9 posts
  • kevinosullivan 5w


    The pie plates and cans flutter from simple kitchen strings. A gale is blowing sixty plus miles an hour outside. Fitting as it's sixty plus degrees and almost Christmas. An old world deterent of animals in the backyard vegetable garden. It sounds as if the spirits are dancing tonight. The blue tarp which blankets the wintering fruit tree sings like a sail. Our New Bedford home where the docks are surely full. The salty fishing crews must be out on a tear. That mischief is in the windy warm air. Blown in from another place, smelted from danger and dreams. This gale is raw astrological energy that must disperse itself. Emotive wind, ripping like fractals in the routes of time. The banging racket and howling whistles, announcing to the future that the past is near.

  • kevinosullivan 11w


    A mariner lacks romance of whaling days
    For he who knows the sea, knows fishing
    Of whales, oil and seafood for income
    If not for Melville sharing a sacred secret
    Boring classes would not know adventure
    Hard men must battle nature for survival
    Lacking subdued skills of civilized gents
    We meet Providence and pray on in labor
    Toiling days in rich colors, hue and tones
    As the stories share by pen, brush or song
    They dilute as linseed medium to oil paint
    For nothing can describe the Awe of God
    We try and fail while we seek perfections
    Returning to nature, gambling for money
    Then inadequatelly sharing stories of Him

  • kevinosullivan 61w

    This is our curse

    A commercial fishing boat once was my freedom
    Its income prevented my family from dissolving
    There at sea my hard aggressive ways got utilized
    Never a dull moment, this is an identity; less a job
    Underpaid shoreside jobs are no alternative for us
    There is a definate price that must always get paid
    Obviously the dangerous nature is on the forefront
    Its also the smaller civilized things that suffer
    Homelife gets tested and disintegrate over time
    Kids barely connect with fathers away all the time
    Wives find the company of other more stationary
    We are the transients at sea risking everything
    These weights can drag all outlook to the bottom
    The boats become jail cells the ocean our bars
    Imprisoned for income where risks are diverse
    How can we do anything else, this is our curse

  • kevinosullivan 71w

    Industrial Nightscapes

    Midnight on the orange roof wind socks now limp
    New Bedfords waterfront of industry
    These docks never sleep
    Crickets and rabbits play where deckhands park
    Sea gulls still squawk as they scavenge scraps
    While most rest the sanitation crews clean
    Two wheeled migrants soon will pedal home
    Industrial Nightscapes processing harvested life
    Fisheries feeding from the bounty of the shared sea
    While fueling economies here, there and abroad
    A coalescing of connected vibrations resonating
    The steel boats tied up four deep balls out
    Scraping painted egos grateful to be but a channel
    Navigating this outer world as my inner self sees

  • kevinosullivan 108w

    Till tomorrow, Pursuit.

    "Good Morning dock. All is quiet in the Whaling City. I haven't seen any whales or whalers about today. It is as if I am the only bearded salt left. It's Christmas time for us of raucous means. That stillness, devoid of wind or movement beyond scattered gulls. Some generators purring to keep the heaters on. I checked the oils, pumped the bilge and scanned over the dock lines. Till tomorrow, Pursuit."


  • kevinosullivan 141w

    Partial timbre

    Echoes in the sore nerves, hard at work.
    The sweaty fear mixed with hot slag, rust and wet wash..
    Tis the calling of those chosen hands,
    He who works the salt for misery and glory.
    Sea deviled souls, desperate they flock.
    Useless on land, rarely punching a clock.
    But all the reshuffling of decks and rolling of dice, the catch is still the lure; ever still the price.
    Shared up when returned safe for ones last trip; eventually destitute to the inevitable draw of life and lost wit.
    But a tuning device, resonant to that partial timbre once heard.
    For that was our lively being, always eroding to time. As if of a ripple from a long lost and distant wave.


  • kevinosullivan 220w

    Toxic Clams

    an acrid wind blows like a lance;
    mustard gas oil mixed with clams.
    stinging nostrils even if covered in sand.
    run out the cages to find the bombs among shells, rocks and earthen calms.
    oily residue despite rinsing water; on go us capitalist clammers, fast to the slaughter!


  • kevinosullivan 245w

    Return to venality

    I had three rules in life. 1. Never buy a car I have already owned. 2. Never date a girl I already have dated. 3. And not to work somewhere I already have worked. Once sober I worked less, traveled some and tried to keep forward momentum in growth. I havent had to drink or drug yet and suicide is no closer; so I got that going for me. I havent been fishing in 77 weeks, who is counting. To me commercial fishing was an extension of my former addicted self. Settling for less, being brash, playing a tough guy and burning thru lots of cash. Cash wealthy yet spiritually bankrupt. Where else can a guy like me earn that kind of income? Being a 1099 self employed clammer for 3 out of every 5 weeks, sound cool? Having never paid taxes, i wouldnt start now. It is like all else, it gets old and tired. The pattern of settling for less, self sabotage to fit a certain typecast is me as a fisherman. I want to travel, volunteer on tour, go to AA meetings and write. When I said give me poverty or give me death. I can feel the guillotines blade drop rapidly by my skin. This death is a venal one that kills fish for cash but also mutes the soul of a man. This man without substance or substances now packs his gear and bedding.

  • kevinosullivan 272w

    I wrote this while on radar watch one night aboard an unknown commercial fishing boat. I was offshore lobstering, crabbing or slime eeling in the North Atlantic ocean. I was evaluating my life and starting to wonder how much influence we actually have on destiny.

    I wrote this poem and named it after the lat/long location to be able to chronicle where and when these words were put to paper. I was then cognizant of how my choices in lifestyles, career and substance abuse had influenced all my life. I may have had a toolbox and some tools but always seemed to pull out the wrong tool. There was my estranged and abandoned namesake somewhere with my daughter soon to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. All the while I was addicted to adrenaline, alcohol and danger.

    Being a fisherman is hard living but not without its beauty and momemts of solemn reflection. This brisk evening with the satelite radio playing Outaw country as my shipmates entrusted me to steam the boat along and not let them die. I think of that Everclear song and tear up everytime; Father of mine.

    I forgive my own biological and adoptive parents for all their failures and appreciate any time spent together or apart loving or hating each other. My father gave me a name! I too I repeated the cycle of mediocre parenting but did the best I could with what I had at the time. I always loved you and still think of you often.

    I dedicate this poem to my son Kevin.

    #fatherhood #abandonement #fisherpoet #alcoholism #commercialfishing #writersnetwork #shantysociety #darktriadpoetry #nbma

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    Ive met the sun on many a sea,
    longing for the son that i seldom see.
    Adrift with the tide, a mist in my eye;
    small prices to pay to sail everyday.

    Always chasing the fish.
    Always after the catch.
    Rusty as dogs on an old salty hatch.
    The brine of the earth, the bait of disaster
    I sure wish this trip would end a bit faster,
    then back to the beach, home once again
    for two days of drinking and living in sin.

    Until the call of the wind and roar of the surf,
    call me back to the life on my chosen turf.

    I have more dollars than sense
    but still broke all the same.

    For im gambling again in this dangerous game.

    kevin o'sullivan 5.3.2008