7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 14)

NO. 14

Go, friend, go to No. 14…

It is strange on the whole

This crocodile in the back streets of Pera

Oh, just ambling, rambling

Searching for its kin

Sunning its crocodile skin

On the rooftops of Pera

Are you a-feared?

The streets are dark

The lights are dim

The streets are dark

And you may be shot at whim

But the odd croc’s a-waddling

Just plodding to find its kin

Go, friend, go to No. 14…

And in the early morning at midnight

When the blind policeman patrols

Playing sleet with the boys…

A crocodile is wandering, wondering



Recasting, sandblasting, re-constructing


Out of Pera


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 13)


The condor circles above the royal Oak, surveying the dead…

The generals are at their stations:

Taking tally, counting heads…

General L. T. Bolt

Lightning’s the name

Thunder by trade

He’s a droner…

He’ll talk your head off for the love of Jove!

General E. Coli

Is a pontificating, fungulating, defecating sort…

The rat comes out when General T. Plasmosis makes his play

Toxic, osmotic

Tick, tick, tick…

The rat ventures forward, ecstatic

Tick, tick, tick…

Flick… Flick…


The cat yawns, the rat squeals, ecstatic.

General Made-to-Measure

Nickname: the tapeworm

Insidious, insinuating, nauseating, infiltrating

Needs fumigating…


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 12)

Secrets are flies, my kin, they bring a blight of lies…

Houseflies, horseflies, mouseflies

A force of flies

Secrets are like flies, my kin:

They feed on filth

And they create filth

Secrets spawn lies

A malefaction, a defecation of flies

Secrets are like maggots, my kin:

They feed on death and putrefaction

And they are nothing but a distraction

A distraction of fruitless flies

There is never freedom

In The Land of Flies…


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 11)

Friend or Foe? Asks the Cuckoo…

My friend Jack

Black Jack Red Jack

The Knave is back…

But is Jack my friend?

Low Jack High Jack

The Knave is in the sack…

Is Jack my foe

Or does he have my back?

The Knave of spades:

Is he a snake

Or a Peke?

Black Jack True

Is it you?

A trefoil or a gumshoe?

Red Jacks Two…

A Diamond Knave

Or a Fool for you?


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 10)

The parrots squawked: here come the Kings and Queens, decked out in purple, blue and green…

All hail Lord Despair

The spades’ head gonzo…

He thinks he’s the King of Kings

But he’s just the King of Craps and Risotto

And his lady love

That baleful dove…

Is the strident Queen of Pain and Panto!

Here’s the Hart of Hearts

The ashen Queen

The Lady of your heart’s desire

Don’t be fooled!

All you’ll get from this old nag

Is a pile of ashes when sets your house on fire

The brassy hag is bride to the Stag

The Stag of Hope and Glory

Well that’s too bad!

Hope’s long gone, and for this pair there’s never any glory…

Meet the Master!

The Master Blaster

A.K.A. the Diamond Disaster

And his sister-dear

The pure as mud, the fad, the dud,

The dainty Queen Nirvana

The King of Clubs sits on his throne

The Throne of Lice and Dysentery

His Lady-wife sings beside him

Deaf and mute, the Queen of Cacophony


Sanem Özdural

The Founder Effect – no. 17



Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with the line, ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

Well, Leo, I have proven the exception to the rule.

Floors 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 are now completely vacated of neighbors (Monarchs and milkweed going up in no. 24 tonight). And no one in this city would move into any unit here if you paid them. The whole first floor—nos. 1, 2, and 3—are knee-high in soil and lichens. I picked up beetle snails and a pair of star nosed moles to put in there when I dropped off Antonia’s lunch this morning. They seem to love it.

She offered to bring back stacks of plastic modular tank extenders (for cost and space, they’re the most efficient solution, she says). In exchange for three lobsters, Beethoven has agreed to not complain until I can install the MTEs by sometime tonight.

As well as last night went with Antonia, we’re celebrating with a little sherry. Now that I’m 17, Chimpy today is calling me Jailbait.

Jailbait, pass me the lighter.

Jailbait, you want ice?

Haven’t you already seen this Antiques Roadshow episode, Jailbait?

He’s in a much better mood than he was last night. Having the chance to cook really does soothe him, and his amuse-bouche of ceviche de pulpo is undoubtedly fine by any standard. After the stunt Beethoven pulled—Antonia was a terrific sport about it, though—and the second she left, Chimpy was ready to kill it on the spot. At one point I thought I had him talked down, but when I turned, Chimpy made a sneaky dash for the aquatank and I had no choice but to physically restrain him.

The compromise was to spare Beethoven’s life. But it did cost the price of sixteen suckers worth of a single tentacle. Just one. And not even most of it. Chimpy made a very persuasive argument that Beethoven would never learn otherwise and in the end I had little choice but to agree. After all, Chimpy is an animal, and Beethoven is an animal, but I am not. So I deferred to his judgment.

I love the ghee finish on that tangerine brine, I say.

Chimpy leers at Beethoven as he signs, Can you tell how the ginger and garlic are just rubbed on? I just rubbed them on the tentacle? Without mashing them up into the marinade?

Mmmm, I say. So that’s it. It’s really tender. And subtle.

There’s nothing in the marinade but the juice.

Amazing, I say and stab the last piece. No salt?

Just in the ghee.

It’s exquisite.

Chimpy is surely being cruel, but I cannot deny the results. Beethoven has been limited to mealtime conversations, and by permission only. And again, the lobsters bought me a day of peace and quiet about the space, which I’m already taking care of.

Things are happening outside the flat in the hallway.

Everything goes red. Just as suddenly, the red ends.

In Mrs. Boerenpummel’s apartment, it sounds like a firework explodes.

Raat! Cleanup on aisle two.

Chimpy displays agitation.

What the hell was that?!

Raat! Five-O.

A small spout of water squirts up into the air from the geoduck shelter.

There’s a hatehiss coming from the other side of the apartment wall. A slam, a snap of breaking wood, followed by a number of stomping boots. I rush to the front door.

I look through the fisheye lens of the peephole. I hear what is left of Mrs. Boerenpummel’s door collapse, then speaking in the hallway, then the jingle of chains. Eight Gurkhas, in two-by-two formation, march by. Then Mrs. Boerenpummel shuffles past, shackled neck to feet. Then a Borinqueneer wearing the bars and pineapple of a Master Gunnery Sergeant. Last, ten Legionnaires with bayonets pointing up on their backs. They all tramp away.

I turn my head around. Sorry, Chimpy.

He signs, It’s cool, really. It ain’t a thing.

The Frenchman told me there might be an orangutan in the works before long. A female.

That’s what I’m talking about, Jailbait. I love Malaysian chicks.

Well I can’t promise you anything because, remember, if she does not reciprocate your affections then the point is moot, right, Mr. McPickles?

Something brushes against the door. I look through the peephole again and see the three armed men in berets I had seen on the street before. One of them bows.

A sealed envelope falls through the mail slot, landing on my foot.

I pick it up, look at both sides. I hand it to Chimpy. He skips over to the hallway closet, cracks it open, hurriedly stuffs the envelope inside (without letting the rest of the mail avalanche out onto the floor), and pushes, presses, works the door back shut.


Chimpy sprinkles some flakes into the fish tank.

I say, The Frenchman assured me that these three are also females. I wonder if Haffenreffer will go on to be male.

What do you mean?

She’s the mature one. When a group of clownfish are all females, the mature one usually will turn into a male.

Are you serious?

Indeed I am. It’s called protogyny. A lot of fish species do it.

Chimpy lights a cigarette and passes it to me, then lights his own. And then they mate?

That’s the point, yes.

No kidding.

Hundreds of fish species are protogynous. Including wrasses.

Chimpy blows a smoke ring through another smoke ring. The wrasses are asses.

Ah, yes, well, ha, that’s good.

You think what I did to Beethoven was too harsh.

No, I don’t know.

In a couple weeks it’ll be all grown back.

Yes, I know.

And it tasted great.

It was so, so good.

Thank you. Trust me when it comes to animals. I know how to deal with them.


What is it?

I ask, Were you born in the wild?

He ashes his smoke. No I was not. Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx.


7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 9)

The crows are gathering, my kin, atop the royal Oak…

The storm clouds are dark and brooding

Loitering in the night, hooded

The crows’ cries are harsh and crude

Hungry and longing for anything–

Everything is food

A mouse, a rat, a pigeon…

The crow’s greedy black eye

Only sees food

The storm brings Thunder

The storm rides Rain

The storm hurls Lightning

And it is all Pain


Mistake not

The storm is Pain

The crows are gathering

And the storm is upon us

My kin, never surrender

Never retreat

Stand together

And we will defeat

The storm of Pain


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 8)

And the mockingbird twittered: Aces high; Ace is nigh…

Aces high and low

It is your time… it is your show…

The Ace of Clubs is a witch

Mesmerizing, tantalizing, incentivizing…

The Morning Star

Pay her back!

Or it’s the switch…

The diamond wizard

The Ace of Hades

Lord of salvation


He smiles



The barracuda angelfish

The stunner of the sea

Star of Hearts

The Ace of Ecstasy

Seven is the number of the Beast

An electric coil

Slippery as an eel

The snake of spades

The Ace of Waves

Last but not least

You’re on lead…

Who will it be?



Fish or


What do you think?


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 7)

As you are Us, and we are You…

When what is within is the same as what is without

When what is said is no different from what is not

When the Sun and Moon and Stars do not kill and bind

When Rain and Thunder do not make mud of the mind

When there is no Harvest of disease

Freedom barges in, my kin

For those who want it

And for those who do not…


Sanem Özdural

7 Dalga: The Song of the Sky: When Freedom Barges In (Part 6)

The starlings murmured: it is near; it is almost here…

Truth, my kin

The Truth in the Sun and Moon and Stars

The Truth of fear in men’s hearts

The fear that creates monsters with darts

Of ice; darts of scalding fire

The Truth of light unseen

Light that kills and blinds

Light that binds…

In bonds unseen and unseeing

No more, my kin

For we want Freedom to know how much we care…


Sanem Özdural