Octopus Hunting

by Aidan Andrew Dun


Be sure of your friend
or trust me:
certain death.

You know where
the octopus lives
you’ve seen his dome
outlined darkly far below
moving like a warhead
in the green distance.

You’ve lured him up
with living victims
watched him kiss
with foul sucking arms
some sacrifice lowered
to his dark levels
you’ve even teased
at the hideous limbs
with very long sticks
feeling the enormous
suction and tug
of the multipod
shuddered at the vile
proximity of him.

So you proceed:
another madman
someone not fornicating
with your wife
fastens the lifeline
twice round your belly
and down you go
to his dim world
harpoon signature
of intention
lungs inflated with
the smoke of heroes
eyes raw with
salt and anxiety
blood irrigating
your brain with fire
dread in your veins
swimming like an eel
lashing at your nerves
ice-cold steel.

Nothing! Falling upward
you break the sea, fuck!
the bugger must have
moved in the night
shifted his ground
Bighead’s gone, bad luck
but you go down again
just to double-check:
and now he comes
out through half-light
coiled legs walking
leering from black
doming balloon-head
eyeslits glinting in the gloom
the great elephantine
mass of him moving:
the funfair
jelly-arms working.

And you scream
inwardly, because
you make no sound
under here;
and the death-embrace
of the tentacles begins
appalling caress
of the submarine legs
dreadful flailing coition of
the hundred suckers.

in the writhing
a jelly-mouth opens
to admit your head:
but you drive
the harpoon up through
that sickening orifice
shove it three-quarter-ways
in the monster’s brain!
And if your loyal friend
really isn’t shafting your wife
he hauls you up with your life
in one piece, that’s it:
hunting the inky beast
under hellish seas.

oct 1