Icebergs (Draft x)

OK, this is a little weird.Don’t know if I can use it.


I watch beauty drift away on icebergs
see a doomed survivor last a moment

My thoughts are frozen screams
when my dreams of rescue are futile
and I speak with slow motion cream
like flotsam on foamy white waves

Mostly the chill of my face
is too ugly to observe in person

but in the ice cream of my words
many find cherries and berries, and

I am often delicious by the pint, and
when someone has a “brain freeze”
I giggle a little and think to myself:
if only you knew how slowly I would melt
if you thought I was cool in your arms
and was your precious observant desert
just a little tart, just a little sweet, and
jumping from icebergs onto your ship

— Douglas Gilbert


15 thoughts on “Icebergs (Draft x)

  1. I like it, there are lots of great lines in this – the ‘draft x’ made me giggle. “frozen screams” is powerful and i like the way ‘slow motion cream like flotsam on foamy white waves’ sounds. I think your beautiful and the ice cream of your words is delicious all the time. I love this too: “if only you knew how slowly I would melt if you thought I was cool in your arms”. so smooth…
    The ending made me smile…floating around aimlessly on my ship wouldn’t be so bad if you were there too.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I re-read this and I sort of like it. I don’t know what I was thinking but I distrust nearly spontaneous things — maybe sometimes I feel like a miracle will happen while I rest on the surface of things but I don’t think I can hold my breath long enough to plumb the depths. At this peculiar moment I’m thinking that maybe it’s even finished — I don’t know that I want to change something. I am so lost when I shout into the wind and scare away the birds. Well, they probably understand and will come back when I’ve had a taste of human kindness.

      1. ugg, i didn’t think i’d ever get out of work today. Busy, busy busy. I didn’t have time to reply this morning and then work took forever. But i’m sure the birds will be back, they are kinda flighty. They’ve heard the squeak of the hinges on my back door a thousand times and it still scares them off. Every time i open the door they’re like, “oh my gosh, what is that?!?! we’re doomed!!!” and then they fly off like they were under attack or something. Of course, they don’t stay away for long, as soon as they realize that everything is ok they hurry back over to finish dinner. I need to get some sort of oil but i’m not sure what kind and i don’t want to buy the wrong stuff and mess up my door.
        I don’t see anything that i would change in this poem, i think it’s great. hmm…a lot of my poems are sort of spontaneously written, kind of like a diary or journal. If i sit down and actually try to think of something to write, nothing ever comes. But when i do write, I usually feel like i’m awkwardly blurting out a secret or something and then i go back and edit and try to smooth it out to fix the rough edges or improve the sound, make it not so awkward etc…i guess/hope it works out ok.

    2. Thanks. Hmm, sometimes I think the birds are too sensitive to passing whims. I have noticed that they will fly off en masse when a dog is anywhere near. But one day I remember that an entire flock of mixed birds all suddenly took to the air, and I looked all around for a dog that must have been spooking them. There was no dog anywhere. Then I thought that they were doing their aerial mating dance acrobatics. It wasn’t that. Then I thought it was that someone was spreading bread crumbs. It wasn’t that because I could see where they were going. Usually, I had just walked through a mass of birds who were standing on the ground and they basically did a ho-hum and walked around me as I walked especially if they were focussed on something that somebody left or if they had managed to tear open a garbage bag or if someone dropped a left over pizza. But this day I was very hungry and I was thinking, maybe I could trap a pigeon, boil it to remove the feathers, and cook it like a chicken, but I wasn’t sure if that would be possible and so on… So I’m walking towards the crowd of birds and they all take off as if there’s a dog behind me but there isn’t.
          I think that WD 40 is good for hinges if you shake it and let it soak for a few minutes before using the door. I think the hardware guy can recommend and explain how to use it.
          And I think that a kind thought is good too. Hmm, I wonder if songbirds are grateful for the sacrifice of the chickens that lets them remain on their pedestal. I suppose that creatures who can sing do better than those who merely peck at the ground.
          Hmm, yeah, blurting out a secret can be awkward and not exactly understood. Yeah, and it’s best not to let any bird hear it — they are better at giving secrets than hearing them. I think they’d rather flirt with each other than try to understand human chatter. But they don’t mind when sad humans are generous to them and have temporarily lost their aggressive tendencies — they nurture the lost child as all species seem to do, but are afraid of the adult aberrations of the wounded ones.

      1. Maybe that’s another reason they fly off, because usually when i open the door Petals runs out there too…i still should probably fix that squeak though. WD-40 huh? I’ll have to get some. It’s a good thing I mentioned it to you because i was just thinking about putting some vaseline on it.
        Aerial mating dance acrobatics made me smile, i’ve never heard it described that way, but I know what you’re talking about because i’ve seen them doing their acrobatics….
        You were going to eat a pigeon? Next time you’re hungry enough to eat a pigeon you should just come over here and i’ll cook you some dinner. It sounds kind of odd, but I suppose it’d be like eating a quail. Not that I’ve ever ate a quail but i imagine it’s similar to when a hunter shoots a quail and takes it home for dinner maybe. My grandpa was a hunter but now that i stop and think about it, I’m realizing he never hunted birds, you know like quail or turkey. Just deer, rabbits and squirrels. Well in any case, the birds must’ve sensed the danger or your hunger that day and thought it wasn’t safe to stick around like it usually was.
        I think the songbirds should sing a song for all the chickens…

    3. The more I think about it, the more weird I think the Warner Brothers cartoons were. I remember one episode where Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny kept changing the signs: “One sign about hunting season said: “It’s Duck hunting season. And the other said it was “Rabbit hunting season.” Mostly Elmer Fudd was a fool and no one ever got hurt. But I remember one episode where Daffy Duck did not escape and his beak was black from gun powder and there were holes through his beak and he was captured by Elmer Fudd who suddenly became sadistic — it was so weird that a cartoon suddenly turned very dark. It was as if the writers had finally had enough that a hunter never caught anything. But gosh, it certainly was not for children. It was actually kind of gruesome and sinister… eventually there was a comic miracle, but it was incredibly horrible. It was a very odd era. The cartoonists had these supposedly innocent animations and yet they always had all kinds of very dark inside jokes. It was like they were yearning to do something serious. I remember that the pigs in many cartoons had “cork-screw” shaped tails which I never understood as a child. But it turns out that wild boars have a cork-screw shaped male organ. On one of the nature documentaries they showed it extended and spinning — really weird for a phallus to look like a cork-screw.

      1. I’ve seen that episode! The one where daffy’s beak was all shot up. Yeah, it was pretty dark and did get sadistic there for a bit. I think i remember my dad telling me that the old cartoons were for adults as much (if not more) than for the kids. That the soldiers liked to watch them for entertainment during war time or something? I always liked the wile coyote and road runner. That poor coyote never gave up. That’s what i call determination. I just looked up looney tunes on the wikipedia page and it says that some of the looney tunes are banned or censored because of racial stereotypes. They’re called the Censored Eleven. They must’ve really had a dark side or just taken things way too far?
        That’s really weird about the cork-screw phallus, and it spins when extended? I never would’ve thought. Although I did read somewhere that pigs have very long orgasms, like up to 30 minutes!? Weird. Or should I say lucky? Actually i don’t know if that’s lucky or not. Such an intense sensation lasting that long might become umm sensitive? Ok, i’ll stop there.

    4. Oh yes, birds definitely don’t want to socialize with dogs, So petals was discriminated against (although she, by instinct, would probably want to hold one of them in her mouth, and they would probably find it difficult to tell her to be kind. But dogs can be taught to fetch and not bite birds whereas cats like to kill.) Hmm, we always assume that children must go to school to be socialized and civilized, but animals are never required to attend. I guess that’s why they are so wild. Yeah, we need pre-school and English Literature for dogs or at least a two year certificate program or a Masters degree in “Barking up the correct tree”.

      1. “Barking up the correct tree” I think Petals should take that class! I’ve heard about the hunting dogs that carry the ducks back to the hunters. Dogs are pretty smart in some ways but sometimes it’s like they just can’t contain their excitement or something. The regular birds to my feeders seem to be used to her somewhat, but i bet that is why they fly off whenever she runs out. She never really bothers them but the neighborhood cats drive her nuts. She jumps up and down in the corner of the fence barking at them, i can only imagine what she must be saying and it doesn’t sound like it’s very nice. So in a way she keeps the birds safe cause the cats never risk coming into our yard because they think she’s crazy (hehe)

    5. I hadn’t thought of that, but keeping the cats away helps the birds. It is kind of weird though that the sweetest dog would, if given the opportunity, kill a cat. Oh yeah, I was just thinking about the phrases that you hear all the time. Hmm, yes, dogs give unconditional love except for cats. Oh yes, imagine an upper class young talking cat laid up in a hospital and they say, “We have a special treat for you to allay your anxiety before your operation: a therapy dog…”

      1. hmm…well i don’t know if she would really kill a cat. That’s funny about the therapy dog…i don’t think that’d help the cat’s anxiety much, hehe…
        Here’s a funny story. Last summer we were on one of our walks. My son rides his bike and I walk Petals. Well we decided to cut through this pretty walkway that was in between two buildings, it had flowers and bushes and would keep us from having go the rest of the way around the block. We were about halfway down when petals stopped and put her nose in a bush and the next thing you know she made this really weird scream/yelp sound and fell over on her side (legs all awkwardly straight out and everything). Then this big Tom Cat hopped out of the bush hissing and swatting his paws. I thought, oh my gosh he must scratched her eyes or something she’s going to be blind. i yanked her up with the leash and started pulling her along to make her run and the cat was chasing us! My son was on his bike coming up behind the cat barking at it (Why he was barking i’m not sure, I think he said he was trying to scare the cat by making it think there was a whole pack). We kind of stopped and he was like “Keep Going!!” That cat was still coming after us. We were about half of a block down before it stopped and I was able to check petals out. She was absolutely fine besides one tiny little scratch at the corner of her nose. Lots of drama for one of our relaxing wlaks…needless to say, we don’t use that cut through anymore! And Petals, although her bark sounds tough, she’s actually a big chicken when it comes to cats…

    6. Wow, that sounds like a tom cat lion mix. Woh, sounds more like a mother bear protecting her cubs. Maybe the tom was embarrassed, caught in flagrante delicto, but I don’t think that Mrs. Cat was pleased that he ran off like that, and she probably said later, “Couldn’t you have just swatted the poor dog and let it go? Forgive them for they know not what they do, and after all, we both have our obsessions with birds.”

    7. It is a very odd thing. There must have been some kind of epic battle between the Canine Empire of pre-history and the Feline Empire. I mean they never really resolve anything any better than the Hatfields and the McCoys. I think maybe if either the Hatfields or McCoys could have had a good ole’ hunting dog and shared the bird that the chicken martyrs could have died happy.

      1. hmm…there must’ve been. I wonder what it was all about? I just recently watched the Hatfield and McCoys movie. All that fighting made no sense to me…in fact i thought it was a horribly sad movie, all those lives wasted and hearts broken for what exactly?

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