C
literature

Cave Fish

Daily Deviation
pixelfish's avatar
By pixelfish   |   Watch
58 69 5K (1 Today)
Published: May 24, 2002
Cave Fish
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Once I swam, weightless,
In a red-gold sea both vast and small
A sightless cave fish tethered
Light and dark, both were warmth to me.

Once I swam, kicked, spasmed,
A sound like waves, two heartbeats colliding,
And then an inexorable tide pulled me under,
Drew me out, and I began to scream.

Pain.

My tether cut, my memories poured out
I forgot in the fear of being cold and alone
For the first time.

I forgot and breathed and slept and dreamed,
A translucent veined cavernous sky,
Of liquid breath and lost gravity,
Lost every morning as I woke.

Until one day as I opened my eyes
Morning sun washed the walls of my room,
And I lay there curled around a secret cavern
A Capricorn's dream carried in water.

Pain.

A tiny earthquake, and blood poured out,
A long slow agonizing geyser, warm and dark,
A first and last time.

I woke and touched my skin, and cried,
The cave fish is gone.

The sunless sea is empty.

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elizabeth mitchell
may 2002
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© 2002 - 2019 pixelfish
You don't know how it feels.
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Comments (69)
highstrung's avatar
highstrung|Hobbyist Digital Artist
i really like this poem. Alas though, since i'm not a well spoken as the other deviants that critiqued i can't really say that theres anything wrong with how you displayed your emotions with the words. When i write a poem i write it as though i ws actually speaking it, so some grammar mistakes WILL be made, and i feel as if you were writing it that way.so all in all i really like it just the way feels.
(P.S i'm gunna be a little immature and say it reminded me of loosing ones virginity. From the female perspective ^^;)
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RhayningAcidity's avatar
Brilliant bit of writing. You seemd to pour your very essence into this piece, which is refreshing in today's half-ass world. I'm not going to rip this to shreds because, being a writer myself, I know it's not always good to do that to someone's work. But this could flow a tad better, it's not terribly choppy, but some parts are hard to understand when you read it at first... "A translucent veined cavernous sky...", commas would help to break this up a little bit more. Other than that, I absolutely adored it.

Dark Prodigy:blackrose:
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for the compliments. I do look at it now and think it's a bit choppy. Do you think it's wrong to polish something when it's based on a specific event in your life, and those were the raw words you had at the time? I'd like to polish it, but I fear losing something in the process.
Reply  ·  
RhayningAcidity's avatar
I'd say keep the original on hand, for you(so you can keep the rawness of the words), but polish the public one. It'll give away a little less of the real effect than you'd like, but it would be an easier piece to read and understand to others.

Personally, I loved the feel of it, but if I hadn't felt a true connection with it I would have passed it by without a second glance. It does seem to have an aluring power the way it is, so why not do a second of the same piece, but slightly revised, and call it a completed piece. Then, you can have the best of both.

Enjoyed it! ^.^

Dark Prodigy:blackrose:
Reply  ·  
seelai's avatar
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this a lot, but your wording and imagery is amazing. Brilliant use of words. You create a scene very noteworthy.
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thank you for your comments on my poem. :)
Reply  ·  
seelai's avatar
You’re very welcome. ^_^
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thanks. :)
Reply  ·  
FearMyLackOfSanity's avatar
Wow...great symbolism.
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Danke. :)
Reply  ·  
Jellygraph's avatar
A sightless cave fish tethered
Light and dark, both were warmth to me.


I would put a comma after 'tethered' and rephrase the second line to "light and dark both warm to me." It's just very awkward to read, currently, especially with no punctuation after 'tethered'.

I would drop "Until" in stanza 6, a comma or dash after "cavern".

In 8, I would drop "and". I would reconsider "blood poured out". It's sort of expected. Try a different image, or at least put it more uniquely.

In 9, I would drop "is". And maybe move the last line up, connect the two with a comma, like so: "The cave fish gone, / the sunless sea empty". Just an idea.

Sorry for the nitpicking. But little things can disrupt rhythm.

I think the metaphor's good--the idea of swimming blind, unaware, having that comfort suddenly stripped. But it's generally too big a metaphor. I think it needs more concrete moments, some more tangible things that the reader can hook onto. It's just a bit too abstract for me. But good one. I enjoyed it; keep truckin'.
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for the suggestions. As I mentioned in another comment, I do worry that I'll lose some of the raw emotion, although I suppose good grammar merely facilitates comprehension. If I do a reposting of the poem, I may keep them in mind. (However, the poem is three years old, and I hadn't thought to revisit it. But maybe getting a DD will spur me.)
Reply  ·  
3pieces-of-chaos's avatar
Oh, come-come now, no one asked for you to rewrite their poem, or nitpick their grammar. If there was something blatantly wrong like a misspelled word, then you should say something critical, but this is not the case. Also, if you liked the poem, you wouldn't find so much fault with it.

Remember, there is a difference between criticism and nitpicking; the latter being offensive, so please try to speak your mind less
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for standing up for me, but really I don't mind the critique. :)
Reply  ·  
PoeticWar's avatar
Any amount of nit-picking is absolutely okay on any piece marked 'Critique Welcome'. You aren't going to win favours by going around 'defending' people from oh so malicious crit.

Oh wait. ~Jellygraph's critique was actually extremely useful to anyone looking to improve.

Maybe you should leave a comment that's in some way useful on this deviation instead of bitching at people who are trying to help.
Reply  ·  
Boogster's avatar
Shush. Any critical remark, especially one as good natured and helpful-minded as this, should be encouraged.
Reply  ·  
moeffju's avatar
moeffju|Hobbyist Photographer
:o
Reply  ·  
Jellygraph's avatar
Some people appreciate critique, in whatever form. I don't think it's your place--she can take it up with me if she thinks it's "offensive".
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
No worries.
Reply  ·  
saintartaud's avatar
I think there are some nice moments in this poem. There's a certain surrealism in much of the imagery that could be partially due to its symbolic nature. While I think I have a general idea of what it's saying, there's a nice ambiguity.

I do think the puncutation is a bit sloppy. There are a number of stanzas that would be clarified by cleaning up the puncutation. There are also places where the rhythm felt off to me. Perhaps adding or subtracting words could fix this. Also, playing with the syntax.

Overall, I think it's interesting, and did enjoy reading it.
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
At the time I was trying for a specific, if informal, structure. I agree the syntax and punctuation could stand a little polishing--I'll keep your comments in mind, should I revise. :)

Thanks for compliments all around.
Reply  ·  
Sombermuse's avatar
your imagery, word play and choice is top notch. bloody good writing here, this is a better example of great writing that I have seen recently on deviantart. bloody well written poet.
Reply  ·  
pixelfish's avatar
pixelfish|Professional Interface Designer
Thank you. All these compliments are making me feel warm and fuzzy. I'm glad you liked the poem.
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anonymous's avatar
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