[T]here yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue-Melville
Ishmael, the whale’s eyes are placed so it cannot see
itself. It doesn’t know of its uncanny
pallor. Its notions come from staring at other whales
and concluding how it too must be. Small
wonder it blunders, then feels the punishing
harpoon-thrusts in its hide before fleeing
back to safer solitude. There
it’s just another denizen of murk,
shielded from peering and positing.
How is mortal man to account for it, our thinking
always butting up against the ribs
of the leaky paradigms we travel in, crib
to grave? Am I alone in wanting the whale
to escape even its most determined whaler?