. You’re wife seemed to think they were a little dark. . .

  5. You have good taste, Merle’s a doll…hundred times better looking than Merle Haggard. I kinda dig Paz Vega as a modern actress, but am not too familiar with the classic-film beauties.
    Oberon the fairy-king, yeah, Rupert Everett. You are a scholar, a gentleman, and a true poet…a virtual ‘Anung un Rama’ among mortals. The links in the poem were cool…maybe you can teach me how to single-space submissions…since apparently web/blogs are nothing like MS Word. If i were Oberon, i would change that, and the sign of that conquest would be all the world’s toilets flushing simutaneously. Don’t eat the mints…

  6. Sorry ’bout hyperactive bowl of cherries. Yeah, I no comprendo nothing to do with HTML formatting. I tear my hair out in the ‘Write Post’ submissions because 1. it does not paste (OLE) with MS Word; and 2. it ignores basic keyboard entry. For instance, all lines are double-spaced with no line breaks to set off stanzas; and it decreases font size on anything I put in. Why isn’t ‘default’ single-spaced, normal font? I don’t like it. I know i’m being a ‘puttz’, so i’m going into self-induced exile for a week to get over my luddite paranoia frenzy. I know you’re just the mesenger. Chakras return…ooommm.

Leave a Reply