Harbor Island_Proto-Viaduct

Irradiated logos label the corrugated dawn.

Furrowed fonts fragment names across the landscape: Maersk, Hanjin, Hamburg Süd.

The language sinks the landscape below sea level: an intricate map of sludge and rust, crosshatched by mist.

The sun rises over this washed out mechanical undone.


Beneath the puzzling labyrinth of cargo, the island is in flux.

Paragraph: tire treads in the mud, workplace accidents, layoff cycles.

I am searching for evidence along the clay embankment reefed with plastic bottles.

The whispering smokestack of the red glass building scans all surfaces, the beach a barcode.


Nearby, I find a beached whale barricaded with orange and white pylons.

The mechanical heat of flies loads the whale’s information into their swarm.

Here, puddles of matter slip into soft erosion, seeking collapse.


Dressed in moist silt, I am silken and gleaming, organic and steel, a signaling siren.

A withering blood sac navigating the periphery of the exchange zone.

I am bruise aluminum in this weather.

I am porous alloy allowing light to pass through me in viscous rendering, bouncing between the walls of tankers and refineries.


Low tide stimulates the dying bay, and I can see the micromollusks in it, and sense their life.

Miniscule universes in the tidepools surge with the possibility of creating a chemical reaction to eat planets of future cruise ship pollution.


Melting in sand, a protein wrench predicts implosion among monuments.

Emerging from sand, a flesh sundial develops a microtonal frequency that shatters time.


The nadir emergence manifests:

The containers become craters in a sticky time reversal.

Kelp and clay interlace, forming new biomimicries.

The tide froths salts to cleanse away all chemicals.

Low growing scrub life consumes piles of trash.

The gears are obliterated beneath the earth.

In the quiet sun shear, the earth begins its autophagy.


I am born from this iridescence: that metallic caul which crashes me against total absorption.

Sticky time reversal is a quicksand diagramming fossilized metrics.

Microbes and nematodes crawl from my openings.

They deteriorate metal with quiet reverence for a new nature.


Further, along the coastline, a patch of seagrass is seen beneath the marbling light dissipating on the water’s surface. The tide’s constant quotation dissolves the surface into pockets of warbling heat spheres. A sudden midday storm cell alters the trance with diagonal black drizzle, folding the rainbow sheen of contaminant across the waves. Humidity causes steam to rise immediately upon impact. From above, through that vapor, one can see the kelp retract and descend into the depths. An acid-spitting Reaper Eel takes refuge in a partially submerged freight tire. At what time to initiate the feeding frenzy: the detritovore’s dilemma.


Barrett White edits Tagvverk. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Brooklyn Rail, Diagram, Nomaterialism, P-Queue, bæst, and elsewhere. Other writing can be found in places such as the Action Books blog, Social Text, Full Stop, and FLAT.   WEB