They ask what planet I’m from.
Will I truly ruin their world?
Why is this not my world as well?
I don’t know.
I’m just here. And how? I don’t know.
This green skin I’m in, where do I begin?
I go distant, labelled as alien.
Sometimes I feel like being dangerous,
so unable to coalesce, and just unhinge.
But, most of the time,
I wish I could just put out better vibe.
If only they could see me as I am,
like every other fish that ever swam.
Review by Vyarka Kozareva
This poem raises issues concerning differences, distinction, misunderstanding, rejection, which occur in a society. It is well-known that the misinterpretation of somebody’s words, apparel or behaviour may cause fear or suspicion in the interlocutor/ onlooker. The protagonist’s drama stems from his strangeness for which he even has no any own proper explanation. A lonely soul who needs understanding and acceptance, and longs for attention to show and prove that he is not a threat to the world around. Moreover, he is an inoffensive, good and positive just like every other fish that ever swam.
Review by Massimo Fantuzzi
Hamm: Ah, the old questions, the old answers, there’s nothing like them! (S. Beckett, Endgame)
Where do we come from, where’s our place, what the purpose of this journey and what is the nature of our dealings with our surroundings? Friends or foes? Can we, and how, coexist and blend harmoniously with the living things swimming around us?
Caught in the middle of the ecological tension (in Bronfenbrenner’s terms) of our times, a palpable desire to reach the common primary goals of acceptance and survival crashes against the reality of being so unable to coalesce/unhinge/non-fit. Confronted with this impossible riddle, we become stuck in something that has all the appearance of an identity crisis: the wish is to crawl out of our skin and reverse the effects of this corroding label of being out of step and dangerous to our environment.
The solitude we hear in the last two verses echoes the resignation of a race that doesn’t believe it deserves a place at the table. As we continue to expand, we lose emotional habitat and face. Pariahs, outcasts, we suffer more than all the other fishes in the pond as the fundaments of the hierarchy of needs, safety and belonging are compromised.