Lew Sr & Jr LewSr&Jr circa 1954

Philosophies of swimming

         Ten invisible arrows shoot    Across Oceania

                                             into azimuth
                           

Ice
Cobaltblue
Hunger
breath
blood
no land in sight
cloudmaps
truths of
Of Stevie Smith’s
poem of drowning
Not waving
endless promises
of summer nights
myths
in concert with all the
lost days and
the waves twisted

around silver gelatin photos
All of the night swims
in luxuriant total blackness
temptation to be
Completely disappeared
But having sex instead
Because remember
Dad told me never to swim alone.

It is amniotic
luxuriant memory or
whispered now

How to adapt that
freestyle form saved on super-8 film
of Lew Sr’s last swim after that
’61 hurricane
seeing him tear into the
lacerating water
having to fight his way back to shore

Then flashes of him shivering, coughing, smoking a cigarette
“what’s wrong pop?”
His laugh strangled out something about that being his Last swim.
I didn’t know that was sad until later.

Dad was a better diver
pikes twisters jackknifes
swans

But I became a better swimmer
dancey underwater
& a marathoner
Though he never got to see that

but out there past
the breakers
or deep in a dream
likely past horizon
if we were both 20
He would win the heat
but I would take the distance

Ice
Cobaltblue
Breath
cloud~maps
Hunger
bloods

The city
Hating the aqua concrete
When everything is sterilized
mirror pool
Not easy
To feel
Oceania’s womb
primal
accumulation of
every movement of the water
in the water by the water
Outside of conscious thought

Cobaltblue Ice Breath Cloud~maps
Drilling through the water
Just under the surface
upsidedown
So to be blinded
By motion
And stinging from
Exhaustion
clogged sounds
Then crying down to
Bottom for
A lotus sit
How long is it
I need to be there?

Till I hear a
Clean jackknife
slicing the inked air
whispered in a promised breath
from that orphaned morning, July 29 1930

for Lew Sr

     for Lew Sr.

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