Winter 2001


Allen Planz


Why does the wind get the names of women
in Montauk, the windiest port of the East Coast?
Why Cambria, Thallassa Snatch, Penelope Grape,
Tiffany Blue, Cynthia Cuddletwat, and these are not
real names, since most fishermen work between
chance and superstition and have no names
for most of the things they see or fish they catch.
Because they think they see the wind?  Therefore Dot,
Valley Few?  And why's our dragger named after
two Matapoisset squaws?  Hey you guys dancing
the rips this morning, whistling up a wind
and singing over the radio, why's the sea so sexy?

You know the Montauk winter: anybody not dead
drunk is out fishing, working cold and sleeping cold
or down a church basement for a mean AA meeting
where nobody's sober but the wife-beaters
and the wife-beaten and the grief-eaten and those
who left the city in rage to live by the sea in rags,
who never made it to Key West, Sausalito or Anchorage
or came back, like me, to work for those with money,
dealers in fish or drugs, who own the boats and the women,

Who was Nashi?  Was she fair?  Who was Zonda?
Did she come in the night with Criador & Barat?
Who knew Purga, Suestado, Solano, Brusha,
that their names carried over centuries and oceans?
When it's breezing up my captain Stuart says
a little air is moving Mary, Mary his bride. 

There's something wrong with the wind.
It blows too much. It blows too strong.
Most fishermen fall overboard pissing downwind
while failing to duck what's coming behind.
Some piss their skins. A few on board can't piss at all.
And the sea in praise of women fixes the eye
of the squall on your back and you come about
ever so reluctantly, hoping to stay on your feet
and you call the sky father and the earth mother
but the wind coming at you needs a name:
blue balls, the one you've married
in the ceremony of pissing and moaning. 

When does the wind get another name?
It's a fair day for fishing
but for us it's fuck off & die at the dock.



Allen Planz


Goelet the seller
mentioning the alarm

which shorted a wire
burning nine months
just short of fire. 

until flashers pronged
when headlights

& the guy at the service station
went thru
tracing the blip for a week 

& declared it dead.
the best car
I ever had, 

which for once let me
ride the Hamptons
in style

of sorts,
like the clothes
from the Ladies Village 

Improvement Society's
Bargain Box, stuff the rich
write off 

and I wear
proud in my fashion
up from the underclass

and back down to it. 

Allen Planz has published seven books pf poetry, of which Dune Heath (Canios editions 98) is the latest.

Recipient of two NEA's, two NYSAF's, Planz is a licensed captain who will take 1-3 people birding, light-tackle fishing or ecotouring the East End of Long Island by boat or buggy.




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