Robert Shelton Wants to Chat

I hate google

trying to match me up,

improve my social standing, or life.

Accept the chat? Who the hell

is Robert Shelton?

The one of Ku Klux Klan born, Tuscaloosa, 1929?

or the Critic, Chicago, 1926, discoverer of Bob Dylan?

No – wait – he died… and so did the other…

Could it be Robert Shelton Associate Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies?

Or Robert Shelton former president, University of Arizona,

expert in condensed matter physics, now director

of the Fiesta Bowl?

He is at least living, and had a starting salary of $550,000

back in 2008, but, really now, what would we have to chat about?

And of all the images there is not one robert shelton

I recognize, no former Rio High School Viking,

or Oak Ridge alumni, just random variations:

robert shelton ownenergy, robert shelton newton,

robert shelton farmers insurance, robert shelton golf,

robert shelton photography, robert shelton pwc…

But look — on Results page 2 there is a dramatic turn — Fiesta Bowl

robert shelton abruptly resigned — he’s going back

“to the real love of my life”

“back to something I also feel passionate about”

Research Corporation for Science Advancement,

and for that step up from the Fiesta Bowl, I commend Robert Shelton,

but I still don’t want to chat with him, or any other

by that name, except — what’s this on page 3? Robert Shelton Tug,

MMSI 367057370, Callsign WD6515… yes, I would talk to a boat

named Robert Shelton — why not? We could discuss our various understandings

of Ocean as Metaphor for God and Self – hey Bob the Tug – if it was you,

chat me back — this time I just might accept.

What Barnacles Are Not

Barnacles look like cement
but they are soft, flaky
fragile shells
that crush if pushed
inside a purse
where they don’t belong
or if pecked
by a gull
where they do

so is it all the same?
that I bring one home
from an island called Angel
though the vikings meant angle
a crook to hook a fish on

because I found it at the bottom
of the ocean
attached to a stone
on the ocean floor
one evening when the ocean was not at home
and left its shore open and wide
for me to thieve in

is it all the same
purse or gull
where the illusion of strength

Walls of Water, No Door

You are controlling the ocean
he said when I said
perhaps I am too controlling or rather
I am used to being in control it is
the one skill I was taught
it kept me from growing up

what did they want those parents
who wanted a third adult in their seven year old
who stroked her hair saying we can count
on you honey

you be the good one we can count

controlling the ocean? I mused
while the walls, the office building windows,
the fake persian rug and rattatan furniture
the ekorn stratalounger the cheap
box of kleenex all went crashing under
churned in the snorting, tossing, galloping
uncorralled ocean