Marcus Speh

SELECTED WORKS OF A HERMIT CRAB
WRITTEN ON SHELLS, STONES AND SCALES

 

#1

I’m like the sun: there’s only one of me. I’m like the last beat of your heart: no sound escapes my hollow. Do not publish what you don’t understand: copies do not cement truth, they bury it. If you believe in stony men they’ll skewer your smile. Stick to soft surfaces: your skin is never the same surprise.


#2

I’m an infant caught in a broken shell by a powerful curse. Say “ME” aloud bowing North, South, West, East and you’ll take my place for a 1000 years. Or say nothing and remain who you are, flaws and farts, fearful fantasies and all.

#3

A man made his living by writing prose poems on found shells using the finest calligraphy ever seen. Whenever anyone tried to copy his fragile creations, they lost all their might. The president of his country gave 9 of his texts, consisting of 100 words each, written on the dried skinless skulls of the rare Sargasso sea turtle to the heads of state of the world’s 9 leading nations. One day a master thief stole all nine skulls and held them ransom for 1 billion dollars. Subsequently, the heads of state met with the prose poet for 1 incredibly long hour in which he painted one letter on the nail of the right thumb of each of them. The letters spelled “never mind”. From that day on, politics turned poetic and never again became the butterfly business it had been.


#4

I’m no poet, I’m an oyster. That’s why I can be brutally honest: you hold death in your palm – I was murdered by time as we all are. But I rode my wave to the end: that’s courage!


#5

The love that longs, lasts.

*

ANSWER ME

“There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer.  There never has been an answer.
There’s your answer.“
Gertrude Stein

You sit on the top of the world, Lord, and yet I wonder what you can and can’t do. Can you shut down a storm? Can you make a mad man mild? Can you turn ships into fish and fish into fowl? The stories of old suggest you can do anything you set your mind to, because your mind is the world. The stories also suggest that I might find you, a shadow-shaped serpent, where I least expect it. Let’s say I meet you down there, man to God, and I look you in the eye: what will I see? The destroyer of worlds, or a fool in love? Will I see everything that ever happened or all that’s yet to happen? Or will I see nothing but myself, and when I grab you, stand empty-handed and naked? Shall I bring a sword to our meeting-point, or a feather? The stories of old suggest you can turn a feather into a wing and attach it to any one worthy of flying. I am worthy of changing into a free creature, I’m ready to fly through the sky. And if I don’t pray tonight, because I’m too tired, will you overlook it? And if I kill an ant, will you avenge her? And if I stop asking these questions, will you answer me? Can you turn me into someone else against my will?

*

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