Lamprey & Candle-Fish
A mouth. Then a tongue with a single tooth. Like Dracula
permanently sucking on the body of some gigantic victim.
It is a tenacious thing that is clinging on for (genuine) dear-
life. Unfortunately, it is not quite capable of that illumination
that the name suggests. We have to leave that to the Candle-
fish; even then it will take some determined orchestration.
Every politician should have a Lamprey. Give it to them
so that they will have an understanding of what it is like
to be there constantly, often unnoticed. And in the darkness
of retirement, give them a Candle-Fish, let them dry it out &
stand it upright, try & coax a flame without a skerrick of flint
or even a gas cigarette lighter. The fish, gives its all in this
odd immolation. The Lamprey continues, attached to some
great beast, travels on, through a life of incessant feeding.
From Nine Poems on Aquatic Life