There was a time when everybody read Moby Dick and knew that ambergris was the sweetly scented vomit of a whale, and treasured. Sailors who happened upon it on the open main struck "liquid gold" because it was the essence of perfume distilled, bottled and sold, more prized than oil, and purchased by the privileged pinnacle. Colognes are brewed of chemicals today, dispensed to billions. Even authors, taught to think ourselves leviathans, egest words stilled from sweetness soured and dispensed to all but likewise purchased by the few who don't distinguish, or don't mind, the stench.
James B. Nicola
James B. Nicola is the author of six collections of poetry, the latest being Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense. His decades of working in the theater culminated in the nonfiction book Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance, which won a Choice award.