Robert Bringhurst

Anecdote of the Squid

The squid is in fact
a carnivorous pocket
containing a pen, which serves
the squid as his skeleton.

The squid is a raised finger or
an opposed thumb. The squid’s quill
is his long, scrupulous nail, which
is invisible.

The quid is a short-beaked
bird who has eaten 
his single wing, or impaled
himself on his feather.

The squid, however,
despite his Cadurcian
wineskin and 400 cups,
does not entertain.

The squid, with his eight
arms and his two 
brushes and his sepia,
does not draw.

The squid knows too that the use
of pen and ink is neither recording
impressions nor signing his name
to forms and petitions.

But the squid may be said,
for instance, to transcribe
his silence into the space
between seafloor and wave,

or to invoke an unspoken
word, whose muscular
nonpronunciation the squid 
alone is known to have mastered.

The squid carries his ink
in a sack, not a bottle.
With it the squid makes

These are mistakable for
portraiture, or
for self-portraiture, or
to the eyes of the squid-eating whale,

for the squid, who meanwhile grows
transparent and withdraws,
leaving behind him his
coagulating shadows.