Moby Dick

By Dan Beachy-Quick b. 1973 Dan Beachy-Quick
No reverie begs “light” in the blind eye.
Reverie says: dig this depth-of-blank

Deeper. Dig deeper
With the Whale below the white-capped waves—

A twitch of his tail, a twitch of his white tail
Birthed from ocean-bed the wave

That broke calm water into each cracked plank
Of the harpooner’s boat, made that man sway,

And cast him on the spear his arm meant to cast
At you. Beneath the sun’s evil weight

Men burn nightwards but never darken
Past night. There’s always the moon’s hook

On still water to deny them.
But Whale, you dive down

Until the ocean’s ground begs you solid, “Stop.”
Whale, you do not stop.

You beat your head against the jagged rocks.
Blind in depths so dark light itself is blind,

You knock your head against the rocks to see
And scratch the god-itch from your thoughts.

Flame is jealous of flame, once lit, it ever
Reaches higher. You wait, match-tip, White Whale.

I see how you wait in silence for silence
To say: write it in, tell me who I am now.

Dan Beachy-Quick, “Moby Dick” from Spell. Copyright © 2004 by Dan Beachy-Quick. Reprinted by permission of Ahsahta Press.

Source: Spell (2004)

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Poet Dan Beachy-Quick b. 1973

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

 Dan  Beachy-Quick


Poet and essayist Dan Beachy-Quick was born in Chicago and raised in Colorado and upstate New York. He was educated at Hamilton College, the University of Denver, and the University of Iowa.

Beachy-Quick's poetry collections include North True South Bright (2003); Spell (2004); Mulberry (2006), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry; This Nest, Swift Passerine (2009); and Circle's Apprentice (2011). He is also . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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