Sunday, July 18, 2010

The conch man

The last bottle, the last moment, the last dollar;
The last conch eaten at Billy Joe's.

Ankle deep in the warm sea,
Six black rays flee like silent birds.


Things I've learned:

America is indeed a classless society, but not in the good sense.

Every American, male or female, under the age of 40 is covered with tattoos.

If a restaurant requires a shirt, shoes and long pants, the only Americans in it will be over 60.

You may not be able to tell a prostitute from a debutante any more, but you can spot an American from a mile away: Mohawk, Mullet, basketball shorts down to the ankles, tank tops covered with advertising, towing black bags behind them large and small and trailing more cloth through the lobbies of five star hotels and grill-hot tropical streets than a dismasted Portuguese man-O-war in a gale.

What else:

America isn't worth it. Arteries clogged with malls, covered in ads and logos and paved over and everywhere the same plastic, the same prejudices, the same ignorance, the same proud stupidity, the same pretense, the same anger eating at our hearts.

Life is still sweet and lots of people know how to live it.

Black really is beautiful.

Raw conch and red snapper; jerk pork grilled on a wood fire on the beach at sunset, served up with sweet potato bread and plantain and peas and rice: rake and scrape making your feet dance and island patois and trade winds and seas as green as absinthe -- Life -- it's still there.


Baltazar said...

I googled up a picture of a conch...lots of pictures of shells.but no conch...then there was UGH..I CAN SEE WHY

Capt. Fogg said...

The conch is really just a huge sea-snail. We don't look too good without our outer covering either! And we probably don't taste as good.

By the time it's battered and fried or minced into a salad with lime juice or made into a conch fritter, the conch looks and smells pretty damned good especially with a cold bottle of Sands or Kalik.